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Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Houston, Texas
posts: 3,479
reviews: 198
Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Do people actually purchase business class seats when they travel leisurely or is it simply people through there companies that get those seats?

It seems like the cost for a business class seat is nearly 4-5 times more than economy. Unless you are loaded financially I can't see why a person using there own funds would purchase those seats, but I could be wrong.

189 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 11,876
reviews: 30
1. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Highly unlikely that an employer/company pays for leisure travel. Execs often have tickets written into their contracts, especially expat execs, and occasionally contractors, but this is more like two return flights a year type of thing - so you could call that leisure I guess.

Yes people buy business class tickets, as well as use points to upgrade, redeem flights. Play smart with earning points and its not as hard as people believe. In this age of everyone affiliated with everything, it's amazing where you earn points. Last year, I earned points when I purchased a car. Yep a car.

Edited: 11:05 am, October 09, 2013
Romford, United...
posts: 2,002
reviews: 23
2. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

I did last year on an 11hrs flight because it was only a 6 day visit so wanted to arrive feeling more relaxed and for some strange reason the cost was only just over twice the price of economy seat, paying 4 or 5 times the price of economy with cash and not air miles-not a chance!!! lol

Paris, France
posts: 966
reviews: 157
3. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

I don't want to get too personal here, but I do buy myself business class tickets for long-haul flights for my wife and me. But until now I have always been able to buy tickets that were definitely not '4-5 times more than economy', and this being with "major" airlines like Air France, Etihad, Emirates, Qantas. Maybe that finding relatively affordable prices is a matter of doing extensive research, having a good professional and reliable travel agent, travelling outside peak periods (like summer in Europe, for example), booking fairly well in advance and being flexible about dates.

London, United...
posts: 1,898
reviews: 409
4. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

My company spent once fortune to get me a business class for Virgin which was almost twice as expensive as other cheap biz class. Full price tickets assures more flexibility in terms of dates and conditions. Plus, limo service came along so it was nice to utilise these services.

I also sometimes use biz class for a long haul flight with mileage upgrade. This is for leisure though when flying red eye.

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 6,850
reviews: 8
5. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Of course people pay for their own business class seats and business class on the flights I've done are always full complete with kids. Some people use points that they collect to contribute towards the cost.

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,263
reviews: 8
6. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

I worked as a travel consultant booking business travel. Yes, the vast majority of those seats do go to the business traveler, whether they're paid for by the company or booked using the FF miles accumulated through business travel. People do buy those seats, but most people paying for them out of pocket fly economy or now premium economy.

Palmetto, Florida
posts: 2,085
reviews: 8
7. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

The answer is yes people do. And yes, most have the discretionary funds for it. But like said already, there are a lot of discount business fares out there. And there are sales too. I am not afraid of getting personal :) so I will tell you that sometimes I would buy one way biz and coming back coach, just as a treat for myself. Lo and behold, got an upgrade the way back, woohoo.

Not interested in US domestic business class for leisure trip unless it was free. Not worth it. Short enough trips, and I am comfortable enough with E+.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 6,550
reviews: 335
8. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

We have a number of times, for international trips. Haven't paid 4-5 times economy prices, but definitely a fair amount more. What you get varies by airline and, even more, by aircraft. Sometimes biz class is the top class, sometimes not. I decided to treat my wife once in biz class, and now she won't go back. Includes first class on domestic flights, which is usually nothing special.

Edited: 11:26 am, October 09, 2013
Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,784
reviews: 13
9. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Yes I do for long haul flights - it is of course more expensive than economy but if you are able to be flexible over dates/routes then it is possible to get them at less than 4 or 5 x economy fares.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 1,792
reviews: 12
10. Re: Do people actually purchase business class seats?

Almost all my air travel is leisure and I usually upgrade to FC with miles (and now status). However I have occasionally purchased discounted FC seats when the price difference was not too much.

For example, I flew ATL-JAX about a month ago, and the difference between FC and Coach was about $50 each way. Given the expedited boarding, additional legroom, and other FF perks I would earn, I decided it was worth the extra expense for the FC seats. I have also bought FC tickets for inter-island travel in Hawaii under similar circumstances (short flight, FC was only about $50 more).

Granted I can't usually afford to pay out of pocket for FC on long haul flights, but it certainly is in the realm of possibility to buy FC tickets without spending "4-5 times more than economy".

-JimG

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