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Why is Business Class so expensive?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by sixpack, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. sixpack

    sixpack New Member

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    Prior to 911, I was travelling a fair amount on business. My company (big high-tech) sends employees Economy Coach because business class costs too much. Is that still the case, and if so, why?

    I remember Business Class fares to Europe were about $7000 in the summer. A coach seat on the same plane was only 400-700 depending on when you booked. That makes Business Class approximately 10X what a coach seat costs.

    Can somebody explain this to me.
    Do you think will be the case when the airlines finally get out of this financial crisis?
  2. Soonermurph

    Soonermurph New Member

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    Put the six-pack down and open your micro-economics 101 book coolbrease. It's called price discrimination. Airlines want to fill all the seats and get as much money as possible from each seat. Business class and first class seats allow carriers to get the most money from each seat.

    Have a good one Craig. See Ya monday.
  3. I_Money

    I_Money Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a different market then economy - economy is for peopel who just want to get from A to B Business is for people who need to sleep/work and when arrive at B be ready to go.
  4. CK

    CK Well-Known Member

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    It only cost me $35's to upgrade to business class in Airtran from ATL to BWI.
  5. Baronman

    Baronman Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    It only cost me $35's to upgrade to business class in Airtran from ATL to BWI.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sitting on mommy's lap doesn't count! [​IMG]

    (Sorry Citationkid, you threw up a softball, I had to take a swing [​IMG])
  6. BoeingDrew

    BoeingDrew Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It only cost me $35's to upgrade to business class in Airtran from ATL to BWI.




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Sitting on mommy's lap doesn't count!

    (Sorry Citationkid, you threw up a softball, I had to take a swing )

    [/ QUOTE ]


    [​IMG]Ohh, your not gonna take that Citationkid are you? [​IMG]

    But seriously that has got to hurt [​IMG]
  7. EatSleepFly

    EatSleepFly Well-Known Member

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    haha...look at it this way Citationkid....if nothing else, you will get a thick skin from frequenting this website! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Baronman

    Baronman Well-Known Member

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    Could have gone with...."Your mom charges you $35 bucks to sit on her lap??" [​IMG]


    Citation kid....Seriously, I think it's great you fly business class and get to fly slowtations around. Very cool things to do at your age.
  9. EatSleepFly

    EatSleepFly Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Once you have all of your ratings and all that stuff, you will have tons of awesome connections for jobs! [​IMG]
  10. sixpack

    sixpack New Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    It is a different market then economy - economy is for peopel who just want to get from A to B Business is for people who need to sleep/work and when arrive at B be ready to go.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    But how far do you take saving a dime. Would you be willing to travel in the luggage bins overhead to save another 20% of the fare? (CFI's need not answer...it's obvious based on our wages [​IMG]

    [​IMG] And to soonermurph... Real flight instructors take courses like "macroni and cheese 101" and "will fly for food 101". Gonna miss your humor when you move to Tacoma Narrows next month. --CW

    Seriously though, I wonder if the JetBlue (and I think Midway?) model is working. I guess if it catches on, the Majors will adopt a comfort class for value minded people.

    Me? I want an extra five inches of leg room, and my own arm rest. What do you think that should really cost me?
  11. WillNotFly4Food

    WillNotFly4Food Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I want an extra five inches of leg room, and my own arm rest. What do you think that should really cost me?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I would say an arm and a leg.

    Zing!
  12. CK

    CK Well-Known Member

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    Haha.......................
  13. sixpack

    sixpack New Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I would say an arm and a leg.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    TOO FUNNY!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. Eagle

    Eagle Suspended

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Your mom charges you $35 bucks to sit on her lap??"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    35$ Lap Dance? that's a bargin
  15. chris

    chris Well-Known Member

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    Business travellers are far less price sensitive than leisure travellers.

    People booking flights for a vacation look for price mainly, while schedule is usually secondary.

    Business travellers care far more about scheduling (frequency of flights) than price. If they have an important meeting somewhere, they will be willing to pay top dollar for the flight. Often, business travellers don't book their flights until the day the plane leaves, and they end up paying for it.

    Price discrimination is a big thing in the industry. The ironic thing, however, is that business travellers are by far the airlines greatest source of revenue, yet they often pay the highest fares!
  16. tonyw

    tonyw Well-Known Member

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    Yes, business class is expensive. But then, the folks who fly it aren't all that concerned with price. When I traveled a lot for business, I would try to book ahead, and when I did that, I usually ended up flying in coach. But sometimes, when I had to go last minute, business or first wasn't all that much more expensive than coach since I was getting on the plane the next day.

    In that case, I went ahead and booked the higher class.

    Book early enough, and you can fly cross country in coach for $300. Wait until the last minute, and you're paying thousands. In that case, I just said, screw it, I'm getting shafted, I'll get shafted in a more comfortable seat.
  17. sixpack

    sixpack New Member

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    Why does everyone equate last minute booking with the size of the seat? Do big people tend to book late?

    Seriously, I'd like to book a big seat 30 days in advance to Europe. It costs 400 for a small seat. One would think a big seat would be around $600 (not $6000).

    Also, there are companies that don't pay attention to travel expense, but many of them were riding on the high time of the internet boom. They are few and far between these days.

    Many business travellers like to travel and see new cities. When the "hassle factor" gets to high, they will avoid the trips. Hassle-Factor is a function of: Lack of comfort, delays, TSA, rescheduling penalties, inflexible schedules (force round trips), lines at airports, smelly person sitting next to you. At some point, the businessperson who once created a good argument to go on a boondoggle (oh, I mean business trip [​IMG]), now comes up with a convincing argument for staying home and doing a video-conference.
  18. tonyw

    tonyw Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Why does everyone equate last minute booking with the size of the seat? Do big people tend to book late?

    Seriously, I'd like to book a big seat 30 days in advance to Europe. It costs 400 for a small seat. One would think a big seat would be around $600 (not $6000).

    Also, there are companies that don't pay attention to travel expense, but many of them were riding on the high time of the internet boom. They are few and far between these days.

    Many business travellers like to travel and see new cities. When the "hassle factor" gets to high, they will avoid the trips. Hassle-Factor is a function of: Lack of comfort, delays, TSA, rescheduling penalties, inflexible schedules (force round trips), lines at airports, smelly person sitting next to you. At some point, the businessperson who once created a good argument to go on a boondoggle (oh, I mean business trip [​IMG]), now comes up with a convincing argument for staying home and doing a video-conference.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Please go back and read what I said. Size has nothing to do with the price. Book last minute -- such as when your client says I want you here tomorrow -- and you're going to get shafted. In that situation, business/first class is not that much more expensive than coach. For example, to fly from IAD to SAN -- something I used to do quite a bit for work -- next Tuesday will cost me around $1,755 for a coach seat. Why? Because I'm booking last minute.

    Now, for this particular flight, doing it in first means paying about $3,000, so I wouldn't do that. But sometimes, doing it in first means that I'll pay about $1,900 or so, so I just say, the hell with it, I'm going in first.

    As for business travellers going on boondoggles, hah! Let me tell you something -- the convention center in SAN looks just like the one in MSY or DTW or ORD or MCO or SFO. And the office of a client in DFW looks just like the office of someone in AUS or DEN or LAX.

    I also told people I'd never waste my time with videoconferencing. If it was important enough for me to need to see the person's face when I was talking to them, then I was going to do it in person. If it was important to go and see a client, then I was going to do it, period.

    A lot of people think that business travel is all fun and glamour. The same people think that airline pilots get paid $300K to work one flight a month to CDG!
  19. sixpack

    sixpack New Member

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    What I was really looking for is a big seat, booked a few weeks in advance. Show me a case were a big seat 4 weeks in advance is reasonably priced (say 1.5 to 2X) compared to a coach seat 4 weeks in advance.

    As for boondoogle... I was just kidding. Business travel is a work-hard, play-hard environment for most. You're going hard 20 out of 24 hours in a day, getting jet-lagged and preparing for your meetings. My wife thinks my trips overseas were boondoggles, because I talked about Rome, Dead Sea, Paris, etc, more than I talked about the hardship of the trips. I remember one day waking up Israel and calling my wife (she was getting ready for bed). I worked all day, drove to Tel Aviv, took a 3am flight to NYC, connected to PDX, and arrived for dinner almost two days later. My wife had gone to bed twice, during my long 42 hour day)
  20. Derg

    Derg Major Domo Staff Member

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    Pricing tickets is a strange, non-linear science.

    Lets say you have a 100 seat jet with 10 in first class and 90 in coach. (purely hypothetical)

    You might inventory about 20 of the 90 coach seats for a fare sale, you know, $149 from SFO to FLL.

    Then another 40 or so at $280 to sell to travel consolidators to people traveling out on a cruise line.

    Another 15 held out of the ticket inventory until the last two weeks to accomodate last minute travelers you plan on charging "walk up" fees to.

    Then probably another 15 seats for regular "market-priced" fare travelers.

    In business (or first), you're going to provide premium service for frequent fliers to upgrade to, or last minute business passengers that are traveling from point-a to point-b at the last minute.

    Besides, if business class became too inexpensive, I'm sure the business travelers don't want to deal with screaming babies, "The Clampetts", or "chatty" Carole who'll happy knit a sweater, need to be let out to tinkle every 10 minutes and not catch the hint that if a passenger is wearing headphones, he's not interested in talking about your Pomeranian! [​IMG]

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