The latest in the Premium Economy offerings comes from Air France, who "do" Premium in that rather smart and stylish, French way which only the French can manage. An email suggested some very reasonable long haul fares, so I thought I would take a look.
Air France offer Mauritius (MRU) as "from" £1,162.00. The closest I could get was £1,172.90 on a departure from Heathrow on the 6th June, returning on the 14th. The booking class is "A" (just in case anyone is interested). The availability when anyone is likely to actually want to go to Mauritius and/ or the Summer Holiday season is a little harder to find. I managed to get 20th July returning on the 29th July for £1,495.20. As it is Air France, one may say: "They seek them here, they seek them there ..... Those clients seek them everywhere, Are they in July are they in June... Those damned elusive A class seats" (I know, it doesn't scan)
Both Air France Premium fares are good value, though. The best on offer for the same dates in economy on Air France was £1,252.20 and with Air Mauritius the best available was £1,031.97. You can even cancel the Air France Premium seat for a cost of £150.00 and a change will cost £120 (but it is never a good idea to change anything on these sorts of fares as any changes include the words "...plus any fare uplift" which can be a lot. An awful lot. And very often, you cannot downgrade, either). Don't forget, you can always book Economy out and then Premium on the return (never book the other way around, it is far too depressing) That said, the saving on my July itinerary would only be about £100, which, given the extra comfort, is not worth it. (Especially as, if you have two bags coming back, you would then have to pay for an extra bag going out)
What do you get with Air France?
You get a priority check-in, you can take 2 hold bags, you can board in your own time and you are one of the first off the aircraft. Enhanced meal service, pillow, blanket, water and 40% more space than the main economy cabin. Seats are either 2-4-2 or 2 by 2 and on the A380 Premium is located on the Upper Deck. Once again, by paying that extra, you get a benefit that is for you.
All in all, Air France Premium Economy is set to be a winner.