AA Premium Economy vs JAL Economy

Old Apr 18, 19, 10:53 am
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AA Premium Economy vs JAL Economy

Planning a trip to Tokyo from the US. So far, AA PE is around $600 more than economy RT which I would have no problem paying. However, JAL economy is also about $600 less than AA PE. I know that JAL econ seat width is similar to AA PE (19") with seat pitch being less 34" vs 38". Just trying to decide if the AA PE is worth the extra cost over JAL economy. Anyone have experience with both? Thanks
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Old Apr 18, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by rktj View Post
Planning a trip to Tokyo from the US. So far, AA PE is around $600 more than economy RT which I would have no problem paying. However, JAL economy is also about $600 less than AA PE. I know that JAL econ seat width is similar to AA PE (19") with seat pitch being less 34" vs 38". Just trying to decide if the AA PE is worth the extra cost over JAL economy. Anyone have experience with both? Thanks
Although JL's Y is one of the best in class, AA's PE is better. One gets both a J class meal, albeit without the fancier dinnerware and somewhat better beverage choices. Also, the seats are larger and provide a modicum of more private space. With the price difference being only $600 r/t, and seems not to be a concern to you, go for it.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 11:45 am
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I recently flew AA PE to Tokyo from DFW and it was great. *Much better than AA's domestic Business product pretty much all around.

Not sure if it's the same as JAL's TPAC economy, but I also flew JAL's economy domestically and it did not seem much better than AA Y

Last edited by bscooter26; Apr 18, 19 at 3:32 pm
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Old Apr 18, 19, 3:27 pm
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I flew AA PE from LAX - NRT and it was an excellent flight. I would definitely suggest spending the extra $600 (assuming you can afford it) on the PE cabin. It's a long way to fly in Y.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 4:07 pm
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Counter point, PE is better than Coach for certain but the delta in comfort between PE and J is immense on AA. PE is quite acceptable for day time flights such as Europe back to the US, but on flights where sustained sleep is in order or desired, IMHO it is not really as nice. Not to say don't do it, but set your expectations accordingly.

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Old Apr 18, 19, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
One gets both a J class meal, albeit without the fancier dinnerware and somewhat better beverage choices. Also, the seats are larger and provide a modicum of more private space.
Exception is if AA mis-caters and is short a meal. Then they give you an econ meal - and that meal is much worse than a JAL econ meal. (Or at least they did with me when flying AA LAX-HKG.) And on the same flight, AA did an op-up for a mom with a lap child from Y to PE next to me (otherwise would have been empty - hence the miscatered # of meals), so I actually had much less private space as the lap child was likely days shy of being 2 and was constantly spilling over to my seat. For $600 savings difference, I would fly JAL Y.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by rktj View Post
Planning a trip to Tokyo from the US. So far, AA PE is around $600 more than economy RT which I would have no problem paying. However, JAL economy is also about $600 less than AA PE. I know that JAL econ seat width is similar to AA PE (19") with seat pitch being less 34" vs 38". Just trying to decide if the AA PE is worth the extra cost over JAL economy. Anyone have experience with both? Thanks
I think it is personal opinion and what you value more. Me? I would take JAL in a heartbeat. I don't think AA's PE is $600 better than JAL. JAL in economy has fantastic food, fantastic service, and a really good hard product.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:22 pm
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I agree that AA PE is better than JAL Y.

The better question is how much more is JAL PE than AA PE because I consider JAL superior given their "shell seat" and would pay a premium for it.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:29 pm
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If it's a day flight I would take the JAL Y, no hesitation. The soft product is simply the best Ive ever had in Y. $600 can get you a lot more delicious food in tyo than you would gain from flying in PE. You can even get sake in Y to make it go faster.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 9:50 pm
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Finally one, I can answer from recent first hand experience.

within the last couple of weeks, I have flown AA PE to NRT from LAX and returned from NRT to YVR on JAL Economy. There is no contest. AA PE was hands down better (especially if you get the bulkhead). Loads of space and recline. JAL felt very cramped in comparison and the food was horrendous. AA PE had a very decent meal.

If you can swing the extra $$, do it!
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Old Apr 18, 19, 9:56 pm
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Awesome feedback. Thank you everyone!
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Old Apr 18, 19, 11:54 pm
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Keep in mind also that JAL allows you to upgrade an economy seat to premium economy at the airport for $350. Of course, it's based on availability, but I think it's relatively uncontroversial that JL PE is better than AA PE.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by TravelLawyer View Post
Exception is if AA mis-caters and is short a meal. Then they give you an econ meal - and that meal is much worse than a JAL econ meal. (Or at least they did with me when flying AA LAX-HKG.) And on the same flight, AA did an op-up for a mom with a lap child from Y to PE next to me (otherwise would have been empty - hence the miscatered # of meals), so I actually had much less private space as the lap child was likely days shy of being 2 and was constantly spilling over to my seat. For $600 savings difference, I would fly JAL Y.
exceptions squared?
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
Keep in mind also that JAL allows you to upgrade an economy seat to premium economy at the airport for $350. Of course, it's based on availability, but I think it's relatively uncontroversial that JL PE is better than AA PE.
Not OP, but is that for all fare classes in econ? Did not know this...game changer...
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Old Apr 19, 19, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelLawyer View Post
Not OP, but is that for all fare classes in econ? Did not know this...game changer...
Yes, all fare classes. Mileage accrual and lounge access, however, are based on original booking class.

https://www.jal.co.jp/en/info/inter/apopyug.html
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