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Old Jun 8, 09, 3:54 pm   #1
 
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Overwieght Traveller

Please forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this but if not perhaps one of the mods could move it to somewhere more appropriate.

My wife and I are travelling to Orlando from Belfast in July with Thomas Cook. Unfortunately i dont know the type of plane we are leaving on yet but we are travelling Premium Ecconomy.

My wife is very large and in the past we have travelled ecconomy and she has been able to fit into a normal seat provided we lift the armrest that separates us. Its not comfortable but it does work. This time hoping for a bit more comfort we decided to go Premium Ecconomy as the girl in the agents promised us that the seats would be wider. Seat pitch doesnt matter so much to us but the width is vital. Now I know from the past that a lot of the premium seating do not have armrests that you can raise so now I am panicing that the girl in the agents was just trying to flog us more expensive seats and when we get onboard my wife will be so mortified if she cant fit in the seat that I honestly believe she will get off the flight.

Anyone with any idea of the seat width compared to the normal width will be a great help to me.

Many Thanks
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Old Jun 8, 09, 4:55 pm   #2
 
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Paddy, call the airline.

They will be able to tell you exactly if those seats have raisable armrests or not. They know, so they can tell you. They should also be able to confirm if the seat is indeed wider. It is for most airlines with a premium economy, but it can be as little as one or two inches.

If after that you still have serious doubts? Do yourself a huge favour and either upgrade or buy her 2 seats (and contact the airline before doing so, to make sure they can guarantee her 2 seats next to eachother with raisable armrests in between).

I had a quick look on seatguru, but no seatmaps of aircrafts of Thomas Cook with Premium Economy.
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Old Jun 8, 09, 4:56 pm   #3
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Welcome to FlyerTalk and the Disability Travel forum!

[remainder deleted - see LHR/MEL/Europe FF's reply below]

Last edited by Katja; Jun 12, 09 at 9:32 pm. Reason: remove mis-information
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Old Jun 11, 09, 9:55 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddywack41 View Post
Please forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this but if not perhaps one of the mods could move it to somewhere more appropriate.

My wife and I are travelling to Orlando from Belfast in July with Thomas Cook. Unfortunately i dont know the type of plane we are leaving on yet but we are travelling Premium Ecconomy.

My wife is very large and in the past we have travelled ecconomy and she has been able to fit into a normal seat provided we lift the armrest that separates us. Its not comfortable but it does work. This time hoping for a bit more comfort we decided to go Premium Ecconomy as the girl in the agents promised us that the seats would be wider. Seat pitch doesnt matter so much to us but the width is vital. Now I know from the past that a lot of the premium seating do not have armrests that you can raise so now I am panicing that the girl in the agents was just trying to flog us more expensive seats and when we get onboard my wife will be so mortified if she cant fit in the seat that I honestly believe she will get off the flight.

Anyone with any idea of the seat width compared to the normal width will be a great help to me.

Many Thanks

Paddy..

I would check with the airline. I did look at Virgin Atlantic and their premium economy seats are the same width as their regular economy seats, the only difference being that they are bulkhead seats with more legroom. They are 3 across and I'm not sure about the armrests.

BMI does have a premium economy section and the seats are wider, 25" as opposed to 17" and they are two across. I'm still not sure about the armrests though.

Last edited by Harleycat; Jun 11, 09 at 10:13 am. Reason: added more information
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Old Jun 12, 09, 9:08 am   #5
 
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Thanks Folks

I have emailed the airline but am having to wait up to ten days for the reply. Trying to get a number for them is a bit of a nightmare. IF i find out anything I will post it here for the information of others.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 9:41 am   #6
 
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Hi Paddywack and a warm welcome to FT!

Unfortunately there is a significant amount of MISinformation in this thread... so please bear with me while I talk you through it.

First of all, Premium Economy is now an established brand which is used my many airlines to indicate a level of service above economy, but short of business or club class.

On top tier airlines, Premium Economy (also known as World Traveller+ on British Airways) is in a separate cabin, has wider seats and more legroom. Generally speaking, there is one or two less seats across in Premium Economy than in Ecnonomy.

On every major airline's premium economy the armrests between the seats DO NOT go up. They are fixed. One of the perks of premium economy is the wider armrests so you don't have to fight with your neighbour.

As such, premium economy seats are only a little bit wider than normal economy, around 2inches at the most.

Now charter airlines and airlines which fly on tourist markets have various concepts of what they call premium economy.

Sometimes premium economy means nothing more than extra legroom. Some charter airlines cram more seats across than regular scheduled airlines, for example they will seat 10 across a 777 aircraft. The charter airline's premium economy may therefore be 9 seats across - which for them IS premium, but really only gives you the same width as a regular scheduled airliner.

As for the information on Virgin flights, Virgin offeres Premium Economy with wide seats, champagne and extra legroom. This should not be confused with the ability to pay for some economy seats which have extra legroom. In the latter, you are seated in the economy cabin and get economy service with economy seats, but have more legroom only.

I can't see a seating plan for the thompson flights to see how wide the seats are, but it looks like a good service from what I can see!

I suggest you ring the airline (yes Thomas Cook IS an airline!!), if you can, and ask them:

-what aircraft is operating your flight and
-how meany seats are there across the cabin in premium economy

If you report that back here I can give you some more information.

Regards

lme ff

Last edited by LHR/MEL/Europe FF; Jun 12, 09 at 11:27 am.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 11:48 am   #7
 
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Knowing what airline you are actually flying is really the key.

A variety of airlines offer service from Belfast to Orlando (MCO), but none is non-stop. If you end up in Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic, be aware that many of those seats are on the upper deck on 747s which means climbing the staircase.

flyglobespan.com and Thomas Cook airlines both offer non-stop service from Belfast to Orlando-Sanford International. Note that this is not the primary Orlando airport, and is around 30 minutes further from the tourist attractions than MCO is. Globespan service is scheduled with once a week flights to Sanford on Fridays, returning on Thursdays. Thomas Cook is charter service, I haven't been able to determine what the flight dates are.

globespan's web site says they offer two levels of service on these flights, premium economy (PE) and business. So PE is their basic level, on the 767 it is 7 across in PE, which is the same as most airlines in economy on the 767, so seat width would be typical economy.

If you are on Thomas Cook, their 767s are all one class of service, with a very tight 8! across on the 767. It's possible that they classify some seats with extra leg room as "premium", but that won't help your wife.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 7:28 pm   #8
 
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Yes -- just to add that I too was unable to find a flight on Thimas Cook from Belfast to Sanford.

However, as soon as you post details we can have a look for you.

Regards

lme ff
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Old Jun 14, 09, 5:44 pm   #9
 
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Contact details that will help

Hi,

http://www.thomascookairlines.co.uk/on_board_info.asp

Follow the link above it has the contact numbers and seat widths.

I struggle to on certain airlines First Choice now under Thomson have fixed arm rest in PE and they are 17.8" wide with 36" pitch, I am told that some Thomson aircraft only run at 16.5" with.

Virgin Atlantic new fllet out of heathrow are 21" wide with 38" pitch and the older fleet out of Gatwick 20" with 38" pitch, I have head that on the ne wVirgin PE the laptop connecter can stick in your leg.

Home this helps a few travellers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddywack41 View Post
Please forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this but if not perhaps one of the mods could move it to somewhere more appropriate.

My wife and I are travelling to Orlando from Belfast in July with Thomas Cook. Unfortunately i dont know the type of plane we are leaving on yet but we are travelling Premium Ecconomy.

My wife is very large and in the past we have travelled ecconomy and she has been able to fit into a normal seat provided we lift the armrest that separates us. Its not comfortable but it does work. This time hoping for a bit more comfort we decided to go Premium Ecconomy as the girl in the agents promised us that the seats would be wider. Seat pitch doesnt matter so much to us but the width is vital. Now I know from the past that a lot of the premium seating do not have armrests that you can raise so now I am panicing that the girl in the agents was just trying to flog us more expensive seats and when we get onboard my wife will be so mortified if she cant fit in the seat that I honestly believe she will get off the flight.

Anyone with any idea of the seat width compared to the normal width will be a great help to me.

Many Thanks
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Old Jun 16, 09, 3:47 am   #10
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As has been mentioned, there is little consistency between airlines when it comes to the concept of "premium economy".

Hopefully, you'll be able to report back so that you can get some meaningful advice and information.

I did find this photo of a "Thomas Cook premium economy cabin", perhaps this will help: http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/show...3&postcount=21
(not great, but even so, considerably wider* than the seats in the economy section behind - and the seat arms do appear to be 'hinged', a big plus)

*Edit to add - now I've looked at the photo again, I don't believe they are 'considerably wider' after all...

Alas, it seems extremely unlikely that you will be flying bmi. But I would like to point out this airline to you as a consideration for future trips as it offers what I consider to be one of the best premium economy seats of any airline.
The seats used for their long haul flights used to be those used in their business cabin - I flew from Manchester to Las Vegas and back when they were up at the front of the aircraft and found them to be immensely comfortable.
Now they have been moved further back to the premium economy section (replaced with more 'advanced' seats in the Business class section). However, the seats are essentially the same, they just have less legroom than before.
Here's a photo:
http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/g...x?ItemID=19858
The seats are 21inches wide (I think this is similar to the seat width offered by Virgin)

Last edited by LapLap; Jun 20, 09 at 3:37 am.
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Old Jun 16, 09, 4:26 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
As has been mentioned, there is little consistency between airlines when it comes to the concept of "premium economy".


I did find this photo of a "Thomas Cook premium economy cabin", perhaps this will help: http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/show...3&postcount=21
(not great, but even so, considerably wider than the seats in the economy section behind - and the seat arms do appear to be 'hinged', a big plus)
Laplap is there any way you can post the picture itself? My internet won't allow me to access it (and I have tried a variety of ways - it may be my location here in asia).

I did do a goole search for Thomas Cook and came up with this link to an A330:

http://images.google.com.au/imgres?i...6newwindow%3D1

It shows a 2+3+2 configuration in premium which does gives you about an extra inch to an inch and a half more width plus additional arm-rest space.

The 2+3+2 configuration is one less seat than normal economy seating on this type of aircraft... however some major airlines used this configuration for their short-haul business class including Southh African Airways, cyprus airways (but no longer), Qantas domestic (but no longer), and CSA).

Long-haul Jetstar airways in Australia uses this same configuration. It is highly likely that seating will have fixed armrests for this confguration on an airbus aircraft.

The real dealbreaker is in economy where they get 9 seats across, which is one more than standard and very tight!

Regards

lme ff
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Old Jun 20, 09, 3:24 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
Laplap is there any way you can post the picture itself? My internet won't allow me to access it (and I have tried a variety of ways - it may be my location here in asia).
I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post sooner.

These are the two photos from the other forum
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a2...MIA-CUN011.jpg
and from behind:
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a2...eru-Bgi123.jpg

Hope you can see these, I'm not sure they conform to the seatplan you posted as the photos show (from as far as I can tell) a 2+3+2 seat configuration in premium economy and a 2+4+2 configuration in standard economy.

The worrying thing is that although there is more space for seat width in the premium economy section (as it lacks the extra seat), what the first photo shows is that the aisle section is wider in economy premium. My interpretation is that the premium seats are only a tiny fraction wider, if at all.
My advice to the Paddywack41 is to - not only find out the seat configuration for this flight, but get an assurance that the seat rests in premium economy hinge up fully (I've been in some aircraft where the seat rests cannot be raised fully and so don't lie flush into the back seat).

Last edited by LapLap; Jun 20, 09 at 3:34 am.
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Old Jun 23, 09, 7:02 am   #13
 
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Thanks for that lap-lap.

Hopefully - and I think this is good news - the pictures you posted are for a B767 aircraft, and the flight to Florida for the OP in an Airbus 330. In the case of the airbus the 2+3+2 does indeed give extra width (economy is very cramped at 3+3+3).

The picture you posted is noteworthy in the sense that the 'premium' cabin as shown is the same as any normal economy in a first tier airline.

Regards

lme ff
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