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What is Business Economy?

  • avatar
    Jonathan Chum

What is business economy? Business economy is a specific class on the plane that is between first class and coach.

If you are booking a plane ticket, you are probably going to see lots of options available. You are probably used to seeing coach and first class. Now, there are lots of other options available as well. One new option that you may see from time to time is business economy. Is this something that you should click? We have flown all over the world, and we have flown in every class, including business economy. Therefore, trust us when we discuss business economy with you.

We are going to cover the different seating classes briefly. Then, we are going to take a deeper look at business economy. Learn more about this option below!

What Are the Different Classes?

As airlines have expanded, new seating options have opened up. Therefore, there are more seating options than there ever have been in the past. Some of the most common flying options include:

  • Coach: Coach is the most common class on an airplane. If you are looking to fly somewhere for a low price, then coach is probably the best option for you. Even though the seats may be a little bit tight, and you may sit farther toward the back of the plane, you should still be comfortable. You should also still have access to complimentary beverages services.
  • First Class: The other most common option is first class. First class is the most expensive flying option. You got to sit at the front of the plane with much larger seats. Furthermore, you will also have access to better snacks and beverages (usually). Finally, the biggest benefit of flying first class comes on international flights. In some cases, the seats will recline completely into a bed, making it easier for you to fall asleep. Of course, you also pay a premium for this type of option.
  • Business Economy: Finally, it is also important to take a look at business economy. Business economy Falls somewhere between first class and coach; however, business economy is certainly closer to coach than first class. In some situations, the only difference between business economy and coach is a little bit of extra legroom. On international flights, this difference may be more pronounced. Before you book a ticket that has been labeled as business economy, it is important for you to understand exactly how much extra money this is going to be and the added benefits you will enjoy.

These are the most common flying options. You may also see an option called basic economy. Basic economy is a fair that is even lower than coach; however, it comes with a lot of additional restrictions, including having to pay to select a seat before you get to the airport. Basic economy and business economy may sound similar, but they are very different, so keep your eyes open.

Is Business Economy Expensive?

Business economy is not necessarily expensive. Usually, a ticket for business economy is not going to cost that much more money than a ticket for coach; however, similar to flying coach, the price of a ticket in the business economy class can vary widely with the other factors that impact plane tickets. On a domestic flight, the difference between a business economy and coach ticket may be negligible. On the other hand, on an international flight that crosses the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean, the difference between a ticket and business economy and coach can be significant. If you notice that there is a major difference between the price of a coach ticket and the price on a business economy ticket, make sure you understand the benefits you are getting with a business economy ticket. They may not always be significant.

Do They Have Business Economy on Every Flight?

No, business economy is not going to be an option on every flight. On a plane that is particularly small, business economy may not be an option. Furthermore, not every flight has first class tickets either. In general, the larger the plane is, the more likely business economy is an option.

International flights will almost always have business economy. Tickets to cross the continental United States will also probably have business economy as a choice. On the other hand, a flight that is only an hour and a half may not have business economy at all.

Can I Upgrade for Free?

So, should you fly business economy? Is it worth the upgrade? That depends on what you are tolerance level is when it comes to flying coach. There are some cases when flying business economy will only provide you with a bit of extra legroom. There are other situations are flying business economy will provide you with other upgrades as well, such as better food, snacks, or access to various forms of entertainment.

If you are wondering how to save money on upgrades, there are situations where you may be upgraded to business economy for free. In particular, if you have a reward account, preferred status, or elite status with an airline, they may upgrade you to business economy for free. This is more likely to happen if there are open seats in business economy, and they would like to sell an extra coach ticket. Therefore, keep your eyes open for free upgrades, as you may be offered them from time to time.

Understand Your Flying Options

When you are booking a plane ticket, you will have multiple options at your disposal. Even though you would probably like to save as much money as possible, there are certain situations where flying business economy can be worth it. Furthermore, if you fly with a specific airline on a regular basis, they may upgrade you to a business economy ticket for free if they have a seat available. Make sure you understand the difference between business economy and coach, as this can vary from flight to flight.