Business class or economy? Economy, please!


Surely most of us, if offered the choice, would prefer to fly business class on a long flight of 11 or 12 hours; business class seats are much larger and more comfortable, there is much more legroom, the service is more personal and attentive, the food and beverages are of a much superior quality. Who would not prefer business class?

I now know one person who would prefer to fly economy class, even he were offered a business class ticket. He is my father, John. After he flew business class from London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita on April 16th, he confessed to me that he would actually prefer an economy seat next time!

Last year when I contacted ANA about booking a flight for my father with my air miles, they told me that a business class ticket would only be 33% more expensive in terms of miles needed than an economy seat. In addition to that, they did not have an economy seat available on the return flight I requested. As a result of this information, I reserved a business class ticket for him. I had to use up almost all the air miles I had saved for the last 4-5 years to do so but, as he is quite old now, I wanted to treat him to a more comfortable flight.

However, when he arrived at Narita he told me that he could not sleep on the flight and he felt a little lonely as there were partitions between the passengers in business class which hindered conversation between passengers and besides, the other passengers did not appear to want to chat much, either. During the flight he only talked to the flight attendants. Once, when he got out of his seat to stretch his legs and drew back the dividing curtain between the business and economy classes, he saw the passengers in economy sitting side by side and some were chatting to each other merrily.

On arrival he said that, if he flew to Japan again he would prefer to fly in economy class!