No matter how long or how short your trip overseas is, you would want it to be as comfortable and cost-effective as possible. This is exactly what Philippine Airlines brought to the limelight when they introduced their Premium Economy Class! It’s not as flamboyant as as Business Class, but it’s definitely better than your normal Economy Class.
PAL’s A330 has introduced a new and improved premium economy package that they offer. It’s a complete upgrade over the old premium economy experience. Finally, a true premium economy class seat.
PROS: Slightly more seat pitch, seat width, and recline. Added leg rests and footrests, along with an exquisite in-flight entertainment system.
CONS: Limited Wi-Fi connection. Underwhelming food choices.
I used 11,500 Mabuhay Miles which I transferred from my PNB World MasterCard which was 33 pesos to a mile then (now 40 pesos to a mile).
PNB has recently changed their point-to-mile ratio to be based on the Total Banking Records of the individual. The most common condition now would be P55: 1 mile. But it is also possible to get a ratio as low as P30: 1 mile with a TBR of PHP100 Million.
It was a really good and worthwhile mile redemption. Especially because premium economy takes up 500 miles less than Economy Class Flexiflyer 1. Keep that in mind the next time you use points to fly economy!
I flew from Manila to Hong Kong on an Airbus 330-300. It’s a rather short trip compared to other international flights.
Because of my ELITE status, I was able to check in using the business class lounge. If you have a PNB World masterclass card, you can always check in here even if you are flying economy. After checking in, I was invited to the Mabuhay lounge.
As soon as I checked in and passed security, I went straight to the Mabuhay lounge.
There were still a lot of people inside, but they were few enough that It gave me a good escape from the busy crowds outside.
I felt lucky during that time, it was around 6am. There were not much people around in the lounge. The problem is, during peak hours, it could easily get crowded – losing the feeling of exclusivity.
With a good selection of food and snacks provided, the lounge is the perfect place to rest and relax while you wait for your flight.
The lounge was filled with people, but what truly caught my attention was the selection of food. There were a lot!
I stayed in the lounge long enough to witness the staff change the food from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu. Unfortunately, I had to leave before it was made available to the other passengers.
When it was time for our flight, we were ushered calmly inside the aircraft. Since I booked a Premium Economy Class ticket, I was part of the priority check-in which was neat!
As we boarded the plane, there was a separate line for premium economy passengers.
Seats & Seat Configuration
Once inside, you’ll see a slight difference between the normal Economy and Premium Economy Class. Based on my prior research, it’s supposed to be better overall by just a few measurements.
When I got to try it out myself, I realized just how wonderful the extra 6-inches of seat pitch and an extra half inch of seat width can be.
They also included a small mesh pocket for some of your personal belongings and a power outlet for you to charge your gadgets! They also have added features such as leg rests, footrests, and even a slightly larger 13.3-inch myPAL eSuite Personal TV. All of this makes the Premium Economy Class worth it especially for people who value comfort!
There are only 24 Premium Economy Seats in the Airbus 330-300. The best seats to look out for are the window seats at the first row. You’ll have a great view of the outside and get to enjoy a superior legroom overall.
All the other front seats except the middle one at the center are very good seats. Speaking of which, all the middle seats at the center aisle are the ones that you should avoid. You’ll be trapped between two people which can feel cramped. The back row of seats has limited recline due to the exit row behind. They are also the nearest seats to the galley and lavatory, which can be bothersome to most passengers.
We had a really good experience with the flight attendants on board. They were attentive and seemed to have an eye out for us at any given time. They also provided 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, along with the option to extend it through paying.
As part of the Premium Economy Class, we were also promised to have “enhanced meal options” but truth be told, it felt slightly underwhelming.
For this flight in particular, the enhanced meal options were composed of only two options, and even though it was decent at best, I still felt like there’s something missing.
It felt a lot like economy food with an upbeat plating.
My MNL-HKG flight was a nice experience. I don’t have much to complain about, except for the so called ‘enhanced meal options” that certainly didn’t hit the mark. Again, PAL provides limited Wi-Fi, something you should take note of, especially if you really need an internet connection. If you want to experience something more than just Economy, but still around its value, then Premium Economy is right for you.