When MailOnline Travel’s Harriet Sime flew on Emirates’ premium economy A380, she said it “had such a business class feel” that she was “forced to check she was in the right cabin.”
“It is a turning point,” he concluded, and his verdict coincided with the results of the “Oscars of aviation”, the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2023, in which Emirates won the award for “Best premium economy seat in the world “.
However, there is a rival for this crown: Air France’s new premium economy class, which left respected YouTuber Nonstop Dan “blown away.” He was so impressed that he declared that he was “on par” with Emirates’ offer.
These surprising conclusions are made in a YouTube video filmed on an Air France A350 flight from Abu Dhabi to Gothenburg, with a stopover in Paris.
He told MailOnline Travel that his experience in Air France’s 24-seat cabin “exceeded” his expectations and that he would “absolutely” fly in its premium economy class again.
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Air France’s new premium economy, which left respected YouTuber Nonstop Dan “impressed”
Dan is so impressed that he declared Air France Premium Economy to be “on par” with Emirates’ offering.
Air France video is part of Dan’s new YouTube series on ‘premium economy’
Filming its interior, Dan says the split between economy and premium economy offers “a really private feel.” And there’s “plenty of knee room” between the seats to accommodate his 6-foot-2 frame.
However, upon further inspection, he says the new A350 “needs maintenance.” He notes that his traveling companion Oscar’s footrest does not extend, that the Wi-Fi “doesn’t work for 90 percent of the flight” and, although it is “huge,” his entertainment screen is “broken,” with huge cracks at the bottom.
And while there’s plenty of room when the seats are upright, Dan says that when the seat in front of you is fully reclined, the space you’re forced to maneuver through to get to the aisle is the height of an iPhone. Dan says: “If your legs are no thinner than the height of an iPhone, I have bad news for you: you won’t be able to get out of your seat.”
Dan’s flight with Air France is from Abu Dhabi to Gothenburg, with a stopover in Paris. Dan says the split between economy and premium economy offers “a really private feel”
The 6ft 2in flight expert says there’s ‘plenty of knee room’ between the seats
Dan claims the new A350 plane needs “maintenance”, and in the video reveals its “broken” entertainment screen.
Dan describes Air France’s A350 premium economy cabin as “beautiful”
That said, with a “comfortable headrest and nice bedding,” Dan says there is a “real risk” of oversleeping.
And there’s an amenities kit, which is “a nice gesture.”
As for food and drink, Dan says Air France serves “basically the same meals in economy and premium economy.” He adds: “My vegan food is delicious, as are the four star-sized pieces of fruit and the eighth of kiwi.”
However, neither the portion sizes nor the bread are satisfactory. He says: “You have to wonder how the French agree to serve bread like this on their national airline.”
Dan is not impressed with the legroom once the front passengers have reclined. He says the distance between the seats is “the height of an iPhone.”
In the video, Dan shows Oscar struggling to get back into his seat after the front passenger reclines.
What would Dan describe as the highlights? He told MailOnline Travel: “The beautiful cabin, the comfortable seats and the excellent recline.”
And the low points?
He said: ‘The catering on my flight was the biggest disappointment as the portions were small. Luckily, there were snacks available, which is surprisingly rare in premium economy class.’
Dan claimed the catering on the Air France flight was the “biggest disappointment”, describing the portions as “small”.
Dan reflects on how the French “agree to serve bread like this on their national airline”
In-flight snacks get a thumbs up from Dan.
Would I fly in the seat again?
He said: “I would definitely fly it again on flights of less than seven hours.” For a longer time, he would prefer business class, as space can still seem quite limited.’
How is it different from other premium economy cabins like Emirates or Lufthansa?
He said: ‘Lufthansa’s is usually cheaper, which justifies their product being worse. Meanwhile, Emirates is usually much more expensive than Air France. Although Emirates is better in some ways, especially when it comes to food and service on board, its premium economy class does not justify the additional cost over Air France.’
Dan’s premium economy seat would have cost $587 (£461), but he paid 35,000 airline miles plus €99 (£85/$107.84) in tax. The video is part of Dan’s new “premium economics” YouTube series. For more information about Nonstop Dan, visit www.youtube.com/dantorp11/videos. To visit Dan’s Instagram page: www.instagram.com/thenonstopdan. Visit their website for more tips: without parardan.com.
In the video, Dan describes the amenity kit as “a nice gesture.”
Passengers in premium economy class have a remote control for some of the seat functions.
Air France offers 24 seats in premium economy class, bridging the gap between economy and business class.
Dan’s A350 premium economy seat would have cost $587 (£461), but he paid 35,000 air miles plus €99 (£85/$107.84) in tax.