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There is an emerging middle class on U.S. airlines. Going by many names—Economy Comfort on Delta, Main Cabin Extra on American and Economy Plus on United/Continental—these premium-economy seats are situated in the forward part of the economy cabin, offer a few more inches of seat pitch than standard economy and provide some additional perks like early boarding.

The emerging premium-economy options on U.S. carriers differ from…”real premium economy” on such international carriers as British Airways, Air France, Japan Airlines and All Nippon, “where it’s really a significantly different seat, different service and a different booking class for it.”