HomeAir LineThe success of premium economy: This is how airlines improve the sky

The success of premium economy: This is how airlines improve the sky

After the pandemic, airlines launched a new space on their planes, a step up from economy class, which promised comfort at affordable prices. This translation of the aspirational middle class’s desires for seating space and in-flight menu has been a success.

Have you heard about tourist class syndrome? It is well documented that on long-haul flights and conditions of forced immobility in confined spaces, one in every thousand passengers on commercial flights experience symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, a potentially serious condition.

To combat it, airlines, in the first decade of our century, began offering additional space between seats, an additional 15 to 30 centimeters, which is the difference between stifling tightness and complete comfort for anyone willing to pay more money. You have read well. Not more space for everyone on prescription, but a discretionary improvement in aviation sanitary conditions for the new high-flying middle class, those who can’t (or don’t want to) buy a plane ticket. a job Or first class, but at a slightly higher rate to get rid of the restrictions Economy.

We know today that this business maneuver with questionable ethics was the embryo of the privileged economic class, whose popularity has increased after the severity of the epidemic. McSheverin warned of this phenomenon in a sharp article in the magazine Atlantic Ocean. “Most of us find it particularly unpleasant to be confined to the hell of mediocrity and discomfort that is the main cabin of a Boeing 737,” Schwerin said in it. The time-consuming check-in and boarding procedures, the agony we face when checking that our carry-on luggage exceeds the acceptable dimensions in the cabin by an inch, the extreme crampedness of the cabin in which we will spend the next 8, 10, 12 hours of our lives sitting, and the lack of a group personal cleanliness…

We would all like to go to that paradise Low cost Where all of the above disappears at a glance and the chef’s delights, a wide range of craft beers and a VIP entertainment offer appear on the horizon. Uzma Khan, Professor marketing from the University of Miami, sums up in just two sentences the mental process that drove airlines to create and popularize that increasingly profitable intermediate step that is the tourist. beloved: “They considered their business to be a real estate business, since they were renting plots of land in the air. The size of these plots of land was a valuable commodity, like square meters in the middle of dense and expensive cities such as Paris, New York, or London. Once they explored this field and proved that there was a large number of passengers willing to fill it, they began to organize the strategy and introduce more and more additional details until they standardized commercial aviation with three types of passengers: the absolute elite, the common people, and the new aspirational middle class.

Becky Pokora, editor of the international edition of the magazine Forbes, He explains that average interest rates spread “in a very particular context.” During the pandemic, people stopped flying, and upon resuming this somewhat daily activity after restrictions and quarantine, they discovered that they “actually hate doing it,” because it is an “uncomfortable and stressful” experience that makes us feel “like members of the herd.” Since business class flights typically cost three to five times as much as regular flights, you pay 40% to 75% more for a good alternative, that middle cabin with priority boarding, spacious cabins with reclining seats, footrests and headrests, and a menu Luxurious, the welcome cocktail, touchscreen with expanded audio-visual entertainment, pillow and feathers, eye mask and earplugs are revealed to be a very attractive option.

Pokora presents a comparative analysis of flight conditions with the three available routes and concludes that the premium option is becoming increasingly attractive for a significant portion of customers and is undoubtedly very profitable for airlines. Although the big pioneers in this process of gradual improvement have been luxury-loving companies, such as Emirates, and almost all of them, from British Airways to Delta Air Lines, including Air France, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Virgin, or… Qantas or Lufthansa, they’re integrated into this happy squaring of the circle. Advertisements for many of these companies focus on how their additional or premium options increasingly come close to the executive “experience” at a much lower price. The middle class, once again, reaches heaven.

Critical voices, like Weezy Kim’s in the magazine fox, They point out, however, that under current market conditions, many companies may find it “tempting” to tolerate a general deterioration in basic flight conditions, so that more and more users feel inclined to dig deeper into their pockets. In his opinion, this will actually happen. Kim cites recent studies that indicate a general decline in customer satisfaction rates for U.S. airlines. Have they become more demanding? Has the pandemic in any way worsened your taste for quality of life and your intolerance for stress and discomfort? Or can we conclude that the experience of flying economy class is now less satisfactory than ever?

Jessica Puckett from the magazine Traveling, She was one of the first to ask why everyone was suddenly turning to premium flight options. His answer could not have been more eloquent: “Because a gulf has opened up, in terms of luxury, customer service and comfort, between the ordinary economic class and the improved economic class.” Anyone who can afford it prefers to cross the ditch and separate from the crowd, even if only to avoid landing at their destination with deep vein thrombosis.

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Source: Elpais.

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