Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

0208 417 1366
Mon–Fri: 9am–7pm, Sat & Sun: 10am–4pm

British Travel Award Winner 2017

The History of Business Class Flights

The History of Business Class Flights Published on .

Swiss Air Hostess 1953 at plane door

In the early days of travel, flying was a much more glamorous affair, with perfectly coiffed air stewardesses and food served on china plates. However, it was extremely exclusive and only enjoyed by the wealthy, and it wasn’t until a few decades later that air travel became something that the middle classes could enjoy for fun. But many people wonder when business class flights first began, and when air travel went from one expensive class, to different classes with a wide variety of services. Here’s a short history of business class and how the idea came about.

Main Image Source: Wikipedia: Hostess der Swissair 1953 Licence Info

The First Business Class Airline

Before business officially became a class, there was economy and full fare economy. In the 1970s, those who paid for a full fare got to sit just behind first class and got a better level of service in a more peaceful environment. Therefore, it attracted lots of business people who wanted to get away from the families who were taking their first holidays abroad. KLM was one of the early adopters of the three-class system, and still has excellent facilities today.

Unfortunately, economy passengers felt that they were getting less for their money, and splitting economy class simply wasn’t working anymore. Therefore, British Airways came up with the term ‘Club Class’, which offered an upgraded, more exclusive experience. It wasn’t until 1979 when Qantas started using the term ‘business class’, and the three-tier system became the norm for many years.

Upgrading The Experience

While business class in the 1980s was certainly upmarket, there wasn’t as many features as there are today. The big, comfortable seats were the main draw, with seats that could recline being something of a novelty, and there was an upgraded level of service, such as lots of complimentary champagne. The 1990s saw seats becoming bigger, with head and footrests so you could sleep better on planes, and it was becoming easier to find cheap business class flights thanks to internet booking beginning to be a more popular option late in the decade.

Merging Classes And Superior Experiences

Business Class Seat on Singapore Airlines
As air travel came into the 21st century, business class flights became more competitive, with features such as; Lie-flat beds, On-board bars, Premium lounges, Private security lanes, and Upgraded dining. Around this time, many airlines started to get rid of first class, either leaving business class as the highest option, or merging classes. For example, Virgin Atlantic has economy and premium economy, then Upper Class, so you can enjoy upgraded comfort on their long haul routes.

The Future Of Business Class

Many airlines are looking at ways to improve their business class offerings, and much of it revolves around technology and personalisation. From offering 4K screens for entertainment or work, to being able to control lighting, seat position, and more, business class travel is bound to becoming much more exciting in future.

Whether you’re a seasoned business class flyer, or wanting to upgrade for the first time, simply call Just Fly Business on 0208 417 1366 to get the best deals on premium travel.

Business Class Deals

CityPriceDetails
Abu Dhabifrom £1049More
Antiguafrom £989More
Atlantafrom £1654More
Aucklandfrom £1749More
Australiafrom £1689More
Bahamasfrom £1992More
Bahrainfrom £1134More
Balifrom £1570More
Bangkokfrom £1298More
Barbadosfrom £999More
Beijingfrom £1399More
Bostonfrom £1285More
Brisbanefrom £1939More
Buenos Airesfrom £2439More
Cairnsfrom £2039More
Calgaryfrom £1349More
Cancunfrom £1499More
Cape Townfrom £1749More
Charlottefrom £1876More
Chicagofrom £1049More
Christchurchfrom £2489More
Cubafrom £1433More
Dallasfrom £1750More
Delhifrom £1060More
Detroitfrom £1750More
Dohafrom £989More
Dominican Republicfrom £1151More
Dubaifrom £949More
Durbanfrom £1489More
Edmontonfrom £1499More
Grenadafrom £1375More
Hanoifrom £1379More
Hawaiifrom £1849More
Ho Chi Minh Cityfrom £1451More
Hong Kongfrom £1349More
Houstonfrom £2149More
Jakartafrom £1237More
Jamaicafrom £1048More
Jeddahfrom £1099More
Johannesburgfrom £1500More
Koh Samuifrom £1347More
Kuwaitfrom £950More
Las Vegasfrom £1599More
Limafrom £1549More
Los Angelesfrom £1799More
Maldivesfrom £1430More
Manilafrom £1417More
Mauritiusfrom £1749More
Melbournefrom £1699More
Memphisfrom £2024More
Miamifrom £1749More
Montrealfrom £1790More
Mumbaifrom £1235More
Muscatfrom £1223More
New Orleansfrom £2178More
New Yorkfrom £999More
New Zealandfrom £1749More
Orlandofrom £1236More
Osakafrom £1725More
Penangfrom £1089More
Perthfrom £1598More
Philadelphiafrom £1340More
Phoenixfrom £2395More
Phuketfrom £1089More
Port Elizabethfrom £1899More
Portlandfrom £2731More
Raleighfrom £2234More
Rio de Janeirofrom £1849More
Riyadhfrom £1150More
Salt Lake Cityfrom £2465More
San Diegofrom £1799More
San Franciscofrom £1749More
Santiagofrom £2399More
Sao Paulofrom £1475More
Seattlefrom £1699More
Seoulfrom £1699More
Seychellesfrom £1699More
Shanghaifrom £1249More
Singaporefrom £1249More
Sri Lankafrom £1273More
St Luciafrom £1089More
Sydneyfrom £1784More
Taipeifrom £1599More
Tampafrom £1540More
Tokyofrom £1749More
Torontofrom £1499More
Vancouverfrom £1695More
Washington, D.C.from £1273More
Wellingtonfrom £2389More
Winnipegfrom £1895More

Where Do You Want To Go?

Why book with us?

  • Best prices for flights,
    hotels & car
  • Experienced, friendly staff
  • Easy booking process
ATOL Protected

Just Fly Business takes your privacy very seriously. Please see our privacy policy and terms & conditions here

Scroll Up