The first time I flew on a premium economy class was with Eva Air (a Taiwanese airline) in 1994 when I used to fly pretty often to Vancouver and Los Angeles. The seat was 40% more spacious than the economy class with 1.5 inches wider and 6 inches longer with 2 more inches recline and the price is about 10-20% more expensive back then (HK$6,600 for premium vs. 4,800 for economy). On my recent trip to Europe, I chose this class with British Airway (HK$9,990 for premium vs. 7-8,00 for economy. Noted that it's the peak Chinese New Year holiday season). On my first outbound flight, I got a phone call from BA that the flight was overbooked and asked if I was willing to downgrade to economy without remarking on how the price difference was when I queried on that, but just got diverted the answer for the airport counter to answer. Besides, they claimed they didn't have business class seats to cater for me - an immediate back-end closing the door. This is a real bad contingency plan that an airline shouldn't have and this is BA which holds such a big fleet of aircrafts. So unprofessional.). Then when I was at the HK airport, the counter repeated the same stupid saying. I immediately denied and that unprofessional agent subtly murmured for herself that it's not that spacious for the premium. So in order not to ruin my onward flights, I had to bear with it and simply requested for what I paid for. Then I wrote a serious complaint to BA but their reply is that it's their policy for doing so, but advised me to get the price difference if that's the case. Another unprofessional reply that they didn't get my point clearly. So this airline is another one like Air France in addition to Canadian Airline and United Airline that I could totally forget their existence.
Then on board with their 747 aircraft, my first impression, the seat is pretty spacious but quite torn out and the seat cushion was so flat down without a proper comfort. The cabin cleanliness is my concern too. It's very dusty with some stain. The personal TV is even smaller than many other airline economy class and the entertainment program is more for the British without any Asian programs if you care about some Asian content.
As for the meal, the portion is bigger than those of economy class, but in general it's quite quite salty for all the meals I took. Their coffee is very bland at about 1/3rd thickness of the American coffee. It's pretty disappointing. The only happy thing is their crew is generally very friendly and helpful after all.
So that's it and I will go back to Cathay Pacific and especially they are launching a new premium economy class as from this coming March.