what is the difference between american airlines economy and premium economy


I recently had the opportunity to fly with American Airlines, and I was faced with the choice between economy and premium economy. I was curious about the differences between the two options, so I did some research and wanted to share my findings with you. In this article, I will outline the disparities between American Airlines economy and premium economy, to help you decide which class best suits your needs.

American Airlines Economy Class

American Airlines economy class is the standard seating option available for passengers. It offers comfortable seating, but with fewer amenities compared to premium economy.


In economy class, the seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration on most long-haul flights. They provide a standard amount of legroom and seat width, which is suitable for short to medium-length flights.


Passengers in economy class have access to a personal entertainment system, which includes a variety of movies, TV shows, music, and games. However, the selection may be limited compared to premium economy.

Meal Service

On most long-haul flights, American Airlines offers complimentary meal service to economy passengers. The meals are standard in quality and may not include as many options as premium economy.

American Airlines Premium Economy Class

Premium economy class is a step up from economy, offering enhanced comfort and amenities for passengers who are willing to pay a little extra for their travel experience.

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Premium economy features larger seats with extra legroom and recline compared to economy. The seats are typically arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, providing a more spacious and comfortable layout.


Premium economy passengers enjoy an upgraded entertainment system with a larger screen and broader selection of movies, TV shows, and music. This provides a more premium entertainment experience compared to economy.

Meal Service

Passengers in premium economy are treated to an elevated dining experience, with a wider selection of meal options, including complimentary alcoholic beverages. The quality and variety of food and beverage options are superior to those in economy class.

Priority Service

One of the key benefits of premium economy is the priority service it offers. This includes priority boarding, check-in, and baggage handling, allowing passengers to enjoy a more seamless travel experience.

Which Class is Right for You?

Choosing between American Airlines economy and premium economy ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and budget. If you’re looking for a basic, comfortable travel experience without all the frills, economy class may be suitable for you. However, if you’re willing to invest a little more for extra comfort, amenities, and priority service, premium economy could be the right choice.


In conclusion, there are clear disparities between American Airlines economy and premium economy. While economy class offers standard comfort and amenities, premium economy provides enhanced seating, entertainment, meal service, and priority service. When deciding between the two classes, consider your travel needs, budget, and the value you place on comfort and convenience.


1. Can I upgrade from economy to premium economy on the day of my flight?

Yes, you may be able to upgrade from economy to premium economy on the day of your flight, depending on availability. It’s best to check with American Airlines at the airport for the possibility of a last-minute upgrade.

2. Are the seats in premium economy significantly more comfortable than those in economy?

Yes, the seats in premium economy offer greater comfort, with extra legroom, additional recline, and a more spacious layout compared to economy.

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3. Is premium economy worth the extra cost?

Whether premium economy is worth the extra cost depends on your personal preferences and travel priorities. If you value enhanced comfort, amenities, and priority service, and are willing to invest a bit more, then premium economy may be worth it for you.

4. Are there any additional perks to flying premium economy with American Airlines?

Yes, in addition to enhanced seating, entertainment, and meal service, premium economy passengers also enjoy priority boarding, check-in, and baggage handling, providing a more seamless travel experience.

5. Can I earn frequent flyer miles when flying in premium economy?

Yes, flying in premium economy still qualifies for frequent flyer miles, allowing you to earn and redeem points for future travel.