Trend: economy and first class grow farther apart

First class is getting more spacious, economy smaller

Airlines are competing to outdo each other in their planes’ luxury or elite sections. But the “cheap” seats are starting to look like crowded audiences at a football game, this article by NBC says.

First class is getting more spacious and more luxurious. Jet Airways’ fleet of 777s, for example, offer wealthy passengers 2.42 square metres of private space. Delta, American and United Airlines have all introduced spacious, lie-flat bed seats in business class.

But in economy on most airlines, the trend in recent years has been smaller space, with seat width, legroom and tilt shrinking by as much as a combined 12.7 centimetres. Snacks, pillows, blankets and eye shades are being phased out or offered at a price.

There is also a growing difference in ticket prices.

First-class seats in the US used to cost four times more than economy. Now they are 10 times the price. Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder to find the middle ground between the two extremes that used to be an option years ago.


[pictured: Kingfisher first-class flat-bed seats; courtesy oneworld]


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