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Why Is First Class Still Looked At As A Waste?  
User currently offlineBistro1200 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 337 posts, RR: 4
Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4440 times:

Reference this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11498-2003Nov7.html

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says it's cracking down on military and defense officials who fly in first class or business class instead of the coach seats where they belong.

Why is there such a stigma by accountants of First Class travel? Let's look at a typical business trip: Fly to a destination, stay at a business hotel (Westin, Hilton, Marriott), Rent a car (full-size, from a name brand), dine or entertain clients at a nice restaurant (Spago, Ruth Chris, McCormick and Schmidt) and play golf at a club.

Turn this trip into your accountant, and the first item glaring at him would be FC air travel. Why is there such a stigma? Even Biz class garners more than a cursory look. It is obvious by the above example that all aspects of this hypothetical trip are premium products, yet the ride to and fro is in 32E on a 757.

The ability for businesses and government to begin accepting premium cabins as an approved practice for their business trips is important for airlines to push their yields upward. Is it the cost? Why is it that FC is not allowed, but staying at a $200-per night hotel is ok? There's probably a motel somewhere that is a quarter of that cost. My point is that premium products are regularly consumed by business travellers, but unfortunately FC is not one of them.

Why not?


Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTransSwede From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4378 times:

Because it *IS* a waste.

How does $200 for a day's hotel room even compare with several $1000's for a few hours? I fail to see your points, really. Have you looked at first-class prices?

Besides, most companies are now forcing people to fly economy on business trips. (except for the big-wigs, of course)  Big grin


User currently offlineSubzero From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4336 times:

Besides, most companies are now forcing people to fly economy on business trips. (except for the big-wigs, of course)

of course, the big-wigs take the company's bizjet.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13740 posts, RR: 61
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4314 times:
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Turn this trip into your accountant, and the first item glaring at him would be FC air travel.

This is why airlines have been trying to enable business travelers to "hide" First Class purchases from the company accountant by creating "YUP" or "YF" type fares that are technically coach, but permit First Class travel if space is available in that cabin.

This was a practice started (nearly simultaneously!) by Eastern Air Lines and Continental Airlines in late 1989; CO permitted full -Y- fare passengers to ride in First Class. EA took it a step further, doubling the size of their First Class cabins on their B-757 aircraft to accomodate full -Y- fare passengers up front.

Since then, most U.S. majors that offer a First Class product have either First Class fares masquerading as coach tickets, or permit full fare coach passengers to ride up front, space permitting.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

Let's say Acme Insurance purchases four round-trip tickets per month from HQ in Cleveland to their satellite offices in Houston.

To make this as realistic as possible, they tickets will be departing on a Wednesday and returning on a Friday in January.

A flight on CO from CLE to IAH will run you $366.50 in Coach.
The cheapest flight in First is backed by Delta, and involves a connection in ATL (duh). That flight will run you $1,134.50.

1134.50 x 4 x 12 = $54,456.00
366.50 x 4 x 12 = $17,592.00
54456 - 17592 = $36,864.00

$36,000 a year is about what a claims adjuster is paid, right?

As for the deluxe hotel, I someone told you could fly First but had to stay in a Motel 6, or told you if you could take Economy and stay in the Mandarian Oriental, which would you choose? Two hours of being pampered, or a three days of it? I know which I would pick.

I think that $750 extra for seven inches more legroom, a powerport, a wide armrest and a free glass of wine in just stupid.

Just my two cents.


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

If you ran a company, and you had to lay off workers because the company was not doing so good, how would you explain it to people that your executives were flying first class on flights paid for by the company? First class is nice, but it is not a necessity.


God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4170 times:

Fortunately for most companies, those running them couldn't begin to tell you what the inside of a commercial airliner looks like...they are on the Gulfstream V, surrounded with REAL first class amenities.

User currently offlineGoose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4095 times:

Maybe companies should try the travel-allowance with a certain "cap" amount; the company will pay for a coach ticket price on a certain airline, or a certain amount based on a median price. If the individual flying on the company bill wants to go first-class, they pay the difference. Same with the hotel. A few friends of mine run their business expenses that way.....


"Talk to me, Goose..."
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5614 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4083 times:

No, for most companies, those running them are flying in coach. There are few businesses (as a whole) which can justify F class travel for any purpose whatsoever. Most business owners are not rich; if they are successful, it is because they have effectively conserved capital by (for example) not flying FC.

When I travel, I can rarely justify flying F and billing my clients for it.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4068 times:

Im sorry, ANY government official that does not qualify to travel on government aircraft SHOULD be in coach. That is MY money they are spending. Should they stay at the RITZ in a suite, I don't think so! Talk to the worker on the street that has lost their job. They are spending tax dollars, which is MY money and every US Citizens money.

User currently offlineMoolies From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

First class is not a waste.
There is a difference when you pay for it and some one else does.

There is also a huge difference when you are 50+ and have worked very hard your entire life and can afford the luxuries in life, such as first class travel.

Sure it may be a lot more money but ask yourself this?
You arrive refreshed, well rested and in style.


User currently offlineCadet93 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3908 times:

My experience with corporate first/business class tickets works on the premise that if you are going the night before the meeting, you go first class. NY to London is over night and you have no time to go to the hotel and prep your self for the meeting. So, to be at your best, you were flown first class, (sleeper seat) so that you were ready to go to the meetings. If you went early, then you paid the difference of the ticket from business to first if you wanted to go first. But they always allowed you to go business. They realized that the employee needed to be rested and ready for presentations. Coach just doesn't cut it for that.

User currently offlineBistro1200 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

Good replies. I suppose the burning question in my mind is that premium hotels, restaurants, and car rentals are OK, but premium airline seats are not. Why the Westin, when there's a Super8 down the road? Why a full-size car when a Neon is availible at less cost? If cost is such an overriding driver of what is consumed, why are hotel and restaurant selection not driven solely by cost too?


Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
User currently offlineBoingGoingGone From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3807 times:

If I ran a company and was turning big profits I would encourage First and Business Classes. Travel is write off.

A Government Agency doesn't receive that benefit, but typically, if it's Domestic, you go coach. If you go red-eye to make a meeting the next day or if you're going overseas you get Business or First depending on availability.

Obviously, if your company is in the tank, then coach is it. Right now a lot of businesses down have the cash to outlay for First and Business. When the economy gets into full swing in about a year, then that should change assuming First and Business are still around.


User currently offlineJoleb From Belgium, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

why? because many people think its a waste and overpriced.

let me give you a reason why it is good to pay an overpriced First or Business Class ticket and especially on long haul flights.

>Because of the people you meet > they mostly are from a higher social class

everytime i fly first class i meet new people with succesful lives and i keep in contact with most of them.

for exemple on a long haul flight in First or Concorde transatlantically you are not gonna tell me that the people that pay sometimes up to 14000 dollars are not from a different sort of class than people in economy and flying subsonic.

Like they mention in the movie " Jerry Maguire" First Class thats whats wrong > It used to be a better meal now its a better life!


User currently offlineSNBA319 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2003, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

sorry Joleb, but your suggestion seems a bit over the top. Even though i have not flown First, i have flown Business many times recently and i do know many people who have flown First before on longhaul business trips; the main argument was to get proper rest in order to be able to work upon arival, and even fly back straught after the meeting. Get on board, get some food in and get some rest. Or work for that matter.

And rest they did. On business i seldom see people who are as you like 'higher social class'. Some people are plainly self-interested; getting social has not been such a desire for those people.

This is quite an outdated thing; people without class but with money fly very expensively, whilst people with class but for their company's sake without money travel non-business.

So if you have the means to fly like that, fine go ahead and enjoy. But please don't say it has social-class implications. Cos that is outdated.


User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3596 times:

The company I worked for this summer has a pretty good policy, IMO.

-A Business class ticket can be purchased if the flight is overseas or to South America. However, the flight must be on the cheapest airline. For example, the company is based in Dallas, therefore people probably want to fly AA, but if the cheapest business fare to London is on BA must be taken. Otherwise, the employee must reimburse the difference between the cheapest airline and their preffered airline. The exception to this rule is flights to China (after much bitching about poor customer service), where you can fly the cheapest non-Chinese airline if you choose.

-Lowest-fare coach is purchased on all domestic/trans-border segments. Unless the difference is "significant," the ticket can be purchased on the airline of your choice.

-Upgrade stickers and certificates will be reimbursed by the company.

[Edited 2003-11-08 23:46:13]


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineJoleb From Belgium, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3483 times:

SNBA319

i say that is one of the better reasons to do so...
isnt it true to say that many (i dont say all people( who do fly business or first are more wealthy than others
but thats my point of view
offcorse its also to work, rest and eat.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3104 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3423 times:

Having flown Business Class transatlantic just once, I can say the difference in how the trip feels is "night and day". In Coach, you can't wait for the flight to be over, but in Business (or First), it's over before you know it. You've had room to stretch and relax, great food and pampering service.

It's such a revelation to arrive refreshed rather than exhausted and sore....



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

At some point, when "someone else" is paying the bill, accountability will be demanded by someone, at some level. Whether it is the company itself absorbing the costs of travel or whether it is a client onto whom travel expenses are passed, there will be a point at which the one who controls the purse strings will say "enough is enough is too much." The airlines have priced first class at a level that has caused most who control spending to summarily reject first class travel, at least on U.S. domestic routes, as a grossly overpriced amenity -- a waste, if you prefer. There is simply no way the difference in pricing between F and Y/B/M unrestricted fares comes close to being justified (to those who are ultimately accountable for expenses) on flights of any length within the U.S.

Once again, it is the airlines who have, in their typical manner, "shot themselves in the foot." Had they maintained any semblance of rational pricing, their first class cabins on flights of more that 2 hours duration would have nearly 100% occupancy by paying, profitable first class customers. Instead, first class load factors on U.S. domestic flights are virtually 100% with about 80-90% comprised of non-profit freeloader elites (whom the airlines themselves have created) upgrading from "trash" fares.

Therefore, I would maintain that it is the airlines who should be looking at first class the way it plays in the real world on U.S. domestic flights as a waste on their part. Evidence seems to be surfacing that even the myopic U.S. "legacy" airlines are beginning to wake up and recognize this reality.


User currently offlineBeltwaybandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3292 times:

I doubt that any organization (govt or private) would have a vastly different policy for hotels versus air fare. Even so, a good hotel may cost $75 more per night than a cheap hotel. First class fare may cost hundreds more. Of course there are exceptions, where first class costs less, or hotels cost more; but accounting departments set rules that are easy to administer.

"Traditional" first class travel is extraordinarily overpriced, for a good reason. It is there for the people who have open budgets and can pay a lot to get a couple of inches of space and hot towels. Budget first class (e.g. Spirit Airlines $40 upgrade) is a different animal.

In an industry where a first class seat allows the person to open a laptop and bill their time (generate revenue) you can often get approval for first class.


User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2109 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3212 times:

There is a very good answer to why First Class airfare is a waste while a first class hotel is not. Business people often meet, hold seminars, or in some way conduct business in those very hotels. It is part of their business product to the customer. But first class airfare is simply an extravagance - a treat to the employee and nothing more.



An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3093 times:

We're expected to work..hence billable hours...while travelling. So they put us up front so we can use our laptops, etc. Of course, we have a coupon/voucher agreement with our travel partner (AA and BA) which allow us very favorable rates to travel in the premium cabins (F/C on AA, C on BA).

It makes all the difference when travelling.


User currently offlineVectorVictor From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3017 times:

If I ran a company and was turning big profits I would encourage First and Business Classes. Travel is write off.

Ask the shareholders if they agree with this lunacy.

When the economy gets into full swing in about a year, then that should change assuming First and Business are still around.

The days of companies willing to spend big bucks on employee air travel are OVER except for a select few. Hopefully the airlines will be smarter the next time around and adopt ideas like the one proposed by Tango-Bravo (above).


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