Another airline is introducing a premium economy class. This week, Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) unveiled plans for more comfortable seats in economy. (See also: Premium Economy Comes to America.)

The new class, called Premium Class, will debut on select routes starting January 2017. Alaska hopes to have half of its aircraft reconfigured for Premium Class by Jan. 5. The airline hopes to have the remainder updated by the end of 2017.

The retrofitted cabins will feature seats with up to four inches more legroom. Additional services in Premium Class will include early boarding, snacks and complimentary drinks. Upgrading to a Premium Class seat will cost between $15 and $79. Certain elite status fliers will be eligible for complimentary upgrades to Premium Class at the time of booking.

The changes to the economy cabin also allowed Alaska the opportunity to update its First Class cabins. Seats in First Class will now feature up to six inches more leg room than previously (up to 11 inches more than regular economy). The new seats will also be four inches wider than before. Services in First Class include free in-flight tablets, complimentary wine and meals. (See also: How To Fly First Class For Cheap.)

Also announced this week, Alaska will have a new route between Portland and Newark and a new, seasonal route between Bellingham and Kona, Hawaii.


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