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Airlines Trick Out First Class, But Skimp on Economy to Compete

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First-Class Cabins Getting Better, Economy Getting Worse
An in-flight meal is arranged in a business-class seat onboard an Airbus Group SE A350-900 aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. during a media event in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, May 30, 2016. (Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Competition is growing in the airline industry—to see how budget-friendly it can make economy class. According to the Wall Street Journal, all of those discounts you’re seeing out there are at the expense of economy class amenities, including boarding with the rest of humanity and even seats that actually recline.

On the other side of the plane, first-class ticket-holders are seeing their perks proliferate. Playing catchup to airlines like Emirates, U.S. companies are trying their hand at upgrades. For example, Delta will be rolling out business class suites this year. On the other side of the Atlantic, British Airways is overhauling its business class with an investment of nearly $500 million.

One of the big reasons this is occurring? As the Journal notes, “… legacy carriers are finally caving in and trying to match budget airline prices. That’s particularly true on trans-Atlantic journeys, highly profitable routes where they are facing stiff competition.”

Of course, upgrading the front cabin seating and making the flying experience more desirable for bigger spenders helps drive sales.

Read the Full Report on the Wall Street Journal

Below, take a look at some of the best first-class cabins from global carriers.