So I find myself flying mixed-class fares pretty often these days, with the long legs in Premium Economy and the short hauls in plain old Economy. Some sample trips flown or planned:
- SYD-AKL-SFO (NZ), with SYD-AKL in Economy and AKL-SFO in Prem Econ
- SYD-SFO-LAS (UA), with SYD-SFO in Economy Plus and SFO-LAS in Economy
- ZRH-DXB-SYD (EK/QF), with ZRH-DXB in EK Economy and DXB-SYD in QF Prem Eco
Problem is, none of the booking engines I know handle this. For example, if I select "Premium Economy" in my usual favorite, ITA Matrix, it interprets this as "must fly in prem eco or better" and thus doesn't find #1 at all, instead offering $9,000 fares via Hong Kong or something (because there's no Prem Eco for SYD-AKL), and for #2 it quotes me SFO-LAS in First. None of the airline sites listed above seem to cater to this either, except -- oddly enough -- for award redemptions. I usually end up getting quotes for plain old economy and asking actual human travel agents how much an upgrade would cost, but this is slow and inconvenient for everybody involved.
So is there a booking engine that lets me specify "fly in premium economy if you can, but economy if not"?