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Are Airlines Phasing Out First Class?

by Eugenia Lazaris

Nov 15, 2022

© Lorna Jane | Dreamstime.com


If you’ve ever considered splurging on first-class plane tickets, you no doubt discovered it is a luxury for the super-rich, especially if you are family travelers. With tickets running several thousands of dollars for a single passenger, many opt for the lower-priced business-class section, which offers plenty of privacy and creature comfort with less sticker shock.


For those willing to shell out the big bucks, first-class seats feel almost like you are on a private plane, with privacy and luxury dictating every aspect of the flight. Business class offers much of the same comfort but with slightly fewer perks and less privacy. That said, business class features the welcome comfort and lower price tag, making these mid-luxury seats in high demand.


You may have heard the recent rumors airlines are phasing out their pricey first-class sections because these seats are going unsold. While companies like American Airlines, the most recent subject of these rumors, aren’t exactly eliminating their first-class sections, they are paying attention to passengers trending toward investing more in a combination of luxury and meaningful travel experiences, while still looking for a good value.


Airlines are responding to customer demand by trending toward expanded premium-class sections, offering more of these in-demand seats to give passengers extra comfort, space and luxury at a price tag falling somewhere in the middle, allowing families to have the space they need and still find value in the price tag.


American Airlines, for example, plans to adapt several of its Boeing 777-300ER planes along with all of its Airbus A321T planes to include more of what they call Flagship Suite seats. Flagship Suite seats are business class-style seating, allowing passengers to fully recline and enjoy extra storage space and privacy doors. These premium seats add plenty of creature comfort for long-haul international flights and could be indicative of future aircraft trends as the world continues to reconnect with its love of travel.


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