SIA premium economy class: Delay in some sectors

Visitors at the media launch of SIA premium economy product at Marina Bay Sands, where the new premium economy seats were displayed for the first time.
Visitors at the media launch of SIA premium economy product at Marina Bay Sands, where the new premium economy seats were displayed for the first time. PHOTO: ST FILE

Seat installation behind schedule; carrier to compensate affected passengers

Passengers who booked flights on the new premium economy service offered by Singapore Airlines (SIA) might have to wait a tad longer to enjoy the new cabin class in some sectors.

SIA said retrofitting of all 19 of its A-380s was due to be completed in the first quarter of next year, but has now been pushed back to the second quarter because of a delay in seat installation.

In a posting on its website yesterday, it apologised to affected clients. It said those with confirmed bookings will be compensated.

They will receive in-flight vouchers of $150 or $250 per sector, depending on the length of the sector. These vouchers can be used to buy items on board.

SIA introduced its new premium economy class on Aug 9, targeted mainly at economy-class travellers willing to pay a higher fare for more space and greater comfort.

Affected passengers will also receive complimentary upgrades to premium economy for future flights if they cannot postpone their trips.

SIA said travellers who want to cancel their tickets will get a full refund and a complimentary upgrade to premium economy for a future flight.

Spokesman Nicholas Ionides told The Straits Times : "We had expected to have seven retrofitted A-380s in service by now but, at present, we have three, serving the Sydney, Hong Kong and London routes."

He said there is no change to the Boeing 777-300ER retrofit programme, which is on schedule.

SIA introduced its new premium economy class on Aug 9, targeted mainly at economy-class travellers willing to pay a higher fare for more space and greater comfort.

Actual fares depend on the route and time of travel, but customers can expect to pay about 20 per cent more than in economy class.

These fares could amount to more than twice as much as discounted rates, which usually come with conditions.

With the higher fare comes a seat that is either 18.5 or 19.5 inches wide and can recline eight inches. In economy class, the 18-inch-wide seats provide a six-inch recline.

Travellers also get a 13.3-inch in-flight entertainment monitor with noise-cancelling headphones, individual in-seat power supply, two USB ports and extra stowage space.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'SIA premium economy class: Delay in some sectors'. Print Edition | Subscribe