$834 vs $16,415 round trip airfare


United Airlines has announced it’s new daily nonstop to Beijing from Washington D.C. at united.com/page/article/0,6722,51106,00.html
After a quick check of United web site, my question is why does it cost more than $14,500 to sit in the front of a 747-400 for 13 hours? I know you get something like a bed to sit in, plus other creature comforts, but I’ve never really done it (once in uniform I was moved into first class on a Pan Am 747-200 many years ago, but told not to go upstairs), so maybe those that have recently can enlightened the rest of us.


Bus vs bed… plus the food differences (reheated tray vs multi-course meal) and lounge access at each end.


For nearly a $10,000 difference in some cases, I don’t see how the difference is worth it, unless money isn’t an issue for you or your business is paying for it.

Of course, compared with chartering your own jet, that’s a bargain. :wink:



That too. I think a lot of the people who pay for a first class ticket would pay even if it was $20k for first and $20 for coach.


Bus vs bed… plus the food differences (reheated tray vs multi-course meal) and lounge access at each end.

I like your comparison, but in the “bed” mode it appears your $14K buys someone’s smelly feet adjacent to your head.


I’ve found a big difference if you have to get off the plane and immediately conduct serious business. You can get some reasonable sleep and a decent meal in first, possibly business class, but much tougher to do so in coach. Screwing up a sensitive negotiation can cost far more than the extra few thousand dollars of air fare.




I have the feeling that 1st class is so much more expensive because a lot of people flying first class are doing it for free or a greatly reduced price due to frequent flyer miles.


One look at most first class riders confirms your theory.


You’re probably comparing a non-refundable, no-changes coach class fare to a full first class fare. I doubt the difference between a full, unrestricted Y fare and F is that much.