Whether we turn left or right when boarding a plane ultimately depends on how much we’re willing to pay for comfort.
But more airlines are trying to offer a compromise between the economy crush and the eye-watering costs of standard business class.
Hong Kong Airlines aims to make premium travel seem ever so slightly more affordable, with the launch of its first Club-only service from Gatwick to Hong Kong on March 8.
Priced at around £1875 for a return ticket (for travel in March), passengers will pay roughly half the cost of what the major airlines charge for business class for the same journey.
For the price, passengers will get big TV screens that pull out from their armrest, a 51 inch seat pitch and access to in-flight WiFi through their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
The service will be offered on the airline’s brand new A330-200 jets, which will be fitted with two bars offering champagne, canapés and cocktails.
Travellers who upgrade to the more expensive Club Premier will get the full works – including a fully flat bed, turndown service with duvets, pyjamas and slippers, luxury amenity kits and a complimentary limousine service at both ends of the route.
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific is preparing to unveil its new premium economy cabins in March that its chief executive, John Slosar promises will offer “a real upgrade over economy.”
Extras will include free champagne, wider seats with a bigger recline and six inches more legroom than in economy class, a personal TV, a better meal, priority check-in and a greater baggage allowance, the airline said.
At the time of writing, the carrier has not yet revealed how much the seats will cost.
The cabins will first appear on its medium and long-haul routes, starting with its Sydney-Hong Kong service, from March, before being rolled out fully by the year end.