Business Class Upgrade – It’s time!
As the year comes to an end, why not ring in the New Year with an upgrade!
There’s a common myth among seasoned Economy class travellers that Business class is just out of their reach, but things have changed over the last decade that mean we all have a chance at experiencing that extra special treatment when we take our next flight.
There’s a wonderful ambience you can only find in Economy class which usually consists of cramped seating, wrestling for elbow space and clambering over your fellow passengers to join the endless queue to the washrooms.
But for all its charm, there is another way to fly.
About ten years ago the one thing that made First class a unique option for international travellers was its flatbed seat. Passengers were willing to pay thousands of dollars to avoid trying to sleep in confined seats with limited recline, along with all the other perks that come with luxury travel of course.
Low demand, coupled with the cost of maintaining enough space on aircraft to accommodate a First class cabin, prompted airlines to reduce this service or remove this section completely on most long haul routes.
Instead, airlines have focused on their Business class product introducing cradle/recliner seats, angled lie flat seats and fully flat beds, which are a far cry from the old “more legroom, more elbow room” offerings of yesteryear.
You Get What You Pay For
Why did the passenger sitting next to you pay a radically different fare to you?
Simply put, airlines manage their seat inventory in tiers. Lower fare seats are fewer and come with more restrictions. They tend to be non-changeable and non-refundable. The next tier means a higher fare, but with a bit more flexibility on the rules (for example, these tickets may be changeable at a fee).
Fare structures are also based on seasonality. When school’s out, the fares tend to be a lot higher across the board. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, that’s exactly when we want to travel.
That’s the time to start asking if you’re getting real value for money.
It’s Closer Than You Think!
Generally the spread between Economy and Business class is CAD $700 – $1000 per direction.
In fact if you’re purchasing a peak season Economy class fare on a higher tier, paying the round trip difference will make even more sense. The differential may be less.
Airlines have strict rules on which Business class fares can be displayed online, so checking various comparison websites will not give you the best indication of the actual fare difference.
Your first step is to pick up the phone and contact a travel agency who is a consolidator (wholesaler). These agencies have exclusive contracted rates, and can even give you further discounts in some cases. They will guide you through the best routes with airlines that have better discounts.
Some airlines offer discounted Business class upgrades at the airport. You can ask at check-in and if you’re a frequent flyer with membership to the airline’s loyalty program, you can use your points towards an upgrade too.
Take a Seat
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of trying Business class yet you should know it’s an experience, not just a journey.
When you’re upgrading from Economy to Business class, you’re not just buying a bigger seat and maximum recline. You can expect to be pampered all the way. Here are just some of the additional perks* airlines include with your extra comfy seat.
• Chauffeur Transfers
• Preferential Check-In
• Extra Baggage Allowance
• Access to Business Class Lounges
• Unique In-Flight Entertainment Options
• In-Chair Massage
• Power Supply
• Luxury Amenity Kits
• In Flight Gourmet Catering
• On-Board Lounge
*Additional services offered will differ between airlines and routes.
Spoiled for Choice
With so many possibilities, take out the guess work and the leg work. Speak to an experienced travel agent about your next long haul flight and open up a whole new travelling experience!