Who's Flying in Business Class?

It’s been a few years since my butt has enjoyed the roominess of a business class seat, and after seeing this I think the only way I’ll ever stretch out in the “front cabin” will be by cashing-out a few frequent flyer miles.

So this begs the obvious question. Exactly WHO is paying that much for a business class or first class seat?

I have had good success using miles or upgrade coupons. I see that you are Gold Medallion. If you can make it to Platinum, Delta will give you a choice of gifts. One of which is four upgrade coupons. These can be used for upgrades to Business Elite from an M (or higher) class coach ticket. The M class tickets are not $1,600, more than likely around $2,800-3,000. With the coupon (or 25,000 miles) you then upgrade to business class. Much better than $11,000. You need to call them to book a ticket this way.

If you do not have one (and travel with Delta a fair amount), go get a Delta Amex card. They give you good mile benefits and if you get the right level card, free access to DL lounges even if you fly coach.

I am a believer in picking an airline and only flying them (I also happen to use Delta). The other week, I was upgraded for free on the way back from DUS to ATL. First time that has happened!

I have great luck and getting free upgrades.

I don’t travel too much, but my Dad does for a living. Frequent flyer to HK, Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai, etc. Was talking on the phone with him yesterday and this subject came up. He says he can save $6-8K+ by simply adding a stop, LA, Tokyo (where he was actually stuck during the earthquake flying back from China…). It’s mainly due to the massive competition from the West coast. Flights out of MSP direct are quite expensive comparatively.

I think the only ones, who shell out 11K for one Business Flight are the guys
who served 25+ years to become Upper management in a Corporation, but
don’t own significant equity. They are entitled to take Business flights regardless
of cost and they do. An owner in most cases wouldn’t…


Bingo. My Dad is 67 and has spent nearly 40 years traveling. He typically buys Business and gets upgraded to First when it’s open. 1K status has it’s perks…

We’re allowed to travel business class if we go international. A few years ago, a business class seat was $14k. The guys that were traveling with me had cashed in their frequent flyer miles. They had accrued a lot of points by charging everything they do on their cards and just paying them off immediately.

Almost NO one flies business class these days. Only the VPs or senior execs get this privilege.

We are allowed to do it for transatlantic flights, for trips lasting <4 days.

I suppose you’ve heard IKEAs rule that no one is ever allowed to fly anything other than economy? I’ve heard stories that senior managers were forced to take a taxi from say Brussels to Zurich because there were only business/first class available, which ofc cost more and took much longer. Weird principle.

This Saturday I get to enjoy Coach seating from New York to Beijing. Two weeks later I get to enjoy Coach seating from Shanghai to Chicago. Since the 1990’s I have only enjoyed Business class if I was able to supply the miles for the upgrade. I am a big guy, and Coach is no fun, but I bring a bag of accessories to try to make it a little better: Noise Cancelling Headphones, Neck Pillow, Memory foam cushion to sit on and melatonin.

Holy cow Tim. I’d need one thing for that flight: A tranquilizer dart.

The worst is having to share a hotel room with a co-worker. Fortunately I have never been asked to do this, but I know others who have. Just plain wrong.

Yes, this is a hard policy. Has seen it before, but have not had to do it.

I agree… thats would be the worst travel experience, sharing a room with an officemate.

I don’t see a problem with it at all, especially if you get along with the person.

I mean its not like you’re sharing a bed…

Even though i am traveling for business, i like there to be some down time and private time… if you are sharing a room there is none…

When I was corporate we always flew business if the flight was “over an ocean”. These tickets were usually booked last minute, so very costly. I got super accustomed to the accommodations and service in BizClass, especially Cathay Pacific and believe it or not, Air Canada, both of whom’s international Biz Class is on par with most other first class (individual pod seating)… that said, I flew to Shanghai coach for the first time, and I didn’t think it was that bad. Tylenol PM.

Room sharing is against many corporate HR policies. I’ve never had to do it in my entire career, even as a junior designer at a small firm. I did get to share a massive suite though, which had multiple bedrooms. I know some researchers prefer room sharing for research immersion trips. After presenting to a client, or a day spent at the factory, I need some space to clear my head.

I agree 100%, by no means is it ideal … If it has to happen because of some last minute decisions or some random unforeseen circumstances its not the end of the world.

If it happened and I needed private time than I would just go to the lobby, bar, or outside just to relax…

Regardless of where I travel I am grateful, even if it means flying coach on a 767 in the middle row or having to share a room (not a bed) with a coworker because all the other hotels in the area are booked solid for the trip…when its all said and done the company is covering it, so I don’t feel like I should complain.

Interesting topic. During my 15 years with Fortune 100’s, I always flew business class - everywhere. Now with our own company, we negotiate business class for all international flights prior to a trip - it weeds out the trips that are necessary from the ones that are not. Domestic is always coach.

You’d be surprised how many clients will pay for perks like that if you’re a valuable asset to their business objectives.

1K status, but fly coach transoceanic First standby domestic. (corporate policy)

(…and, yes I’ve shared a bed with a coworker)