bristolflyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2236 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4915 times:
So I'm sure this has been discussed extensively but I couldn't find any overly-relevant topics upon searching. I just booked DEN-LHR-DEN for a trip in Nov. $950 for economy courtesy of BA. First class is $21,000. I'm guessing a First pax takes up about 2 or 3 times the space than an economy person does. Add in a few dozen bucks for some good food and drink and you're still way short of 20x the difference. Do they charge that much because it's still way cheaper then flying privately?
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 28492 posts, RR: 84 Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4898 times:
They charge that much because the people who actually pay $21,000 don't care (they're worth scores of millions or more) or through corporate or other discount, the actual fare paid is significantly less than that.
loalq From Switzerland, joined Jan 2007, 213 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4760 times:
The same way you can buy a regular bag for $20 or a Chanel for $5'000, it is a premium product. There are many people out there for whom the price of a first class ticket means nothing, and offers much more privacy, space and perks than the average business class of today (which is by no means bad, but fails to offer an appropriate environment for VIPs, top executives and the likes).
But in comparison, does anyone have an idea of how much a private charter on a small jet would cost on the same route?
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dcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 186 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4366 times:
Quoting Stitch (Reply 1): They charge that much because the people who actually pay $21,000 don't care (they're worth scores of millions or more) or through corporate or other discount, the actual fare paid is significantly less than that.
Well, my company pays constantly $12K for round trip on LH IAD-FRA. They paid $18K for my round trip IAD-FRA-AMM also on LH. It was fully flexible business class ticket. I was Star Gold and didn't get upgraded to first class, but my coworker who fly's once a year with kids BWI-MCO on Southwest got upgraded on the same flight. Go figure.
Pellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2174 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4350 times:
$21,000 is very steep for DEN-LHR-DEN, even if it's an F fare. A more common price is $15-16k for transatlantic F fares.
And I disagree with statements saying "multi-millionaires don't care about how much they spend." It is supply and demand. There are some people who regardless of ability, will buy a 5k fare but not a 10k one, and some who will spend 10k but not 20k. I would try to get an A fare or just ride in J for that price. 21k transatlantic is ridiculous IMO.
LJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4327 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3993 times:
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 8):
Well, my company pays constantly $12K for round trip on LH IAD-FRA. They paid $18K for my round trip IAD-FRA-AMM also on LH. It was fully flexible business class ticket.
If your company pays so much they probably need a better travel manager (unless you always purchase your tickets teh day before travelling). I can see some of the prices which my company has to pay for long haul C-class fares and are nowhere near the official prices. Moreover these are flexible tickets (the only restriction is that these are valid on a particular airline/alliance only).
BTW I once saw a F-class fare which was lower than the C-class fare on the same flight.
usxguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 907 posts, RR: 6 Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3719 times:
Actually a handful of us do pay for First Class. This year alone I'm on a total of 6 revenue first class tickets. There are many times that people like me need to get to Point B in the next few days and the only thing available is a full-fare (or damn near close to it) coach ticket and discounted First Class (not Y-UP) are only a few bucks more. There are also times, especially on Alaska Airlines, where a First Class ticket can be cheaper than a coach ticket (this has happened twice for me). And in one particular instance, I made a client book me in First Class because they wanted my availability sooner than I'd give them had I flown coach (it was a red-eye & they wanted to meet in the morning).
I also bought a handful of First Class tickets on Mexicana when they did a fare filing error - flew Miami to Cancun via Mexico DF for like $190 USD roundtrip!
Now back to your $21,000 question - there are a lot of people who DO pay that, especially on Emirates, for the travel experience. You really can't get any better than EK F (especially on the A380). I've flown in Falcon 50s & 900s, and the EK First Class Suite beats both hands down.
spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3365 posts, RR: 13 Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3719 times:
I'd be surprised if some airlines didn't make most of their money on a particular route in F. (I know that's definitely the case for J on some routes.) I'm sure it pays to have a class of service that's basically just a "how much you got?" type of thing - there will always be people who just have to have the best, and will pay for it. I'm sure even billionaires have their limits but $21k to someone with that kind of money probably just isn't going to sound like much - for some people in that category, that's basically a rounding error in the amount of interest they earn in a day.
You can't really equate the value of first class with economy class on a space equivalency basis. On a lot of routes, economy class basically exists only because there aren't enough wealthy people and businesses in the world to fill up F and J and you may as well not run the back of the plane empty. I fly ANA from JFK-NRT a lot and it's obvious from the configuration of their planes on that route that economy class is basically a favor they do for travel agents and tour groups. They clearly make all their money on that route from F and J.
I do remember when I was younger, things were a bit different, and F class had a little more parity with Y on a simple space multiple basis. My family used to fly F class sometimes because it was actually somewhat affordable. But at some point, airlines figured out that they could turn it into something more like an exclusive club, and charge pretty much whatever they wanted. There is actually a psychological phenomena whereby a customer (for any product) will actually be *more* likely to buy that product the higher it's priced (as long as they can still afford it) because they will perceive it as being worth more. If your target market is billionaires and fortune 500 company execs, then you'll actually attract more of them by selling your F seats for $20k than if you sold them for $5k, because in their mind they're buying a higher-end, more exclusive seat at that price. Price it at $5k and they will think there's something inferior about that seat.
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