TPG reader question: Should I fly nonstop in economy, or transfer in premium economy?

Oct 31, 2021

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Editor’s note: This article is part of a weekly column to answer your credit card, points and miles and general travel questions. If you’d like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguyuk, message us on Facebook or email us at tips@thepointsguy.co.uk.


If you are searching for flights, you may notice some big price differences between nonstop flights, and those that require a connection. There are a number of reasons for this but the main reason is that travellers will generally pay more for the convenience of a direct flight, so those airlines can charge more.

The price difference may even be so great that you could book the indirect flight in a higher class of service for a similar price.

So which option is better? That brings us to this week’s TPG reader question.

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I want to fly from Manchester to Dubai. The direct flights on Emirates in economy are about the same price as flying premium economy on Lufthansa, transferring in Frankfurt.
Is it worth taking the longer option to fly in premium economy?

Kelly, TPG reader

 

I’ve flown premium economy on a number of airlines, and while it is a bit more comfortable than regular economy, be aware there’s not always a big difference.

In Kelly’s case, I would choose the nonstop flight in economy. The quickest Lufthansa option involves a four-hour connection in Frankfurt (FRA), turning the journey into a 12-hour trip each way, with only six of those hours seated in a premium economy seat.

The shorter leg from Manchester (MAN) to Frankfurt (FRA) will be in economy, both ways.

Meanwhile, the nonstop itinerary on Emirates is only seven hours. I don’t feel the extra hassle of connecting and having a much longer journey is worth it to enjoy premium economy for only some of the journey. While the seat will be a little wider, the legroom a little better and the recline a little deeper, much of the rest of the experience (such as the meal) will be virtually the same as economy.

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I would prefer to arrive earlier on the direct flight and start my Dubai holiday.

If it was a choice between a nonstop, direct premium economy flight, or an indirect business class flight I would absolutely take the connection in business class because I feel there is a huge difference between premium economy and business class.

Enjoy your trip, whatever you choose Kelly!

Featured image by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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