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What you don’t know about Coach / Economy and Business / First class

Did you know that you may have purchased an airline ticket for $500 and a person sitting next to you on the plane might have paid $1200 for the same economy or coach class ticket?

This is very common and normal. Many air travelers do not know that there are different levels of the ticket fares. There may be about ten different levels for economy or coach class tickets and several levels for business/ first class airline tickets. The only major differences between them are the price and the rules.

The very cheapest international airline tickets or domestic tickets in coach class would be the most restrictive. It means that if you want to change a flight or cancel a ticket, these tickets maybe unchangeable or non-refundable or maybe changed or refunded only for a fee. The next airfare levels would offer you higher priced tickets that would have less restrictions or lower fees. You can find unrestricted coach class tickets that can be changed or cancelled with no fee, but these usually cost at least 5 times more than the cheapest airline tickets in the lowest fare levels. The unrestricted coach classes usually are M, B, Y. Sometimes some of these service classes could be upgraded to business or first class at no cost or for a very nominal fee (depending on the airlines rules and specials they run).

Similarly, you will find differences between first and business service classes. We separate business and first class because some airlines have only business class, some have only first and others might have both business and first classes. Depending on your destination, these tickets might cost you 10 or more times the coach class ticket or only couple hundred more. If you take the US domestic flight, there will not be huge prepayment required for the business class ticket. However, if you fly internationally, and especially if you fly oversees, the business or first class tickets might cost a fortune to an average Joe, like 10 or more times the coach class ticket cost.

If you are on a budget and trying to get from Houston to Frankfurt, purchasing the cheapest international airline tickets would be your only option. Purchase the cheapest airline tickets and see the world for less money. If you’re on a budget, but still want to have a shot and try out business class. You might be able to do this as well. You might get lucky and could be upgraded to business or first class if flights are overbooked. Another, more realistic way is to fly stand by. If you know someone or can find someone who works for an airline, you may get a so called buddy pass.  Airline employees get several buddy passes each year that they can pass onto their friends or family. This is not free, so you will need to pay airport taxed and small percentage on the ticket. The best part about these is that if the flight is not oversold, you have a very good chance to end up in business class.

Good luck!



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