We usually never hear anyone, even in the farthest of our circle that they traveled in first class of an airline. The most we can expect is a business class seat that someone booked for themselves and that too, for a super long flight. We would all agree that on short flights there is not much difference and it makes more sense to spend on longer flights for comfort.
However, how do you know that the person traveling in a first class has paid for himself? Let’s find out the different categories of people who are traveling in a first class seat.
The unexpected but true answer is that truly no one who is traveling in first class is actually paying for that fare. There are two main subgroups sitting in premium cabins on flights, people flying on negotiated fares, via a corporate or group agreement, and frequent fliers who are in those seats via mileage awards, or certificates that upgrade your seat to a higher class.
The fun part to know here is the details behind these fares. Corporate customers are usually accounted to a huge discount on the fare, ranging from 40-60%. The big companies do a travel agreement with any of the airlines and negotiate onto a discounted price. These tickets also tend to be fully changeable and refundable if needed.
Secondly, people search for any cheaper rates or deals for traveling and book in advance for a first class ticket as well, just like the case of an economy class. In exceptional cases, people would be willing to pay the full price on account to get the desirable flight. Other than that, it is quite common to see people receiving an upgrade on their seat on the spot due to their mileage coverage or other customary benefits.
Now, who are the rest of the people traveling in the highest class? Around half of the people are the ones who do not arrange for the tickets themselves. These include celebrities who were promised first class travel in their contract, senior business people whose travel expense is covered by their company, or people who are in the senior management of the same airline who enjoy employee perks.
So, after subtracting all the categories of ‘non-payers’ in first class of an airline, we are left with only 10% of travelers who actually book and pay for themselves because they can afford to. These are likely ultra-high net worth individuals and a small number of people who are doing some sort of once in a lifetime splurge on a Honeymoon or dream destination.[fbcomments]
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