ssides
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:57 am

From another thread on this board (it was about airline employees flying non-rev in 1st Class):

I am curious as to on a given flight, how many people paid for First, used miles for First, used elite status for First, were put into First because of bumping or misconnect, and are flying non-rev.

I have often wondered this too, especially on international flights. Example: full-fare economy DFW-LGW is $4107. First class DFW-LGW is a whopping $12,181. Who in the world would pay $8000 more for first-class, other than the super-super-super-super rich? The difference between full-fare economy and first on domestic flights is much smaller of course, but I would love to get input from some res agents to see how many people actually shell out the cash for first class.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Benjamin
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:29 am

On a 3 class plane on a long flight, I bet a high percentage pay for BUSINESS class. On these same long flight, I bet still a healthy percentage pay for FIRST. These would ususally all be paid by the companies these people work for. My company's policy allows us to book BUSINESS on flights overseas.

On shorter flights (<5 hrs), I bet it's mostly upgrades.
 
joleb
Posts: 248
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:32 am

Hello,

This is actually a good question although the comparaison with full fare Y and full fare F is not correct.
I regularly pay Transatlantic F fares but i have never paid 12K for F.
You must first understand one thing. These are (internet published )international First full Fares. Those fares are almost never taken as they are the last seats on the plane and have no restrictions at all.
if you buy first buy it at a specialised travel agent because they have the exact prices in their system.
a first fare depending on the company can vary very much.
recently i flew BA and their first fares are around 4400 euros/dollars roundrtrip depending on the route max 5000
AF on the other hand only has First fares at around 6000-8000.
I know AA is very expensive. their C class on cdg-dfw is already 5500 so it really depends on what route you fly,aircraft and if they have 3 class cabin.
so instead of flying from cdg to dfw you fly cdg-lhr-dfw in first on british and pay even less than on AA in business.
in my opinion they should have only 3 fare ranges
eco 250-1000,business 2-4000,First 4-6000


 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:34 am

AA's 1st is really just glorified Biz.

Pay for a biz ticket, upgrade to first. It's the story of that airline's life.

*****

As for me, I've never had (nor really been able to) pay more than $3500 for any roundtrip airfare at any time. That's among the many reasons I love DL so much (I-fares bay-bee!)

The one exception being JFK-CDG, Concorde. Parents paid it, full fare, as 18th birthday present. The chances of that happening again are slim to nil  Sad  Laugh out loud
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ssides
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:44 am

The 1st Class DFW-LGW $12,000 fare was quoted from AA's web site.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
latinaviation
Posts: 1162
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:45 am

When I was working at an airline, it came out to about 1 full-fare First Class passenger per international flight. While the truth is that they are extremely concentrated on where they flew (ie, LHR and NRT) and didn't (MXP). Thus, on a system-level the product looked unprofitable.

In reality, almost all of the passengers were traveling on some sort of corporate discount, which can bring the price down 20-50%, depending upon the corporation and route. Full mileage redemption was a small portion of ASMs, most were upgrades from Business using mileage.
 
ramerinianair
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:10 am

I have access to the AA website for non-rev travel. My GrandFather is a TWA retiree. If we take your flight from DFW-LGW here are the revinue seats sold.
12/09/03
Flt. #50 5:05pm First 7/15 Biz 31/45 Eco 148/190
Flt. #78 7:10pm First 3/17 Biz 24/42 Eco 84/163
Keep in mind this is for a Tuesday
For this Friday...
12/12/03
Flt. #50 5:05pm First 7/15 Biz 27/45 Eco 148/190
Flt. #78 7:10pm First 5/17 Biz 18/42 Eco 124/163
Also there is a 763 for Friday, it is an early morning Departure.
The A/C listed above are 777's with a "REAL" First class as opposed to the "Glorified Biz seat on the 763"
I believe that even if only half of first class is sold the airline is making money so having this service is beneficial for the people who can upgrade and especially for the employees.
***ALSO NOTE***
The 777 flights from JFK to LGW have an almost full First Class with about 12/16 seats taken and 30/35 seats taken in Biz.
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:19 am

um, what 777 flights from JFK to LGW?
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ssides
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:20 am

I'm sure he meant LHR, ConcordeBoy. It's ok.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:23 am

ah... oh yeah, Iknewthat!  Big grin Big grin
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
RiverVisualNYC
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:25 am

Alot of corporate executives have business or first class air as part of their contracts (I used to!), especially for longhaul or international travel...So their company does pay, but usually at some discounted rate based on the volume of business that company's travel department does with the airline in question....On international, alot of longhaul premium cabin tickets are sold through consolidators, again at a discount from advertised price. So I doubt very many people actually pay the full fare for first or business, although many pay something other than mileage.....
 
ramerinianair
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:39 am

ConcordeBoy,

I missed typed, the flights are to LHR not LGW.
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
AIR757200
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:44 am


RamerinianAir,

Careful with those, I'm assuming your using Jetnet, the numbers indicate the obvious, what's booked, however, it is not an indication of if that seat was purchased outright (F/J fares). Those numbers also reflect upgrades of various sorts.

 
EdT
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:33 am

RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:46 am

For the *domestic* flights, I would only *guess* that there are a good percentage of paying customers, since the fares are reasonable on the smaller airlines for 1st/domestic. I'd guess about 50/50, based on flying frequently in first on HP, AA, and NW... Out of about 50 trips over the past 2 years in First, I've paid twice... The rest are all elite upgrades and mileage upgrades...

 
BGR1962
Posts: 91
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:55 am

Flying first class was worth it, I purchased an around the world ticket on KE and AF for little over 8 grand last year. Had to have the Delta miles don't ya know. When you're on a plane for over 3 hours and you're six foot, it's worth it, let alone when your on one for over 12 hours

I realize that what I paid was discounted, but for the most part I think first class is worth it even on a domestic flight if you can get for $1200 or less. Which I think you can most of the time if you book in advance.

Some people are fine with coach, but me I'll fly up front every time I can!

 
Guest

RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:25 am

Believe or not, there is a 'discount first class' fare category ('A' I believe). I am sure this category is reserved for the airlines who run "cash-and miles" specials which allow some customers to buy tickets and upgrades using both frequent flyer miles and cash.

But, wouldn't this place first class travel within almost everyone's reach?

 
ssides
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:36 am

The "discounted" first class tickets are still pretty pricey -- and carry a high mileage requirement that most people probably don't have. In addition, upgrades based solely on mileage -- not elite status -- are difficult to get, because you are the lowest on the priority ladder. Ever since I lost my elite status with AA, I have tried to upgrade with miles several times (mostly on international flights), and have never gotten to sit up front. Simply too many elites taking up spots on the waiting list  Sad
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:47 am

First Class hmm... sounds nice. But i think for now we shall stick to getting off with bout the cheepest pass we can get our hands on....


CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
COEWRNJ
Posts: 1000
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:52 am

I've only been in F-Class a few times but all of them were mileage tickets. Never actually paid for nor will I ever pay for first class.

Dave
 
sllevin
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:22 pm

Discount First fares exist quite widely. In fact, I believe that (with oneworld) you can book an RTW in A class for $9,200. N ot bad if you need stopovers and multiple points to travel from. Even if you just use it as a cheap way to get somewhere at a distance, it's worthwhile.

Another very common discount on many full F fares is the companion ticket. Often full F fares are booked and allow a companion to travel for just taxes. It's currently a feature for American Express Platinum cardholders, for example.

Steve
 
AASilverbird
Posts: 88
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RE: How Many People Actually Pay For 1st Class?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:31 pm

Only time I've flown First was a couple of yrs ago on an Air Jamaica flt from Montego Bay to ATL. And it was not my doing at all. It was a connecting flt (my originating flt was SLU on Air Jamaica) and in Montego Bay I was booked in coach and was one of the last few to board. Beofore boarding, the gate agent took my boarding pass and gave me another. Didn't really explain why he gave me another seat assignment. As I boarded my flt, much to my surprise, I ended up in FC. I didn't question it at all and kept waiting for someone to come and tell me there had been some mistake. No one ever did and I got to stay where I was. I never asked anyone why it happend, but it was a nice surpirse and made for a more enjoyable flt to ATL.

Before that, and since then, I've never flown FC. The only FC I can afford is the FC membership on this forum!  Laugh out loud
 
BN747
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RE: Branson Writes To Schwarzenegger

Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:37 pm

Ha! The legend of how he became 'ConcordeBoy' avails itself...I've wondered about that! Great story!

Back to the thread --- As Air757200 and RiverVisual have suggested much of 1st are upgraded or discounted 1st tkts. Those paying full first fare pale in comparison to the aforementioned. The exception is company paid business trips. Most companies restrict company travel to Business Class only (and these people upgrade from there). But a surprising number of companies insist or it is contractual to provide 1st class travel..such as the film business. In many contracts provide for a person actor or not to travel in first, along with his/her wife/partner/kids or whomever. (But as I stated in another thread many actors [primarily A list] are travelling in private jets).

I've flown first on BA/LH/AA/BN & BI/CO/DL/EA/NW/TW/WA & MGM Grand Air and never paid full fare on any of them. And I know I was not alone. Most people travelling upfront know how get there without paying full fare..and the airlines themselves (and some good travel agents) make it all possible.


BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson