United has just announced it will be launching its own International-standard Premium Economy product this year. Titled Premium Plus (Merging both ‘Economy Plus’ and ‘Premium Economy’ monikers) this new cabin may cause confusion for passengers booking the cabin class. However, those travelling in it will enjoy “more space, comfort and amenities. The seats will be more spacious and you’ll enjoy upgraded dining on china dinnerware, free alcoholic beverages, a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow, an amenity kit and more.”
While details of the actual product are limited, they seem to have also offered an exact replica hard product of the seats found on both American and Delta aircraft, the B/E Aerospace MiQ. This means that the war for this cabin class will be only really be found in the soft product and service offerings. It will be interesting to see how Amenity kits, dining options and priority services will adapt over the coming months as the war is waged.
There could have been an opportunity to innovate in this increasingly popular cabin class, to create a point of difference and jump above the competition, especially when being the last to market. Still, now all the airlines are offering a true international Premium Economy product, whether it’s called Premium Plus, Premium Select or Premium Economy.