Flying business class is a topic that often sparks debate. While some see it as an unnecessary luxury, others view it as a worthwhile investment for comfort and productivity. Here are a variety of perspectives from readers in a popular online forum discussing the value of flying business class. Their insights provide a fascinating glimpse into the factors that influence this decision.
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The Economic Argument Against Business Class
One reader, who frequently travels between Australia and Asia, made a compelling economic argument against business class. He compared the cost difference between economy and business class to a choice between a comfortable bed and a slightly uncomfortable chair. He stated, “If someone said to you, ‘There’s a bed over there, but if you sit on this slightly-uncomfortable chair for 24 hours, I’ll give you A$4,000… would you take the money and sit on the chair?’ I would. So I really don’t see the value in it.”
The Travel Agent’s Perspective
A travel agent with seven years of experience arranging business class flights for clients offered a different perspective. She noted that people choose business class for various reasons, including not wanting to arrive at their destination tired. “People travel business class for various reasons. One of the most common reason according to my clients are – Do not want to arrive tired,” she shared.
The Luxury of Business Class for the Wealthy
One reader suggested that for those with significant wealth, the extra cost of business class may seem negligible. They compared it to choosing a high-end restaurant over fast food, saying, “It’s not a waste of money if you already have so much money that the extra cost seems negligible, like how the rest of us might pay more for a meal that tastes better.”
The Business Case for Business Class
Several readers pointed out that corporations often pay for their staff to fly business class, especially when they need them to be ready to work immediately upon arrival. One reader noted, “It’s called business class because it tends to pay for itself in the form of increased employee productivity.”
The Comfort Factor
Comfort is a significant factor for many when choosing to fly business class. One reader compared it to choosing a fancy restaurant over a fast food joint, saying, “Looking at it in pure economic terms, your answer makes perfect sense. But people place different values on different things. As an example, eating at a fancy restaurant is more expensive than the local fast food joint, but I would generally choose the restaurant for the higher quality experience.”
The Impact of Age and Health
As people age or deal with health issues, the comfort of business class becomes more appealing. One reader shared, “Wait until you’re older and have back and other pain issues. You’d pay anything to lie down during a 12-hour flight.”
The Employee Productivity Perspective
Several readers noted that business class can pay for itself in the form of increased employee productivity. One reader shared, “On a long flight, someone could be working on their laptop preparing for some important presentation on the other side of the ocean. With business class, they can be more comfortable, refreshed, and productive.”
The Personal Preference Angle
Personal preference plays a significant role in the decision to fly business class. One reader shared, “For some, maybe. But I know people who severely curtail their travel so that when they do fly, they fly business class. They’ll have a holiday every four or five years, rather than a couple each year, because ‘flights are so expensive’, and they fly business class.”
The Frequent Flyer’s Strategy
Frequent flyers often have strategies to make business class more affordable, such as using credit card points or taking advantage of corporate policies that offer compensation for choosing economy. One reader shared, “Just do what me and my wife do. We use British Airways American Express card and every year we get at least 1 free flight.”
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