On my most recent trip to the United States I got to fly business class. I flew Delta and KLM, and boy was this an experience!
Luxury or Necessary?
Let me start of by saying that flying business class is an extremely luxury experience. Especially when you are doing it for the first time.
Some people call business class an absolute necessity, but I disagree with them. I get it, you have to work during and immediately after your flight. But there are alternatives.
For me, this was my first time ever flying business class. It was luxurious, oh yes, but somehow a sense of necessity was created, warranting me to fly an expensive trip.
Negotiate. Always and Everything.
When I was asked to fly out to the States, the project was falling apart. The client wasn’t happy so somebody had to do damage control.
This year alone I had made over 12 international trips already. My role isn’t international by definition. I did it because there was opportunity and I wanted the experience. Besides, almost no one in my team wants to travel.
So when this trip was presented, I held off off for a while. I waited for others to say no. Then they asked me again and I replied with, “yes, but”. The “but” here was business class.
They told me it’s unusual for us to fly business. I told them it’s unusual for me to fly this often. Also, this particular trip had me travel 18 hours one-way, to spend 2.5 days at the client. Oh and the minute I landed in Amsterdam, I went straight on to work at another client. No rest after such flight!
I didn’t want to go. When the client refused paying for business I told them business class or Skype. We came to the conclusion they really wanted me there and I got to book a ticket.
Business Class Prices are Crazy
The normal price of a business class ticket is 4-5 times the price of a regular economy class ticket. To be honest, that is outrageous.
It’s safe to say economy tickets on these distances are 800-1000 euros easily. That gives a business class range of 4-5k euros. For a single person! Incredible…
In fact, I did pay something in that range. The economy option, however, was over 2,000 euros. That’s the result of booking very, very late. It seems business class tickets weren’t extra expensive because of the last minute booking. They were expensive
One thing is cool though, you get an incredible amount of airline miles and status for flying long haul business class trips.
So Is Business Class Worth It?
Well, honestly, I’d say it’s not worth it in most cases. The price is incredible, and yes you do go some additional value that’s not to be underestimated.
Yes, you get to lie flat on most International business class flights nowadays. That’s incredible. I’m a good sleeper, and I can sleep on airplanes. However, sleeping while sitting upright is just not comfortable. I keep waking up every hour, making my night feel broken.
In business class, I put the seat all the way down, and slept for 5 hours on the way back home. I woke up refreshed, to a lovely flight attendant asking me if I wanted breakfast.
I landed in Amsterdam in the early morning and went straight to another client. Without sleep, that would have been a long day. With the better quality of sleep I got in business class, the day went by just fine.
So yes, if you are flying for your work and you have important meetings right after arrival, flying business class might be worth it. Or, you could try to schedule an off-day on the day of arrival and just fly economy. That will also do just fine and save you some money.
I will probably never pay for business class tickets myself. If my company pays them because I have to work, that’s cool though! For holidays, I might as well extend the holiday by one day, which gives you just as much rest, a longer holiday, and less total costs.
Did you ever fly business class? Was it worth it in your opinion?