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Business Class Now Comes With Fewer Perks. Should It Be Cheaper?

As long as planes are still flying, passengers will be on board. And, especially since upgrading may be the best way to social distance, it makes sense to fly business class if you have the points or cash to afford it. But, while business class fares are still flying, the perks they offer just aren’t the same.

Reduced Service

Many lounges are closed, and food and drink service once you board is severely curtailed if not altogether absent. Or, as the FlyerTalker who posed the question put it:

Food offering minimal, no alcohol, no Concorde room lounge or food or drink, no showers, no cabana, no spa treatment, no arrivals lounge or showers or breakfast facilities etc.

I completely support these decisions on the basis of health and safety, so I have no complaint here on that nor expectation of compensation.

And, it should be said, this FlyerTalker is talking about a non-refundable cash ticket, purchased before the lounges closed and other amenities were cut back. So, should they be compensated or partially reimbursed?


Let us know in the comments section, or see what the Very Frequent Fliers in this FlyerTalk forum thread have to say.


[Image Source: FlyerTalk]

Lord Bowdon April 9, 2020

Absolutely there should be compensation of some sort. Four days before the travel ban, I completed a round-the-world on One World on a paid business class ticket. Four intermediate stops, six lounges, 80 hours total travel time, 40 hours in lounges. If the lounges had been closed, it could be argued that I had lost "half the value" of my time, because I used those lounges to work, eat, drink, shower, sleep. Obviously that was not half the cost incurred by the airline, because they had to move me, but I would certainly expect to receive six non-expiring One-World lounge passes if they had been closed. International Business Class is always marketed with included (superior) lounge access, which is why 75% of the time, I buy it for international flights Removing it, for whatever reason, takes away a significant part of the experience and the passenger should be compensated.

mvoight April 6, 2020

If people booked before the benefits were reduced they should be compensated. Of course, they are generally able to cancel, get credit, and then rebook at the current lower fares

mvoight April 5, 2020

CapRoger - If the airline canceled the flight you should be able to get a refund, even on a no refundable flight.

Caesonia April 4, 2020

I think that first class has been reduced in a way that is ridiculous. It's about service, not just the seat. CV19 should not be used as an excuse to not even offer a can of beer. Only bottled water. I think they can offer the beer and wine in a bottle/can and let you unscrew it. How is that any different than handing you a bottle of water from a 'touch' perspective. It's CHEAP. Secondly, for those who have paid for lounge service, there should be something available, and it should actually serve food and alcohol and other fluids. Change the fare, change how it is offerd, but that money has been paid. It will keep people working, even if we can't use it. Shutting them is a money saving action, moving the dollars we paid for that to other areas, instead of the actual service. Yes, if you are cheapening the experience to having to buy your own food? Then forget calling it 1st class. It isn't. And it isn't keeping folks safer or employed.

alangore April 4, 2020

It would be perfectly logical to issue compensation for reduced J and F amenities on previously purchased tickets. Unfortunately, we're dealing with airlines here. If they can see an opportunity to jerk the leash another notch tighter on passengers, they will take it. This situation is our own fault for not insisting on specified consumer standards in exchange for the bailout.