Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Coach and Economy

Coach vs Economy

In the quest for a more comfortable air travel experience with the right value for the passengers’ money, airline companies have marketed their airfare rates according to varied levels of air travel comforts or accommodations. With this, terms like “economy” and “first class” surfaced. But what’s confusing is that some companies insert the “coach accommodation” in their business. So what is this “coach” level of air travel, and how does it differ from the “economy” class?

In general, the majority of airline companies regard both coach and economy classes as one and the same. As such, they use the two interchangeably. It is the cheapest airline accommodation and is the biggest cabin area occupying most of the plane. Most of the passengers travel via economy or coach class because of its cheaper airfare rates. As a matter of fact, the pricier first class is said to increase passenger leg room to only 25 per cent more though with more entertainment options.

The normal economy class leg room is within 28-34 inches while the width of the seats ranges from 16-18 inches. The services and amenities offered for this particular class vary from one airline company to the other. But traditionally, this accommodation level already provides drink and food selections for the passengers.

Flight types depend on length of travel time: short-haul flights (three hours or less) and long-haul flights (more than three hours, averaging to six hours). In the event that the trip is meant for a long haul, a few companies create a special type of accommodation that is almost near the standard of first class – the premium economy class. This accommodation adds a little more space and probably more entertainment options as compared to regular economy. When this is available, the lower class will either be called plainly as either “economy” or “coach class.”

Others claim that the two terms are different in terms of regional usage. The economy class is often used in English expressions while the coach class is a more Americanized terminology. In addition, some frequent flight travelers also say that the term “coach” is used with reference to the actual cabin or area of the plane. By contrast, “economy” is more of a purchase restriction like if you made a 21-day advance purchase. Nonetheless, this agrees with the common conception that economy seats are located in the coach class cabins.

Historically, the term “coach” originally meant a special or more lucrative class of accommodation for wagons in the 15th century. This term was also used in railroad transportation in the 17th century in which only the rich class could afford to travel via train. With the advent of commercial aviation, the term seems to have downgraded to resemble the economy class.


1.“Economy” is the term commonly used by the English when referring to the cheapest type of airline accommodation while “coach” is an Americanized term.
2.According to some, “economy” refers to the seat or purchase restriction while “coach” is the actual cabin or area of the plane.
3.“Coach” was ordinarily an illustrious seat class for the rich traveling in wagons or trains back in the 15th to 17th centuries.
4.“Coach” now refers to a lower air travel class whenever there’s a higher premium, economy class offered in long-haul trips.

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  1. Which one is cheaper coach or premium economy ??

    • Premium Economy is more expensive than Economy/Coach. For most of our domestic (U.S.) airlines, the term “Economy” = “Coach”; which is the least expensive published fare for that flight at the time of booking.

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