I always take six things with me when I’m going on a long haul flight (at least), that I know I’ll use during the flight. This is excluding my bag of food for the journey (I hate plane food with a vengeance).
Firstly there’s the large bottle of water I always take on board. Forget the fact that you can get a drink now and again. I like to have water with me all the time. In reach.
Then there are the headphones. I have a pair of Bose headphones I never travel long haul without, plus (ok a bit of overkill here possibly) a pair of in ear headphones which fit into my Bose case.
Socks are my next must-have. Off with the shoes and on with the socks for a comfortable journey and warm feet plus an eye mask for when I want to take a nap. That person in the seat behind you who never turns off their reading light can be so annoying.
Finally there are the USB charging cables for whatever device I’m going to want to use on the flight. These fit into my Bose case as well.
This is all putting aside the fact that I always travel with my iPad and iPhone as well. Well of course. Who doesn’t?
You may be wondering why I’m writing about all of this and including it in a review of American Airlines new Premium Economy so read on.
It was a pleasant surprise to discover that my Main Cabin Extra seat, which I’d booked in advance was in the new Premium Economy section. The seat was much more comfortable, wider and with a foot rest. So far so great.
Then, having been used to storing my bottle of water, iPad and headphone case in the pocket in front of me I realised that nope, they wouldn’t fit, and all would have to stay in my bag under my seat. The only things that would fit were my iPad, and my phone in the seat arm area.
The seat configuration, at least on the flight I was on and I suspect most American Airlines Premium Economy areas is 2/4/2. This was fine on my flight as the two middle seats (I was on the aisle of the 4 section) were empty. And there was plenty of room.
The tray tables don’t fold down in front of you, they come out from your seat arm, lever assisted, which is fine.
The one thing I found annoying was that the plug sockets for your headphones and/or USB charging cable are at the back of the opened armrest. I needed to use the torch on my phone to find them. For anyone who isn’t that mobile I think this will prove a real problem.
Overall this was a very comfortable experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate to book Premium Economy, but I do think a little more thought could have been put into what most passengers bring on board, where they’re going to store their stuff, and the ability to get to charging/headphone outlets.
As this flight was booked as Main Cabin Extra and not Premium Economy I can’t tell you about the extra amenities and the different food that’ll be on offer when the service rolls out properly. More to follow…….