The Strategist

Airlines note increase in demand for business class

04/28/2021 - 04:14

Airlines have experienced an unexpected but welcome trend: people who used to fly in economy class have started buying business class tickets more often.

Dmitry Petrov
Dmitry Petrov
Airlines have noticed an increased demand for seats in business class, not from its traditional passengers who traveled for business purposes, but in the more mass segment, which used to choose economy class. That's what Bloomberg writes.

People have accumulated money and bonus miles or points for purchases in a year with virtually no travel or flights under quarantine and are now willing to spend them on a more comfortable flight. Some of Bloomberg's interlocutors, including vaccinated people, noted that for them, business class is attractive because of its far-between boarding, making the chances of contracting the coronavirus during the flight less than in dense economy class.

The popularity of business class, especially among the economy class audience, has been an unexpected boon for carriers, Bloomberg said. They are not sure if business travel after the pandemic will return to its previous level, and it was business travelers who often filled business classes. Now, a spokesman for U.S. airline Delta Airlines said other passengers' appetite for the "premium experience" has grown along with the demand for travel. Australia's Qantas Airways told Bloomberg that leisure travelers are already taking up most of the business class - they are either upgrading or using loyalty points. 

There's a chance that people after flying business class will want to become regular business class passengers, Bloomberg admits. The agency predicts that airlines will, at least in the coming years, buck the trend and sell business class seats cheaper and to a more mainstream audience, whether for cash, bonuses or a combination of the two types of payment.