One of the biggest perks of travelling for business is to fly business class, but in recent years business class has declined to the point of only being able to choose a seat and get on the plane first.
This reduced, cheaper service may benefit business budgets, however in our highly connected world the time spent travelling could be spent working on your next big project. So, is business class worth it? And what other options are available to the business traveller?
The limitations of business class
Business class is designed to be more profitable for the airlines than for your business. Is it wise to spend £1000 (or much more) extra for a bit of extra legroom and a few more drinks?
With the quality of that service getting worse the prices still remain the same; travelling in business class does not have the same meaning as 20 years ago. In addition, short haul flights around Europe are starting to remove business class from their service as what they offer should hardly be considered to be worth an extra £100 to get on the plane first.
Your flight in business class is still on the same plane as other commercial passengers. That thin curtain does not stop the screaming baby in the front row of economy from being heard. Although most commercial aviation companies offer Wi-Fi now, it is difficult to focus on work with such distractions.
Being a commercial flight also has the possibility of long delays, missing meetings at your destination and wasting time in airports struggling with slow Wi-Fi.
What are the alternatives?
There are a number of different options that have the business class feel, but more suited to regular travellers.
Chartered flights are one such option. You can pay a yearly membership fee or pay a one off fee, which can be up to £10,000 as you are renting the entire aircraft. The obvious problem here is the very high cost, and even if you do pay a membership you are not guaranteed a seat on the plane and may still struggle with other passengers.
Another option is to fly with a private jet. A newly launched service JetClass offers travellers to travel for the same price as business class without the additional membership fee. Business travellers will be given a luxury experience without buying the plane. For frequent business travellers spending less time in the departure lounges and more time with clients after a relaxing flight is almost too tempting to refuse.