One thing they don't mention is the proliferation of private terminals/lounges for commercial flights. There's a lot of these in LHR. They have their own security checkpoints, and you're ferried by limo straight to the plane, to board first. So you get some of the advantages of flying private, but at a much lower cost (still upwards of 10k a year to get a membership I believe)
There's also some weird bugs where economy class Malaysia Airlines leg would be inserted when searching for biz. Kiwi.com straight up renders 0 biz flights when using their continent-to-continent search.
It's like intermodal containers for people. For short-haul flights it could cut door-to-door travel time by 2/3, since so much of it is taken up by ground transportation, waiting, ticketing, waiting, security, waiting, rental car counters, and more waiting.
No. You seem to be ignoring basic physics: this pod would be huge, compared to the space currently occupied in a modern plane by your bodies and your luggage. Your idea would work if you're willing to pay 1st-class prices for airfare, maybe.
Apparently it's all about "safety" - all passengers are supposed to evacuate in 2 minutes or something. Apparently it's quite hard when you are in a pod or something.
I don't care about all the fancy stuff you get in biz, just wanna straighten my body (especially with 20 hour flights becoming a norm). Half of my femur doesn't even fit in economy seat. Heck I could even sleep on that cold as floor, but of course they won't let you.
So just pop all the pod passengers out their window portals like torpedos.
I’ve seen some designs over the years that would take advantage of this space, but think it’s unlikely.
The cost of developing an alternate design would be incredibly high (especially when you consider the safety and regulatory requirements), and the the net result is more comfortable seating that would cause a portion of highly- profitable business class travelers to move to these cheaper seats.
Maybe such an opportunity will be exploited by an upstart looking to grab market share.
Yep, 240 daily departures is about right, 8-14F is easy too because of their consistent fleet. They've also got load factors around 77% .
The first class terminal is inside Concourse A (and IIRC, it's a long way to any other concourses). There's 12 gates at Concourse A IIRC (each with direct boarding from the lounge). Assuming each is an A380 with 12F, that's a peak of 144 people, or right around 110 assuming F load factors are consistent with their fleet average (although I seriously doubt it).
It's napkin math obviously, without access to internal data. It's also not so easy as averaging because Emirates operates a partially banked hub at Dubai so there's a whole bunch of arrivals and departures clustered together (check their early morning departures).
The "not having to see/deal with other people while you're waited on" is the value proposition of the DXB F lounge. Each of the top-tier global airlines has a different service philosophy for catering to high-value pax. For instance, Singapore waits on you hand and foot hoping to anticipate anything you could want. Cathay Pacific on the other hand FAs tend to leave you alone assuming you value your privacy, and you're supposed to use the call button (which is basically a starters pistol -- seriously, they'll be there in 7 seconds flat).
As soon as your customers are abroad there is a lot of international travel involved for the management levels of any company. Although more and more companies are cutting back and making people fly coach :/
But lately, I have gotten very picky about which legs I will pay the premium for business class.
I follow the (very effective) jetlag avoidance rule of staying awake all the way through to the next local nighttime, and then going to bed tired after being awake 24-36 hours (even if my body clock thinks it's 10am or whatever).
In order to do this, however, I sometimes need to stay awake for the entire flight - and that is hard to do in a nice big comfortable seat. I also need to spend a few hours standing and reading in order to stay awake.
All of this makes the business class premium not worth paying. I don't want to be comfortable. I don't want the lie-flat bed.
So if my flight leaves Zurich at 15:00 and I am scheduled to land at SFO at 21:00, it would be silly for me to sleep on the flight for ~3 hours and then be wide awake at night when I land. In this example I fly coach and stay awake (and save $3k).
But if my flight leaves SFO at 22:00 and lands in Hong Kong at 12:00, I will pay for business class and actually sleep (and wake up about 3 hours pre-landing at 09:00 local time).
If you are doing three international flights a year for work, economy class is fine (I can catch up on movies). If you are doing them once a month, economy all the time can easily become rage inducing. Business class at that point becomes a matter of whether you retain that employee (who you need to travel a lot) or not.
As a fellow tall person, I've idly wondered (but no more than that) if there could be cause to petition for people above some height (6'2" maybe? hard to say since it's really hip height and femur length that matter) to be considered a protected class, requiring a free upgrade if a certain minimum leg room was not available in a standard seat. I've had to do trans-Atlantic flights with my knees smashed, surviving only by frequent standeeism and my wife's good graces letting me take up part of her seat space.
I've seen some people use devices to block the person in front of them from reclining, but I'd rather not be that level of asshole. On the other hand often on domestic flights my knees are that device.
Don't expect it to ever trigger the same reaction as obesity does, which is treated as a curse and an illness (regardless of the underlying cause and whether it can be fixed or not), and is much more likely to fall into a protected class via the "physical impairment that significantly limits your ability in one or more major areas of life" legal definition. There is no fear of public backlash, bad PR, etc. pushing companies into giving you any (positive) special treatment so you'll just have to deal with it.
To be honest I'll more than gladly live with the disadvantages of being tall (mostly related to seating situations) given the advantages. :)
I used to think this way, now my back has convinced me that it truly is a curse.
That probably sounds strange to some people, but I think this is an issue that is often ignored. I'm 5'9", which is by no means tall and is considered "average" height, yet all the men in my family have long femurs and high hips, but short torsos (the opposite of the typical Asian body ratio). Even at my moderate height, coach is extremely uncomfortable for me because I just can't get enough leg room to be able to relax and not contort myself.
Fortunately, I've noticed that when flying coach in SE Asia, the flight crew will put me (and the other Anglo-Saxon passengers if there are only a few) in the exit row to offset some of that.
Most of the times when I showed up with a full price company bought ticket (coach) they would offer an emergency exit seat even without me asking. Almost never when I traveled privately with the same airline but bought the cheapest coach tickets I could get.
Sometimes I fly low cost because I know I can get the extra leg room with minimal hassle.
The least they can do is make it comfortable.
A cheque (or flexible per firm) could do the job of the former.
For the latter, if I’m going somewhere nice, i’d Rather they book me a hotel room for a couple nights instead of a lie flat seat.
Being bunched up in an uncomfortable position for that long in coach vs being able to lie down is a huge difference.
For an overnight flight, it's the difference between just sleeping through it and (however many) hours of hell staring blearly forward in a pained stupor, losing consciousness for a few minutes before waking up to shrieking pains from your neck and shoulder, trying unsuccessfully to sleep in a more ergonomic position before you are so tired you cradle against the window again for that precious ten minutes before the strain and impingement shake you awake..
I've tried a couple different neck pillows and they don't work for me. My head has got to be tilted downward or to the side, no matter how sleep deprived I am.
Oh, and if I go a night w/out sleep, I'm going to be 100% useless the next day and have a major impact for the next couple days while I recover.
Check on seatguru before booking any flights.
The math here is simple.
I don't understand this logic. Time == money. Unless your presence is crucial and you must minimize your time away from your home office this approach seems the most logical and cost effective.
I'm already 100% remote, so I can contribute effectively whether I'm at home or in a hotel recuperating from a 12 hour APAC flight in coach.
It’s ok if you only fly once in a blue moon, but if you have to travel multiple times a month, you cannot just keep padding every trip with 2 days extra.
The same for flights requiring a connection. Want me to sit in an airport reading HN for +$20/hr? Ok.
What I would like is an engine where I can punch in the various kinds of pain per hour I can tolerate and book that.
You'd have to completely finish boarding for lower classes and then give a decent grace period for first class passengers to just show up at their leisure.
Also first class (and often business) are kinda separated so no one stares you down.
I fly premium economy sometimes and you're the first to board and sit upfront and then you have to watch everybody walking by!
It's a world of difference between premium economy and business, sigh.
Norwegian Air Shuttle had a pretty cool idea with their premium cabin. It's not crazy expensive but the seats are so much better!
When I'm flying economy (most of the time) I always avoid staring at business passengers so they don't feel awkward as well.
"When developers go to a conference, do they fly first class? (I don’t care if that seems like a waste of money. Stars go first class. Get used to it.) "
Check out these:
- Pure Data (http://puredata.info/)
- Max (https://cycling74.com/products/max-features)
- My own (discontinued): http://www.nitrogenlogic.com/docs/palace/
My MO with technology is that easy things should be automated, and hard things should be made easier. Visual programming is one tool in the toolbox for leveling up technology and people's access to it.
GoAnywhere is mostly-visual programming that puts light ETL within reach of business analysts. https://i.imgur.com/ypH6IZC.png
Yes empowering people is great, but we live in age where software developement is about to get regulated, people routinely die from seemingly innocent systems.
With great power comes great responsibility.
The rare times I fly first it's just upgrades due to frequent flyer status
The trick to getting most upgrades from business to first is to request the upgrade as soon as you book the biz class flight. You're not likely to get it if you try to do it at the airport.
1) You don't have any holidays coming up: Go to the dedicated desk for first/platinum, about 2h before departure. Just check in and if business is full your status will get you pushed up
2) You do plan on taking holidays: Same, but the first question you ask is "do you need volunteers for downgrade?". Trust me, on Emirates they make it worth your while :)
Edit: the protip is the weekday Emirates India-Dubai flights that leave in the small hours of the morning (e.g. 2am). I guarantee the business section will always be overbooked
Premium airlines (eg Qatar) have long since realized that there simply isn't sufficient demand for first-class so their newer planes don't even have a first class cabin. A big factor is the business class is the new first class. To compare to flying 20+ years ago on international long haul:
- You'd be flying on a 747
- Economy would be slightly larger probably
- What was then "business" is probably more akin to premium economy now with better food
- Business now is better than first class then but first class then probably has more hand-holding. I mean look at a Qatar Qsuite if you want to see how far business has come.
I heard a story when Concorde was shelved that the decision to retire the product was:
- Planes would need to be brought up to modern standards, which was going to be expensive for 13 (originally 14) planes for a relatively small market. Seriously, the interior of those planes are small; and
- Retiring Concorde would bring passengers who would otherwise fly Concorde to flying first-class, which at the time was much more profitable.
Not sure how close to the truth this is but I can believe it. Obviously it's sad that we lost a capability we once had (crossing the Atlantic in <4 hours) but I wonder if BA/AF looked at this too short term. I mean sure first-class is (was) more profitable but then you're competing with every other airline when supersonic was a duopoly with a barrier to entry that was practically infinite.
A friend compared first class today to having a handler for the duration of the trip.
The apartment/suite class is a relatively new marketing gimmick that has nothing to do with traditional first class.
You do sometimes get meals but they’re the old standard inedible coach meals I mostly pass on.
Added: Wasn’t aware of mostly recent premium economy additions on some airlines. I was taking it as a synonym for Economy Plus.
On domestic flights there's "Comfort" seats, which give you more legroom (and free snacks and drinks on US domestic flights). On international flights "Comfort" seats still exist, but on some flights there's true premium economy, which does have wider seats (e.g. the A350 on Delta's fleet is 2-4-2 seating in premium economy vs 3-3-3 in coach).
You get better meal service (my experience on Delta is it's plated and brought out in a similar fashion to domestic first class) and domestic parts of the journey will sometimes book into first class.
Comfort pricing is usually $50-150 more per leg vs coach. Premium economy is usually somewhere in between coach and business, leaning a bit more towards the coach side.
Reminds me of the ol’ USB High Speed vs. USB Full Speed. I still don’t remember which one is faster.
Added: Ah, haven’t seen it because it’s just starting to roll out on United.
I've flown PEs more like yours but this seems to be a factor more of US domestic airlines and is certainly not universal.
For Business class I'd expect the normal 'dedicated' security and checking, lounge, and 'fast' boarding, and a flat bed but that's about it.
First class pays for the flight and the rest is filled up so no space goes to waste.
First of all, fuel use goes down with less weight. One first class passenger reduces weight substantially vs. a claimed 3-9 economy passengers. Secondly, airlines don't like to fly with a lot of unused capacity, be that passenger seats or weight capacity. Many planes carry extra cargo if there's consistently extra weight available.
Now, then you get into economic effects: the presence of the lighter first class passengers allows more cargo to be brought, which reduces demand, which reduces the cargo price, which encourages more polluting air freight. But that, of course, is far more complex to calculate.
Ultimately I'm just not satisfied with any estimate of CO2 emitted by flying in general. Every estimate I've seen has critical flaws in it and neglects at least one major component of flying. I completely believe that flying is responsible for a large amount of CO2 emissions, but exactly how much I don't think anyone knows for sure.
Has anyone here seen a decent model of CO2 output caused by flying?
The CO2 impact of flying, and of flying first-class, is understood incredibly well and quite simple to follow for first-order effects.
First, to calculate the emissions associated with the sector as a whole, you don't need any modeling. If you know how much of what fuel the sector as a whole consumes, you can determine co2 emissions directly from that fact. That's how those broader statistics are determined.
Second, losing one passenger impacts the fuel economy per person in a very negative way. Consider an Airbus A321, which is one of the more efficient commercial airplanes. Wikipedia states that its max takeoff weight is 93,000kg. Suppose it's configured to seat 220 people. That means 422kg of weight being transported per person. A typical airline seat weighs 11kg and an average adult is over 70kg. If you assume an average of 50kg per person for luggage, each person's marginal contribution to the weight being transported is 131kg. The rest is coming from moving the plane itself. So, if you replace two small seats with one big one, that one seat now goes from having a share of 422kg to (422 * 2 - 131) = 713kg. That's an increase of 69%.
Edit: I realized I'm looking at max capacity for total weight but not max weights per passenger, which means my guess of the plane weight is overstated. But I also didn't account for the fact that first class also requires more flight attendants on the flight. These two things counter each other. The net increase is likely something other than 69%, but that's not too far off.
Yes, there are other market impacts from using first class, but there's no basis for thinking those are anywhere close to the impact described above. (E.g., you can do the calculations for offsetting 50kg of cargo from another plane.)
What's a little less certain is the impact of radiative forcing. CO2 emissions are a dangerously _understated_ way to think about climate impacts of flying. CO2e (co2 equivalent) is more relevant. When you release water vapor, NOx, etc. into the atmosphere at higher elevations, there are all sorts of other impacts that occur at different timescales. The IPCC recommends multiplying by a factor of 2.7x to account for that. Other studies are a bit lower, maybe 1.9x, but there's general agreement that it's very bad. The specifics still need to be understood a bit better.
People have incredible wishful thinking when it comes to flying because it's so convenient. It is impossible to act responsibly towards the environment and engage in air travel with any form of technology that exists today or that we know of. It's hard to imagine many things more hypocritical than first-class passengers who also claim environmental concern.
No, it's not! If you look at NGOs and charities, you find massively different numbers, even for flights with the same characteristics.
I have yet to find a decent model that takes into account everything: cargo, class, seat layouts, personal weight, etc etc. For example, Googling tells me every extra kg of weight burns 0.2-0.7kg of fuel per flight (naturally highly dependent on flight time, aircraft type, current weight etc etc.) If you take 3.15 g CO2/g fuel, and a 2.7x CO2e factor, that's 8.5 kg CO2e/kg fuel. So someone weighing 136 kg (several million Americans weigh more than this ) will cause up to 511.7 kg CO2e more emissions than someone weighing 50 kg will! That's more than half a ton of CO2e, and that's just in a simple body weight difference! Throw in a checked bag and a heavier carryon and you're well on your way to a ton of extra CO2e per person for longer flights.
The case of first class also depends strongly on airline-dependent factors: how many economy passengers a first class seat displaces, as well as the weight of the first class seat/bed and other things taken along to improve the journey for first class (blankets? food? a large wine selection? additional attendants, as you mentioned?)
It's an equation with an insane number of variables, as well as economic effects. Example:
There's a weekly (short) flight from <island> to <mainland> that's barely profitable, kept alive by a few passengers flying in first class. In this case, the impact of the first class is huge! Airport fees and taxes ensure that the profits from each additional economy passenger are low, but every first class passenger has a very high impact on the viability of the route.
Furthermore, like you said, there's radiative forcing caused by aviation, of which CO2 only contributes perhaps half. Contrails can contribute far more to global warming than CO2 emissions can, for a flight, depending on the weather. There are NOx emissions which have a cooling effect, which is based on altitude. So a short flight in warm weather in South America will have a much different emissions profile than a long-haul from Canada to Iceland.
I'm going to make a bold claim: the CO2e per passenger kilometer can vary by at least one order of magnitude depending on the flight characteristics (airline, weather, route, direction, location, aircraft, etc) - before you take class into account!
Aside from those two sentences, nothing you've written contradicts anything I'm saying, and it's mostly orthogonal to the point.
It is obviously true that a lot of factors can affect the weight of an airplane, and the CO2e impact of a flight will vary based on that weight. And weight is one of many factors, as you mention at the end. But just because something is complicated and may seem overwhelming does not mean that the academic community engaged in researching the topic doesn't understand it.
It isn't possible to know a priori what the impact of a specific flight will be, and it isn't practical to determine the exact ratio of impact of a first-class to economy passenger on one specific flight. But nobody is making that claim, since that isn't how people think about systems in any large-scale domain like this. Instead, we look at large data sets and examine statistical relationships.
Your comment seems to be imply that because the system is high-variance with many variables, it is impossible to understand it in useful ways. That is clearly not the case. If it were, we wouldn't be unable to make decisions about virtually anything in the world outside of extremely narrow domains, and rational policy-making would be impossible. The number of variables in this domain is nothing compared to public health, for example. We can talk about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing infection even though there are a million variables affecting it with numerous outlier cases. In the same way, we can talk about the impact of flying first-class. (In fact, we can do better re: flying because there we have better analytical modeling in addition to the datasets.)
You claim that one would find massively different numbers among researchers. That hasn't been my experience as I've sought ought out detailed information online. Here are just a few references as a starting point:
* 2008 Union of Concerned Scientists: https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/greentravel_report.pdf -- Chapter 2 is on air travel and very high-level, but Appendix B provides more detailed numbers across various parameters. It only considers CO2, not CO2e.
* 2009 academic study, Oxford prof: https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/energy/downloads/jardine09-carboninflights.pdf -- finds that on average, there's a 2x difference in per-passenger emissions between the most dense and least dense seating configurations.
* 2013 World Bank study: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/141851468168853188/pdf/WPS6471.pdf -- outlines analytical models that include the different variables you're mentioning (and many more), and examines variance in the results as those parameters are adjusted.
[Note, I said in my original answer that the impact of radiative forcing is still being understood, so I'm not talking about that. I intentionally said that CO2 impact is well understood at the start and called out CO2e as a distinct notion for that reason.]
> I'm going to make a bold claim: the CO2e per passenger kilometer can vary by at least one order of magnitude depending on the flight characteristics (airline, weather, route, direction, location, aircraft, etc) - before you take class into account!
That's not a bold claim at all; it's just irrelevant. A cross-country flight on an old plane with a couple layovers in bad weather that has to refuel unexpectedly and is only half-full will have an order of magnitude worse impact on the climate than the best case non-stop scenario. But if one asks, "what is the impact of flying first-class vs economy?", one is not asking "what is the impact of flying first-class in the best possible case vs flying economy in the worst possible case?".
Sure, but you're discussing something completely different from what I care about. Nobody is forced to not wear a condom for work, and you can't buy "condom credits" to offset not wearing a condom. The individual calculus of flying (and whether to fly based on emissions) is completely different from wearing or not wearing a condom.
Ultimately, I can only control my own flying and my own donations, and that's what I'm interested in here. I think I should've been more clear: what I'm looking for is something where I can, as a passenger, see the CO2e of my flight. If I fly DL 259 in economy, what will be the impact of this? If I have the option, does it make sense to replace this with (say) 3 round trip economy flights on KL 1385? (for example, one important conference vs 3 less important ones.) What will it cost to offset my flight?
I took a look at the 3 links you provided and I can't say I'm convinced. The UCS one has pretty pictures, but ignores CO2e which is inexcusable as that is where the bulk of the issue is. I don't see anything resembling an established model from those; it seems to be simply just people gathering (mostly) theoretical data and putting it into Excel. In particular, I am really not convinced that anyone has a good understanding of the factors involved in CO2e and from what I can tell the literature supports me on this.
Quoting one of your own links: different methodologies are responsible for a factor of 2 difference in CO2e and "there is as yet no internationally agreed and adopted methodology for the calculation of aviation emissions" (from Dr. Jardine's report)
>>> I'm going to make a bold claim: the CO2e per passenger kilometer can vary by at least one order of magnitude depending on the flight characteristics (airline, weather, route, direction, location, aircraft, etc) - before you take class into account!
>That's not a bold claim at all; it's just irrelevant.
It's absolutely a bold claim to 99% of people. Nearly everywhere, from large newspapers to "calculator" sites to social media, people do not realize that the emissions for a flight are very individual to that specific flight. If you asked random travelers, I bet nearly none would expect things like seating configuration or weather to strongly affect emissions. If you told some random people that by choosing a densely seated plane they could strongly reduce their emissions I bet they'd be interested!
I have some experience with this topic. I _did_ start a clean energy company that has had notable and measurable impact over the past ten years or so. And I have flown cross-country for work more often than I would like. It's justifiable to the extent the travel leads to benefits generated from the work. But the truth is that an honest personal accounting of this is difficult. In some cases, the travel is really valuable and in other cases we just want to imagine it is for ego-centric or other reasons. Regardless, flying first-class vs economy is really never needed for work purposes; it's purely a matter of luxury.
Causing harm for the purposes of luxury, attempting to buy your way out of it, and then claiming righteousness is, in my view, hypocritical.
I should mention that I am a fan of well-structured carbon offsets, but only when avoidance is really infeasible. But offsets do not justify waste in the same way that recycling does not justify greater consumption.
Old jets and old cars are much less efficient than their modern equivalents, and airlines need sufficient capital and demand in order to invest in new vehicles.
There's also the common misconception that buying a newer more efficient car is bad for the environment due to manufacturing. That is very rarely true:
We need to solve environmental issues by moving forward and innovating, rather than attempting to get 7.5 billion to agree to reduce their standard of living.
Indulgences did not actually offset the negative externalities, where as carbon-credits do, at least to a significant extent, so I'm not sure the two are directly comparable.
What is needed is collective action, i.e. policy/regulation/laws/taxes, not individuals making sacrifices.
It's an American thing mostly. It's absurd. I think a lot of people at those levels just want to avoid their families. And the businesses are reckless on spending and allocation of time resources.
Ticket: $178 (the fare that shows up on initial search)
Luggage fee: $40
Taxes and Fees: $35
Exit Row Seat which may or may not be crowded: $65 (each way)
Actual Cost: $400 (Numbers SWAG'd, but that's approx what it costs to round trip from Denver to Baltimore)
All I want to do is take a 2 hour flight in relative comfort and the whole thing's a bait n switch.
That doesn't include the TSA Grope, the 'no fluids pass security', $12 a day far out distant remote parking, nor leaving the extra time to handle all of the extra fallderal.
I can see people getting disenfranchised with the whole deal.
But I will never ride it again because it is so poorly managed. I needed to be at work the next morning, but they canceled our train at the last minute because of icy weather in New York (how have we not figured out how to solve for coldness yet) and I had to take an extra vacation day and leave the next morning instead. Such absolute nonsense.
No in-flight drinking, though.
I've had the privilege of flying international first and business class flights several times over past few years using points (including Singapore Suites), and business class has gotten so good (lie flat reverse herringbone configuration) that there's hardly a difference between the two except a slightly bigger seat and marginally better food but 3x the price.
We are living in the golden age of business class travel.
I've had the privilege of flying 300k+ miles in Emirates over the last 2 years, mostly in business, and including a few first class segments through upgrades and I can also say that there is not much difference between business and first other than individualized service and better wine/spirits.
As another poster has mentioned Premium Economy is where business was about 15-20 years ago - and the PE segment is growing significantly in the airline business as they try to capture revenue in the "comfort gap" segment between economy and business.
As this segment grows, and becomes more attractive to accountants, during the next economic contraction I expect that there will be a lot of corporate travel policies that will push travelers down into PE, so let's enjoy it while we can.
Edit: To put numbers on it, each American emits 16,500 kg of CO2 per year, 2400 gallons of jet fuel emits 21,360 kg of CO2. So it's more like one American's emissions in a year.
That still seems horrible to me.
IMO, the main advantage of flying private is the convenience of getting to bypass the whole airport experience. At least on the small business jet flights I've been on, the actual flight is less comfortable. The interior has nicer decor, but it's also cramped and noisy. And then, yeah, you have to eat nothing but rice and lentils for the next two months to try and offset the carbon.
But in this case you have to compare U.S. domestic business class to private travel, where I would argue the in-flight experience is still better on a small private jet. (I guess unless you are sharing a jet like the services you mention)
If you're talking about first class, as this article is, then you're talking about long international flights. The cramped and noisy private jets won't take you non-stop from NYC to Tokyo, for example.
Edit: I neglected to convert for the average American's carbon footprint (about 16500 kg CO2/yr as stated elsewhere in the thread). Each of the 6 Citation pax emits (21 lbs CO2/gal * 1000 lbs / 6.7 lbs/gal) = ~3.1k lbs CO2, or ~1400 kg CO2 during the flight—about 1/10 of the average yearly footprint.
Note that "Premium Economy" is a newer term being thrown around and is different than Economy Plus, Comfort Plus and such that airlines throw around to denote the same economy seats with an extra 6 inches in front of you and maybe a free drink/snack.
First is like business, except your coat gets its own closet next to your seat, and you get Johnnie Walker Blue instead of Red like the plebes in business class ;)
Like I've been on flights with value economy, economy, economy plus, economy premium, business, first, first (premier? Or something). I've also been on flights that were "general," but if you paid 44$ extra you get a giant padded seat easily as big as or bigger than some first class seats I've seen.
See e.g. https://onemileatatime.com/emirates-a380-first-class-vs-busi...
I know people who fly first class between say, Heathrow and JFK, mostly for the VIP hand-holding at both airports, that can save you a lot of time.
Some airlines even have four class planes with the rise of premium economy.
We're here to learn, not to downvote dissenting or uneducated opinions. HN should be about becoming more correct, not just promoting those who are already 'right.'
Threads on climate change are one of the best comparisons, where people could argue they didn't believe it and others would (mostly) debate rather than downvote: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10691804
I fly business-class only for long hauls, especially if the airfare is covered and if I am supposed to be wide-awake a cogent the day following the trip. I usually specify contractually that flights longer than four hours are to be business-class or better.
I usually prefer the premium-economy seating because it is, for me, much more comfortable than the business-class seats.
A recent premium-economy transcontinental trip on an Air France A380 was, without question, the very best ever.
Recent business-class seats have, for me, much in common with the rack, a mid-evil torture instrument; the design is such that there is no way to get physically comfortable since lying on my back is not an option.
They should make these guys go carbon neutral by installing CO2 scrubbers or similar for every plane they sell. There's no reason we all have to suffer the consequences of the super rich wasteful behaviour.
The percent of CO2 emissions from private jets is <1% in the US. Democracy shouldn’t be two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner.
After all, and using you metaphor, these are the same wolves that said the sheep's car needed a catalytic converter ... and improved safety equipment.
I know first class still exists but every time I fly biz class, that cabin is the ultimate premium cabin for the flight. There might be premium economy or whatever but biz class is functionally first class for the airlines and routes I typically fly (Delta, Air France)
As an aside, the new Delta One suites are _amazing_ and have totally ruined even "regular" business class lay-flat seats for me.
As a result, airlines are struggling to sell first. First cabins are regularly half empty. I've had many flights where I'm the only passenger in the first cabin, or with every guest having a separate seat for lounging and sleeping given low load factors.
A decade ago, business class wasn't so good, with angle-flat or recliner seats. Even when the seats were lie-flat, they were seldom private and with direct aisle access. It wasn't a comfortable experience, so for those who could, going first made sense.
This has led many airlines to reduce first class, or ditch it entirely. Singapore's first class product went from 8 seats to 4. United killed its GlobalFirst product entirely. American hardly has any routes. Malaysian is ditching first. In the western hemisphere, the only airlines with a real first class product left are Swiss, Lufthansa, and Air France. British and American also offer first, though have a poor non-competitive product.
Asia and the middle east is the only place left where first class is alive and strong. (The lands of the nouveau riche)
Even Premium Economy on Lufthansa is basically what Business Class used to be - wider, bigger seats, no shared armrests, power ports, a large TV, unlimited drinks, food served on real plates with real knives and forks. You do need to share a lav with Economy, though. You even get a kit of an eye mask and other goodies.
That said, I'd love to one day fly the first class where they have a bar. Would be cool to sip cocktails and chat with fellow travelers!
The whole meme was to make people walk through first class so that they would see what they're missing. Problem is, most people are doing domestic hops and in most cases they just aren't missing that much (I regularly do a 2 hop 40 minute then 1 hour flight that doesn't even finish drink service by the time you're ready to land).
International sure and I'm sure the airlines make sure they make bank on those flights. But if I'm going to take maybe 1 international round trip every couple of years I'm probably not going to spring for first class if I can instead put that money into whatever I'm doing where I'm going.
IIRC, the only domestic airline in America with first-class is American Airlines. The other legacy carriers have gotten rid of it, premium economy is one of the fastest growing classes of air fare.
On individual flights this no doubt happens, one class being full the other empty. But if first-class travel is down across the board, and prices are not adjusted accordingly, we might be in a situation where the poor are indeed subsidizing the rich.
 Let's not kid ourselves. Economy cabins are always packed.
Premium economy seems to be the best compromise for this situation that the market has come up with. There's still economy to stay competitive against other airlines for passengers who want to pay bottom dollar, but provide a bit more comfort and amenities without being too exorbitantly expensive. Passenger gets treated a little better, and the airlines make a bit of margin.
I think it depends on your perspective. On a daily basis any ticket above economy is a win, a more profitable ticket to be sold. On a larger scale, when airlines are determining how much space to allocate to various classes, economy does seem to be where the bulk of money comes from.
If this weren't the case, more airlines would operate flights like that. There isn't any conspiracy between airlines to minimize plane space for economy seats. The reality is that currently, the premium classes subsidize economy and not the other way around like you originally suggested.
If you look at a United 777 , they don't even have a first class and nowhere near a third of the aircraft is "Polaris business class". Most domestic flights are like this, business class (or premium class or whatever they call the upgrade from economy plus) is usually full too because they bump people, people use miles to upgrade, or they offer cheap last minute upgrades.
They are not always packed. It depends on the route. I've been flying DXB-KUL too many times and I end up with two empty seats next to me. Free first class.
Different strokes, different markets.
Unit economics for commercial aviation have changed substantially since the industry's inception.