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Premium economy is the new “economy’ in more ways than one. The seats are even actually a little better than even the golden days of economy. Premium is the cabin which still offers enough recline to actually relax, at least one checked bag included, better food and drinks and a more secluded space, given its a far smaller cabin. If you’re a frequent flyer, it’s also your best chance for a free upgrade to business class. Even if you’re not a frequent flyer, booking premium puts you in perfect position to use miles to turn these bargains into business class. Here’s how…

a plane with seats and windowsLow Premium Economy Fares

Premium Economy is the new “it” cabin and airlines are scrambling to sway customers to buy up to the upgraded experience. In general: premium seats are bigger, wider and offer much more recline, but for savvy travelers, that’s only one of the reasons to book. Right now, British Airways has ridiculously low fares, as low as £500 from Zurich, Inverness, Geneva, and Dublin with the very best deals out of Zurich.

a row of seats in an airplaneOne Cabin Flight Upgrades

Airlines typically only allow “one cabin” upgrades, which means if you want to fly in one of the lovely beds of business class, you’ll need to book premium economy to have a shot at using points or accepting a cash offer to upgrade. The long haul flight from London to New York can be upgraded for roughly 20,000 points each way and only £100 extra, which makes for an incredible bargain if you book via BA, and not a partner airline. Here’s how to find those seats. This is the best long standing “buy premium, fly business” deal going.

To be abundantly clear: paying £600 and 40,000 points per person to fly round trip business class is a total steal. You can even just do it one way for 20,000 points per person. You must use the miles of the airline you book with to upgrade. And to be extra clear: you earn points back on these bookings, unlike if you book with Avios. In fact, if you went that route, you’d pay more cash and 60,000 more points!

british airways chauffeurShow Me The Damn Deals

Ok, we hear you loud and clear. These deals are available in late February, March, scattered dates in April and May, and then again in September and October. Flight prices aren’t even bad at all in December either, which could be a great way to lock in holiday comfort early. Here are the best deals worth booking, like…

a blue calendar with white numbersAccording to RewardFlightFinder.com, a business class seat is available between London and New York on every day in (light) blue in March, which means finding upgrades should be easy. If a seat is available in business class for Avios points booking, it’s also available for upgrade.

Hot Tips For Maximum Happiness

You want to find flights where upgrades are available from the get go. If you can swing this, you’ll be able to book your Premium Economy flights and immediately call up (don’t use the online bit) to upgrade using Avios Points. If no seats are available for business class upgrade on your dates, definitely check out this resource, which lets you set free alerts and get emailed if and when any upgrades become available! Remember: if you want to upgrade using British Airways Avios you need to book with British Airways. If you want to upgrade with American AAdvantage Miles, you’ll need to book with them.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Need to be careful what plane you’re on: the top pic of BA WT+ is one thing, but I took a very old 777 with tiny screens folding out of the armrests – not a good experience!

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