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Aer Lingus

Is An Empty Seat Middle Seat “Premium Economy?”

Is An Empty Seat Middle Seat “Premium Economy?”
Joe Cortez

While other airlines are scaling back their premium offerings, IAG-owned Aer Lingus is moving forward with a new short-haul premium option. Named “AerSpace,” the option will be featured on flights under two hours spanning the United Kingdom and greater Europe.

Aer Lingus will soon offer flyers a new premium offering for those wanting more from local travel. The IAG-owned carrier announced the launch of AerSpace on flights two hours or less, launching Sept. 1, 2019.

Unlike a traditional business class seat, AerSpace seats will be available in the first row of select aircraft. Flyers may choose between a window or aisle seat – the middle seat will not be sold and remain unoccupied. In addition, travelers will have guaranteed overhead bin access, Fast Track security, priority boarding and onboard refreshments from the menu. Travelers may also bring along a 48.5-pound (22 kilograms) bag free of charge. And unlike other “premium” economy offerings, the ticket also comes with lounge access prior to departure.

When the product goes live, it will be available on 27 different routes originating from Dublin and Cork, Ireland. The sister carrier of British Airways and Iberia is advertising fares as low as around $144 (129 Euros) for the first flights.

“At Aer Lingus we are committed to innovating our product offering to meet travellers’ ever-changing needs,” Susanne Carberry, director of network revenue and loyalty at Aer Lingus, said in the press release. “We are proud to launch AerSpace in response to feedback from our guests seeking a more premium and spacious travel experience when flying short haul with Aer Lingus.”

But will the offering be successful? Speaking to Irish news website Fora, one analyst believes the “premium economy” offering will attract flyers who are looking for more than a low-cost carrier can offer in the same airspace.

“I think Aer Lingus has discovered that going head to head with the low-cost carriers (in Europe) isn’t giving them the yield they want,” lecturer Kevin Byrne told the website. “They’re targeting people who have the money and who want the comfort.”

 

[Image Source: Aer Lingus]

View Comments (18)

18 Comments

  1. strickerj

    May 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Isn’t standard coach with the middle seat left empty what intra-European business class has always been? Did Aer Lingus not already offer this?

  2. Flight44

    May 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    No, they’re just charging more to leave the center seat empty. You’ll still have the person behind you breathing down your neck and the rest of the slave ship style cramped quarters.

    Please, stop promoting the lies.

  3. weero

    weero

    May 10, 2019 at 5:16 am

    I wished that product existed for long haul travel. An empty middle would be a great offering.

  4. Gallivanter

    May 10, 2019 at 5:29 am

    The entire Lufthansa Group as well as IAG now do this, so it’s not really new. Yes, there’s even a curtain to keep you away from the hoi-polloi and yes, you get a modicum more attention, a drink and usually a nice plastic snack offering. So it’s not quite AerFreight class…

  5. jrpallante

    May 10, 2019 at 6:05 am

    Why do all these apparent “news” stories seem like paid advertisements? This just sounds like the standard Euro-Biz class.

  6. fairhsa

    May 10, 2019 at 6:41 am

    ba.citiflyer has identical seats in Economy and Business. This sounds better than that.

  7. falawa

    May 10, 2019 at 6:44 am

    LH stuck us in a coach row with blocked center seat and called it Businesson it’s glorious A321

  8. MitchR

    May 10, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I would pay extra for that. I am 5’9″ so I can shoehorn into the legroom. My issue is with the 300 pounder that gets stuck in the middle seat.

  9. Danwriter

    May 10, 2019 at 6:46 am

    “While other airlines are scaling back their premium offerings…”

    What? Premium products are almost all that carriers have been focusing on.

    And strickerj is correct: standard coach with the middle seat left empty (and preferably with its back able to be folded down) has been the European “business class” for years.

    Flyer Talk’s writing standards continue to tank, with its writers just parroting press releases and without the industry knowledge to provide proper context.

  10. Bear4Asian

    May 10, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Edit the title. One too many “Seat”.

  11. Dudemon

    Dudemon

    May 10, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Yes, intra Europe flights on LH offer Biz class which is really no middle seat occupant and a better meal. It’s an insult to call it biz but it makes practical sense for LH since they can expand and contract the C cabin as needed. LH could never change the name from Biz because them it would be painfully obvious that they don’t offer a C class product on 50+% of their routes.

    Virgin Air (in Australia) is honest about what they call this, “Premium Y”.

  12. dinoscool3

    dinoscool3

    May 10, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Uh, isn’t this just normal Euro-biz?

  13. whherron

    May 10, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Who owns the middle seat? Both paid for premium economy.

  14. IBobi

    IBobi

    May 10, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Short answer: yes. Yes it is.

  15. lebelgo

    May 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    If they’re not going to sell the middle seat, why not just make the window and aisle seats wider???

  16. k_jupiter

    May 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Air New Zealand has been doing this for years on it’s Airbus planes. It’s nice but nothing to write home about.

  17. Annalisa12

    Annalisa12

    May 10, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    No, but it is 10% better than regularly squishy economy.

  18. flying_geek

    May 11, 2019 at 3:56 am

    I do not know any intra European Business class that is different than what described. A few weeks ago I was on an intra-Argentinian flight in “Premium economy” and that actually had bigger seats than economy – basically a US First layout… and calling that Premium Economy certainly made a lot more sense

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