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Is Business Class Really Worth It, Worst And Best?  
User currently offlineBillReid From Netherlands, joined Jun 2006, 1005 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 16142 times:

I fly intercontinental in business class as a revenue pax about 6 times a year. But how much is it really worth?
Who would pay $1000 or $2000 or $3000 out of their own pocket for the seat? What is the true value?

Next, how much is the food and wine really worth?
If a land-bound restaurant served the same meal what would we pay for the food?
For each airline it is different of course but I wanna know the value here?

Please let me know for each airline:
AA $________
DL $________
US $________
UA $________
CO $________
NW $________
BA $________
LH $________
AF $________
KL $________
VS $________
CX $________
SQ $________

and any airline add to the list please.


Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1818 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 16064 times:

I never fly long-haul economy class. It is worth paying extra money for your comfort, entertainment, and excellent treatment. I prefer flying flat-beds in business class.


لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 16055 times:

the count is relatively easy but very subjective,in that it's difficult to put a $ value to more legroom..
Two decent meals ,a bottle of great wine,some drinks - I'd assume about 250-300 $ max ..and then that's two very good meals ...!



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineB777A340Fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 16046 times:

I don't know about the exact value, but I'll rank them, according to my opinion:

AA $__8_____
DL $___7_____
US $___9_____
UA $___5_____
CO $___6____
NW $__10______
BA $___4_____
LH $___4_____
AF $___5_____
KL $___5_____
VS $___3_____
CX $____2____
SQ $___ 1____


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13741 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 16028 times:

I am currently embroiled in a dissertation pertaining to airline branding.

While I have no answer for your question, as a comment one would say that it is very hard to measure the intangibles with regards to inflight service, the 'prestige' of flying Business Class, lounge access*, having a comfortable bed to sleep on and the like.

I suppose one could make the argument that the value is the price that the airlines are charging. Judging by the premium load factors enjoyed by some airlines (Singapore Airlines) there are plenty who are willing to accept that price at this juncture.

* lounge access can be given a monetary value (access, champagne price per glass, slice of grapefruit) but this refers to the convenience of lounge access, the peaceful surroundings ....


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineTom_eddf From Germany, joined Apr 2000, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 15967 times:

For the few leisure flights I book every year (usually one longhaul and about 3 european cross border flights), I'd not pay any extra $$$ for the intra-european c class, and a max of, say, 500EUR extra for the long haul. Usually, I would buy a Y class ticket and then upgrade, or buy a c-class award ticket, but only if an intercontinental business class product is available (i.e. not the economy class seat + champagne + bread roll c-class we get intra-european).

On business trips, my company has a strict Y-class policy for anyone below VP level. Therefore, upgrades are the only option. I earn about 70-80K miles per year with *alliance partners, not quite enough to use upgrades on a regular basis. And then again I prefer roundtrip reward tickets (which I am permitted to use for leisure flights) over upgrade awards, as they represent a better value for your miles.

I limit my upgrading to very long flights, like Europe-South East Asia, and flights to remote russian destinations where fellow passengers in Y usually get very drunk and upgrades are cheap (10K miles to Samara, Ekaterinburg, etc.).

I'd probably upgrade more flights to C if the award covered all legs instead of just one, at the same price, of course.

One of my typical routings would be STR-FRA-SFO-BOI-DEN-FRA-STR, to upgrade all segments, I'd have to pay something around 130K miles (LH M&M). If it was only 45K for the whole trip (instead of 45K each for FRA-SFO and FRA-DEN), I'd do it. At 130K, I'm better off spending 90K on a roundtrip award in C.

The food... I've flown C on LH, CX and UA. Value of the food and wine would for sure be less than $50. For the LH F-class flight I've been on, I would estimate it to be somewhere between $70-$120, depending on how much of the caviar and champagne you ate.

Lounge access is quite nice, but as a status member, I can use the lounge even with a Y class ticket. If I didn't have such privilege, I'd be willing to pay up to $30 or so in case of a 2h+ layover. For UAL's lounges within the US, I'd pay $0, at least the ones I know really suck.

Cheers
T

[Edited 2007-11-22 12:12:23]

User currently offlineBelow From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 15943 times:

Long ago I read some figures on the cost of F&B on Lufthansa, but I forgot and I am sure the figures are outdated.

To me, business class makes flying acceptable on a variety of levels. It starts with check-in, lounge access, better seats, more space, better food. And overall, it makes travelling much more relaxed.

I recently upgraded to international Business on US Airways, and found this to be the bare minimum of how I would like to travel. That said, it was cheap.

As I do not travel much on other carriers but Lufthansa and United, I can not really compare the service. But I love LH Business, especially the selection of food and wine.

I have been told that Lufthansa First is not really the best you can find, but personally, that adds is yet another level of relaxed travel, especially when you fly from Frankfurt. And for a true airline fan it is a real treat, because the crew can be very relaxed, and you get to chat with them -- including the captain if you are lucky.

Alex


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26933 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 15915 times:

To me its worth it on certain airlines. I like the lounge access the extra luggage allowance and the space on board.

LX OS SK AI KU GF UA LO OA (A340 LHR-ATH service only ) . JP S4 BA would all be on my top list of favourites. When I get on the SQ A380 in J class It will be up their at the top I suspect.

Not worth the money ::

US Airways


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 15858 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
To me its worth it on certain airlines. I like the lounge access the extra luggage allowance and the space on board.

I agree.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
BA would all be on my top list of favourites.

I've been flying BA J lately.

Is it worth it? Over 7 hrs or so, I'd say it makes a difference, esp if you have to sleep on the plane -- a flat seat (such as BA J) vs a Y seat (in anything) for me is a big difference.

The food/wine is nice, but not the only thing I'm paying for. Part of what has to be considered is time -- what do you gain timewise being able to sleep/work? That has to be considered in a biz decision.

Further, fi you catch a good sale, you can get into J for a reasonable price (though granted not a lesiure fare).

Just my thoughts.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 15813 times:

I only fly Business using mileage upgrades. I would never pay for the seat itself. IMO, it's not worth it. I look at it this way. If I can make it in coach on a train (granted, the seats are bigger, but still, it's coach) for 34 hours from New Orleans to New York City, I can make it in coach on a plane for far less time, even if it is somewhat uncomfortable. I suppose if I had money to throw around at will I'd go C more often, but it really would depend on the length of the flight. The meal I had on AA in C a couple weeks back from ORD to SFO reminded me of an Applebee's steak entree. Nothing to write home about. I never work on planes so I don't really need all the extra room. The lie flat seats are nice, as is the more personal and frequent service, but not nice enough for me to shell out thousands of dollars for. I think if I took intercontinental flights fairly frequently, I wouldn't mind spending an extra $100-$200 for the perk of a better seat, better meal, free booze, and lounge access. Anything more than that, I'd rather spend at my destination.

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26933 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 15794 times:



Quoting Davescj (Reply 10):
I'd say it makes a difference, esp if you have to sleep on the plane -- a flat seat (such as BA J) vs a Y seat (in anything) for me is a big difference.

Yes if you have to do an overnight its even more valuble. After so many hours in a Y seat my back starts to ache and legs get stiff. You land feeling like death. Whenever Im tempted to save money and go Y I just think about that LOL....

Quoting Davescj (Reply 10):
Further, fi you catch a good sale, you can get into J for a reasonable price (though granted not a lesiure fare).

Yes always search all airlines and routes. There are deals around.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2020 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 15630 times:

You'd be surprised how cheap C class can be on SQ. I fly them mostly to Australia and on occasion to Europe and Africa (JNB).

My usual routing SIN-MEL + SYD-SIN is around SGD3,700, which is about USD2,500, flying both legs on the 744. SIN-MEL + SYD-SIN returning on the A380 was around SGD4,500, which is about USD3,100. Note that these are discounted corporate fares, but are still fully flexible and offer 125% of miles flown.

FYI, QF is usually between SGD50 and SGD100 cheaper, so it's definitely worth going with SQ.

I will take a look at my flight invoices for last year and will let you know how much I (or, rather, my company) paid for SIN-AMS and SIN-JNB.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | CX SYD-HKG-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 15604 times:

Look for deals at the airport. Some airlines offer upgrades during check-in at the airport. I've taken advantage of this with AirTran a few times. Granted, AirTran is nowhere near the model for Business Class, but being 6'4, I find the $80 to upgrade for two legs worth it. And you can upgrade regardless of your fare class. I've done it on everything from the full-fare to reward tickets on AirTran, all based on availability when you check-in of course.

I don't know if British Airways still offers it, but I remember seeing signs at ATL for upgrades for only $250 one way, which I would gladly shell out for an upgrade on a transatlantic flight.


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 15525 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 12):
I don't know if British Airways still offers it,

The latest that I have seen exEurope was 59 GBP to go C out of Gatwick. That I don't think it worth it. But 250 USD transatlantic? Yes, absolutely worth it
.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineNG1Fan From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 15496 times:

The company I own and work for never pays for J-Class. The bulk of our travel is done within Europe, so J-Class is not worth it since it is Y-Class with a fancier meal. That's it. Only when the airline rules force you to, then you have no choice anyway (usually on OS a return flight within 48 hours of departure).

I personally have flown J-Class, but ONLY via op-ups or miles. I made the mistake of not spending LH miles - I now have ca. 300,000 miles, two vouchers and nowhere to spend them on. No *A in Oz where I'm now based.

How much do I value the J-Class experience? Actually, as an added bonus. Air travel is quite undignified in Y-CLass, but for me, it represents a means to get to my destination. No more. Even on the long-haul flights Europe-Australia, one gets used to Y-Class. So much so, on a recent flight HKG-CDG, I managed to get 8 hours' sleep, in Y! Sharing a row of four with only one other passenger certainly helped the comfort stakes, but I doubt I would have slept better/longer in J.

So even when I (hopefully) one day become an industrial magnate, I doubt I would fly in J. Just cannot see the value. And yes, I can work after a long-haul Y flight. Keeping busy keeps me awake. Battling the urge to sleep after arrival is just as hard when travelling J.

For long-haul:
Best J so far: CX lie-flat
Worst J so far: CX regional J-Class. Always got sore knees for some reason.
So-so J-Class: UN, OS/NG before they went lie-flat.

I am of medium-height, medium build, and fortunately don't get aches and pains on flights too much (except dry throat from the air cond), so there is no 'excuse' for me to fly J.

Would I accept an upgrade? Every time! I just don't think the money is worth it. For the cost to fly myself, wife and son to Europe in J, I could purchase a reasonably new small car for. Hence I don't see the value.

NG1Fan


User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 15467 times:



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 4):
* lounge access can be given a monetary value (access, champagne price per glass, slice of grapefruit) but this refers to the convenience of lounge access, the peaceful surroundings ....

Many lounges sell day passes. US$50 is a typical price.


User currently offlineStefanPAD From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 15454 times:

Next week I'll fly to SFO. My route is PAD-FRA-PDX-SFO and back SFO-DEN-FRA-PAD. 3 days later I'll fly PAD-FRA-JFK and back JFK-MUC-PAD. I booked all flights on LH in Y. Only the US-domestic flights are on UA. I'm a frequent traveller on LH's Miles & More. Therefore I have lounge Access. Now I have 55,000 miles and after these two trips I'll have over 80,000 miles. An upgrade on an transatlantic flight costs 35,000 miles.

I travel for pleasure and earned my miles hard. After reading all your statements everyone has other priorities of travelling and spending miles. I love flying and for me it would be my first experience to fly in Business-Class. Decisive for me is the seat comfort, the meals, the space and the duration of the flight. At last the type of aircraft is important for an flying enthusiast. So I have the choice of an A343 (FRA-PDX), an A346 (DEN-FRA overnight), a 744 (FRA-JFK) and an A333 (JFK-MUC overnight).

But otherwise I'll throw out 35,000 miles for a 7 - 11 hours pleasure. Now I'm struggling if I should spend some miles for one or two upgrades.

Any advice?

Stefan


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15357 times:



Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 16):
But otherwise I'll throw out 35,000 miles for a 7 - 11 hours pleasure. Now I'm struggling if I should spend some miles for one or two upgrades.

Unless booked in Y or B, it's 50000 one way, a grand rip-off.

You should collect some more and spend them for a C award to North America (90000) or F award to the Middle East (100000).



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11644 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15344 times:

For me business class is an option, but I disregard it due to the cost. I am young and have a lot of free time, but being a student, not very much money - so I like to make it stretch as far as I can which means flying LCCs or eco long haul. However, in years to come with a (hopefully) stable job the equation reverses - I have much more money, but not a lot of time off work, so it's then that I would start looking at business/first etc...

For European flights I would not pay more than $200 - it's not worth it for the products offered.
For transatlantic flights up to about 7/8 hours I'd look at paying up to $1000 extra.
For other long hauls, then I really wouldn't mind.

I hate sleeping in an upright position, usually I can't, so the prospect of a flat bed to get a good nights sleep and arrive at my destination refreshed is something which I would pay a lot extra for.


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineWaleckdaddy From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 15306 times:

As far as COSTS for the airline:

US Airways claims that the $100 transatlantic upgrades for non-revs (Each way) accounts for the cost of the amenity kit, food, newspapers, and more expensive drinks.

So BESIDES the amount of coach seats that you could fit into one business class seat's floor space, it costs (US Airways) roughly $100 extra to seat you in an empty envoy class seat as oppossed to an empty coach seat (Each way).


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7538 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 5 days ago) and read 15219 times:

I flew NW's world business from FRA-DTW last January, if I had the money, I would pay for it in an instant. I got a huge meal, comfortable sleep, which I easily got 5hrs of sleep in, great desert, amazing service, and great entertainment. Thats the only business class that I have flown long haul, but like I said if I had the money, i would easily do it.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineGenius12 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 197 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 15156 times:



Quoting BillReid (Thread starter):
Who would pay $1000 or $2000 or $3000 out of their own pocket for the seat?

Those who can afford it!  Smile

If I'm able to, I always try and fly business class longhaul. The advantages are numerous - premium check in, fast track security, lounge access, priority boarding, more legroom, wider seat, more recline (hopefully a flat bed!), better service, better meals and beverages etc. etc. Of course it all depends on the airline.

But nowadays, most major longhaul carriers offer a decent economy class experience - Singapore Airlines, Cathay, Malaysian etc.

So really it's all down to money! If you can afford it, business or first class is nearly always worth the extra money. But if you can't afford it, just be glad you're flying at all!  Smile


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7538 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15139 times:



Quoting Genius12 (Reply 21):
Those who can afford it!

If I'm able to, I always try and fly business class longhaul. The advantages are numerous - premium check in, fast track security, lounge access, priority boarding, more legroom, wider seat, more recline (hopefully a flat bed!), better service, better meals and beverages etc. etc. Of course it all depends on the airline.

Totally agree, and my biggest part of flying WBC is you arrive more refreshed.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineUAL757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 806 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15121 times:



Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 3):
US $___9_____



Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 3):
SQ $___ 1____

What? You give US Airways a 9!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

And SQ a 1 ?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!?

I'm sorry but have you ever flown US longhaul business?


User currently offline747Dreamlifter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15107 times:

My opinion on rather the extra cost ($$$) is "WORTH" it depends on rather you're planning to sleep on a 12+ hr flight. If the answer is "Yes" than it should be "Yes" for the other. There is no doubt that all international airlines focus it's efforts on the business traveller. After all that's where the money making section of the cabin is located. I see today's business class to be equal to what first class was 5 years ago.

I can't say who's the worst....I don't think any airlines would be foolish enough to offer a "Bad" business class. However, I do feel the type of aircraft selected for your route is very important. I always prefer the Boeing 747 over any other. The spacious atmosphere within the cabin is significant on a long haul flight. For this very reason, I prefer to depart out of SFO on a SQ747 (stops in HKG) as oppose to flying direct from LAX to SIN which utilizes a A340-500.
Here are my favorites:

US to Europe: British Airways (BA)


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Photo © Mark Kwiatkowski
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Photo © Kenneth C. Iwelumo



US to Asia/Australia: Singapore Airlines (SQ)


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Photo © Martin Hartmann
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



US overall "Best" for intercontinental: Northwest Airlines (NW)


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Photo © Frank Robitaille
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Photo © Allen Yao



25 Ag92 : In terms of catering I would say yes, as they have those international culinary panel which they hire for the catering. I am not sure if other airlin
26 Highpeaklad : But remember this only gets you into premium economy, not business class. Its still worth doing if you ask me. This is easily doable with BA eg to JF
27 AerorobNZ : Yes I believe it is. I really enjoy being up the front. The meals are better than down the back, but that's irrelevent for me as I enjoy economy meals
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