Nikki Ekstein
October 16, 2014

Lufthansa is the latest airline to introduce premium economy. T+L takes a look at what your money buys, based on sample fares from Chicago to Frankfurt.

Economy: $1,300*

At 17 to 18 inches, economy seats are standard for the industry, and have a seat pitch of 31 inches. Hot meals are served on long hauls, including freshly baked bread. As for the entertainment: nine-inch seatback screens offer access to on-demand movies, TV shows, and live sports. Every other seat has a set of power outlets.

Premium Economy: $1,867

Upgraded service starts at check-in, with a second free checked bag and discounted lounge access ($30). On the plane, seats have seven more inches of pitch, greater recline, roughly an extra inch of width, and center consoles for extra privacy. Other value-adds: amenity kits, welcome cocktails, enhanced meals served on china, USB ports, and fold-out tables.

Business: $5,923

Multicourse meals (complete with caviar), Samsonite amenity bags filled with Korres skin-care products, designer Van Laack pajamas: the bells and whistles are practically endless. The adjustable, fully lie-flat seats measure almost 6½ feet, with semiprivate cabin configurations and universal power outlets. Lounge access is the icing on the cake.

*Fares reflect the median cost at press time of a round-trip flight from Chicago to Frankfurt booked six months out.

Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

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