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Champagne, hot wipes and more: Which airlines have the most luxurious seats in economy class


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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If flying first or business class is too much for you, don't be afraid. There are a number of international airlines that offer an increased level of comfort to economy class passengers. While they don't offer soft-back seats or unlimited Dom Perignon glasses, these airlines' economy cabins are among the best. Travel and Leisure.

Shown here are the seven airlines with the most premium economy class fares normally found only in first class (such as high-end liquor or refillable toiletries).

Japan Airlines

Japan's flag carrier flies to 10 US cities from coast to coast. On these long haul flights Japan Airlines offers some of the widest seating and the most spacious pitch (row spacing) in the entire industry. Economy class seats are quite comfortable. You'll get first-class food and beverages including Japanese Soba noodles, ume-shu (plum wine) and sake, as well as on-demand snacks. The service from the flight attendants will be as good as it is possible in economy class.

Photo: IStock

Tip: For the best experience, fly a Japan Airlines Boeing 787.

Dozens of airlines around the world fly the Boeing 787 (also known as the Dreamliner). While this aircraft has roomy, auto-dimming windows and a lower cabin height (better for combating jet lag), there's one element of the Boeing 787 economy class experience that isn't talked about much: Narrower seats.

But Japan Airlines is breaking that trend. It is the only carrier to offer eight-seat seats in economy class in a 2-4-2 configuration (as opposed to the 3-3-3 configuration on other airlines). This means that the width of the seats - for the shoulders and hips - is significantly better than any other airline operating the Boeing 787.

On the subject: Business class at an economy price: French airline offers comfortable flights from New York to Europe

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines flies to six US cities non-stop. On these long-haul flights in Economy Class, you can expect the same amenities as Business Class. For example, a hot towel and a set of toiletries with a toothbrush, toothpaste and socks. Passengers in all lounges can even order a (pre-mixed) cocktail with a meal. For example, the signature “Singapore Sling”, made from dry gin, DOM Benedictine, Cointreau, cherry brandy, bitter Angosture, Grenadine, lime and pineapple juice. Singapore also gets top marks for service, even from those at the back of the plane.


EVA flies to six US destinations with non-stop service to Taipei. While Economy Class passengers won't receive Salvatore Ferragamo amenities and pajamas, they will find a pair of slippers and an eye mask in their seats. Legroom is better than usual. A large screen on the back of the seat will allow passengers to have fun. Food and drinks also stand out. And there are also small touches that raise the level of economy class. For example, metal cutlery instead of plastic ones.

Qatar Airways

Flag carrier of Qatar operates non-stop flights from 12 US destinations to Doha. The airline is known for having some of the best business class seats (Qsuites). But the economy class is also among the industry leaders. Economy class has upscale touches such as a physical menu card detailing three meal options, a fleece-lined duvet and pillow. As well as Institut Karite Paris lip balm, socks and an eye mask. Passengers also receive unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the flight.


Emirates serves 12 US cities with non-stop flights to Dubai. As well as some unique routes, for example, New York - Milan. At Emirates, the economy class seats on the double-decker Airbus A380 are among the widest economy class seats in the world. Economy class passengers don't have access to the legendary on-board bar, but there are plenty of other luxurious nuances.

You will receive a reusable toiletries kit with socks, a sleep mask, a toothbrush and a bookmark (rejoice readers). There are more than 5 entertainment channels on the screens located on the backs of the seats. And if you want to make your flight truly special, passengers in Economy Class can pre-order (for a fee) a chocolate cake and a bottle of Moët to celebrate a special occasion on board.


tokyo airline All Nippon Airways flies from eight US cities to Japan. Although seat comfort is not as good as that of its main competitor, Japan Airlines, it is still well above the industry norm. The spacious step of the seats (the distance between the rows) reaches 86 centimeters. Japanese sake and fine wines are offered on board. As well as main dishes such as grilled red sea fish teriyaki or boiled udon noodles. For an additional fee, Economy Class passengers departing from Japan can even pre-order gourmet meals (such as you would expect in Business Class). Passengers flying between Tokyo and Honolulu on the Airbus A380 can combine three or four seats into one sofa.

Turkish Airlines

Turkey's flag carrier operates non-stop flights from 12 US cities to Istanbul. Turkish offers not only one of the best inflight entertainment systems in the world, but also some of the best food in the world - even in economy class. The airline has a strong national identity and this is evident in its food. Salads are served with olive oil and lemon dressing. There are hummus or baba ganoush options, cheese pies are served for breakfast, as well as Turkish cheese and dried apricot mousse.

Tip: Choose your plane wisely

The most important difference, which can significantly change the experience of flying, regardless of the airline, is the type of aircraft. Here is an example from real life. Let's say you're flying with Qatar Airways in Economy Class on a route that has multiple flights per day, all operated by different aircraft: Boeing 787, Boeing 777, and Airbus A350.

While the “soft product” (as the industry refers to food and drink, in-flight service and amenities) may be the same, your level of physical comfort may differ depending on the type of aircraft. Between these three aircraft - the Boeing 787, Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 - the Airbus A350 has the widest seats. When you're trying to find the most luxurious economy seat in the sky, flying can make all the difference.

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