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8 reasons why first-class airfare is so expensive

Business Insider Logo By Hillary Hoffower of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 9: First-class plane tickets can cost as much as 70% more than economy airfare, and even more for international flights.Such a high price tag makes flying first class an unattainable dream for many travelers.It's so expensive, in part, because it enables airlines to offer other tickets at a discount; it comes with coveted perks and pampering; and customers are willing to pay for it. First class has come a long way since the days when extra leg room was considered luxurious. From offering meals by Michelin-starred chefs to in-flight showers, today's first-class experience offers so much more than it used to. One could call it a first-class hotel in the sky. But all that jet-set glamour comes at a steep cost - as much as a 70% increase in fares compared to economy, possibly even more if you're flying internationally. Currently, an American Airlines economy flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City to Heathrow Airport in the UK in July 2018 is $915. If you're flying first class on the same airline, that cost increases to $5,407. Unless you're savvy with your airline miles and points, this high price tag renders first class an unattainable dream for many passengers. As someone who hates being crammed like a sardine in a can for eight-plus hours but is far from being able to afford the ultimate upgrade - and has yet to master the art of nabbing a plane's prime real estate for next to nothing - I can't help but question why first class has to be so out of reach. Here, eight reasons why first class is so expensive.

  • First-class plane tickets can cost as much as 70% more than economy airfare, and even more for international flights.
  • Such a high price tag makes flying first class an unattainable dream for many travelers.
  • It's so expensive, in part, because it enables airlines to offer other tickets at a discount; it comes with coveted perks and pampering; and customers are willing to pay for it.
  • First class has come a long way since the days when extra leg room was considered luxurious.

    From offering meals by Michelin-starred chefs to in-flight showers, today's first-class experience offers so much more than it used to. One could call it a first-class hotel in the sky.

    But all that jet-set glamour comes at a steep cost - as much as a 70% increase in fares compared to economy, possibly even more if you're flying internationally.

    Currently, an American Airlines economy flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City to Heathrow Airport in the UK in July 2018 is $915. If you're flying first class on the same airline, that cost increases to $5,407.

    Unless you're savvy with your airline miles and points, this high price tag renders first class an unattainable dream for many passengers.

    As someone who hates being crammed like a sardine in a can for eight-plus hours but is far from being able to afford the ultimate upgrade - and has yet to master the art of nabbing a plane's prime real estate for next to nothing - I can't help but question why first class has to be so out of reach.

    Here, eight reasons why first class is so expensive.

    © Thai Airways

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