Is First-Class Flying Getting Cheaper?

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Back when I used to fly a lot, I always wondered why business class seats were so much more expensive than coach. They weren’t twice as expensive, as you’d expect, they were four times, maybe five times as expensive. Why?

I don’t fly very much anymore so I don’t care as much. However, a few months ago, when I flew to Bogotá, Avianca Airlines offered me a first class, fully-reclining pod seat for $700, compared to $400 for a coach seat. What a bargain! But I figured I had just lucked out with some kind of Avianca deal and thought no more about it.

Today, though, I booked a flight home on American. The coach fare was $587, which is really $617 when you add in my one checked bag. A first-class seat was $694 with free checked bags. When did this start happening? Is it because I booked a flight that was only two days away? Have first/business class seats gotten cheaper? Did I just get lucky? Or what?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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