There can be very large price differences between the four most common travel classes possible on intercontinental flights. It is difficult to generalize about every situation. Every market between two cities is unique, both for what airlines fly the route, what amenities are provided to the premium class passengers, and the fare that the airlines charge for these flights. When booking a flight from New York to London, you may find very different offerings than a flight from Hong Kong to New Zealand, for instance.
In general, full-fare Business Class is about two to three times more expensive than full-fare Economy Class. Premium Economy Class, a relatively new offering from more and more airlines, has a price that typically falls somewhere between full-fare Economy and Business Classes. While it might be billed as a “cheap business class” seat, it’s actually closer to the Economy Class offerings. Some Premium Economy Class seats are very similar to the original First Class seats of the 1960s and the original seats in Business Class in the 1980s. The service in Premium Economy Class is also closer to Economy Class, with upgraded food and drink, usually a welcome glass of champagne and maybe some more inflight snack options. Usually, there is a small amenity kit as well, and perhaps a better quality pillow and blanket than what is available to Economy passengers.
There are many promotional fares available to cost-conscious travelers! Online travel agencies such as Business Travel 365 work with our wholesale partners to secure even bigger discounts on relatively cheap business class tickets than the airlines offer to the general public. In general, for Business Class, you should expect to pay at least double or triple the fare above the lowest Economy Class pricing options. Every traveler should consider if the additional benefits for a Business Class flight are worth the price paid.
The most important benefit of a Business Class flight is space.
Business Class seats typically have a “footprint” on the floor plan of the aircraft that is up to four times larger than a single seat in Economy Class. That space, when well planned, can provide an environment that is conducive to relaxing, enjoying a gourmet meal, and most importantly, sleeping — not by sitting upright in a seat with 12 degrees of recline, but on a full-flat bed with luxurious bedding provided by one of the best housewares retail stores! In the competition to win Business Class travelers, some airlines are beginning to create private enclosed suites with doors — once a design feature that was only available to First Class travelers!
Jet lag, turbulence, and the conduct of other passengers will always play a role in your travel experience. However, a business class flight seat provides added comfort to help travelers get acclimated to their new destination happier and faster. There is one new benefit to flying that is available to all passengers and crew who fly in an aircraft. The newest generation of aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 have composite materials used in their fuselages. This means that the pressurization of the cabin of the aircraft can be to a lower altitude, meaning that the passenger’s body is exposed to a lower altitude for the duration of the flight. Older aircraft were pressurized to let the passengers feel like they are at about 8000 feet above sea level, newer aircraft drop that “feeling” to 5000 feet. That is the difference between being at the altitude of a typical ski resort, as opposed to a climbing adventure in the higher altitudes of the Swiss Alps! At the lower altitude, our bodies breathe easier and we feel less fatigue.