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The Pampered Passenger - the Business of Being Treated First Class by Airlines

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It seems that as profit margins dip, whether it be due to fuel costs, or other economic factors, many airlines are courting the passenger that pays the bigger bucks to fly in the business/first class seats.

It is the long haul business/first class passenger that makes more money for the airlines as discounted tickets are rare, and even the discounted airfares in business or first will be out of reach for the average, leisure traveler.

So what kind of perks are being offered or introduced to lure the higher paying passenger? Looking beyond executive lounges and mileage bonuses, business class passengers can expect some upgrades on longer, and particularly overseas, flights.

Here is a list of just some of the amenities and perks that airlines are providing for business/executive/first class passengers, particularly on long haul flights (not all amenities are available on every airline):
  • Wider flat beds within plastic shells = more space and privacy.
  • Improved in-flight entertainment options - dozens of movies, music on demand, burgeoning internet options.
  • Menus created by celebrity chefs.
  • Improved wine lists and fine liquours.
  • A few airlines like Singapore Airlines and India's Jet Airways have created private cabins on a few of their flights.
  • Designer amenity kits, and blankets.
  • Chauffeur service to/from the airport.
And as airlines struggle to maximize per passenger profit, there could be more perks for passengers who pay for the higher-priced ticket.
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