Airlines with substantial international business classes rely in part on the price difference between economy and business class flights to help offset the endless race to offer the cheapest deals for cut-price travel. That’s one reason that the cost to fly business class can be three to four times that of the cheapest seat on the plane. That’s a 300-400% price difference.
At its simplest, space = cost on an aircraft, which means that just as business class seats take up three or four times the room of economy class seats, so business class flights cost three to four times the amount that economy flights do. And if you’ve ever paused to examine a business class seat on your way to the back of the plane, you’ll know that it’s not just space that’s different.
Business class flights – the benefits
As well as the extra leg-room, business class sets benefit from better entertainment systems, a higher level of service, more and better meals and drinks, access to a lounge and swifter Arrival/Departure processes including immigration transits and luggage delivery. A final and significant consideration is the extra luggage allowance – that really can be worth its weight in gold!
There’s a different way of posing the question, ‘how much more does it cost to fly business class?’ which is, ‘how much does it cost to not fly business class?’
- For the larger-than-average person, or those with back problems, extra legroom and truly flat beds can be worth whatever they cost.
- Business people on tight schedules may find that the expedited embarkation and disembarkation times are ‘golden minutes’ allowing them to avoid lengthy queues, luggage problems and other hassles.
- Older passengers, and those travelling with lively young children, often find that the extra levels of service permit more relaxing and enjoyable flights – especially long-haul travel, which can be equally demanding whichever end of the age spectrum you’re at.
One final point; it’s vital to be aware of the difference between business class, premium economy and first class which varies between airlines and regions. European business class can be a very different experience to North American business class, for example, so it’s always worth shopping around for the best business class fares – as long as you’re sure you understand what each carrier means by ‘business class’.