Paid business class tickets are a fascinating market to watch. Sometimes, when there are cheap business class tickets for sale, the value that it provides is worth it against the cost.
At the other end of the spectrum, LAX-LHR London Business Class is consistently priced at astronomical rates for their direct flights. Here’s a look below in just how insane it is for an American Airlines roundtrip business class fare to London.
$9000+ USD LAX-LHR?!
If you’re still in disbelief, here’s our total cost for our recent London flight.
So the question looms…. why do people (including us) bother flying this product when it is so darn expensive?
The answer is business travelers. Unlike First Class, business cabins in general do primarily one thing – they take us from Point A to Point B where we are not jet-lagged, contortion back-pained, and most importantly, get us to our destination in the most time-saving manner.
Thus, since LAX-LHR is such a popular business route now, direct long-haul flights are priced in the upper thousands RT. Unfortunately, from a consumer standpoint, this makes it virtually impossible to purchase a business class flight outright if you want a weekend trip to London from the states. Even mileage redemptions are annoying to redeem…
Even so, today we’ll assess the value and the experience today in American Airlines roundtrip Business Class flight to London.
For international Business Class passengers, you have an invitation to its “Flagship Lounge” at LAX Terminal 4. Though still crowded, it’s a significant improvement from its predecessor years ago.
The lounge decor is very American with various artworks in the history of its airline.
While I wouldn’t call this a $9000 USD worth it lounge, it’s a nice area to relax for a minute before your flight…
Similar to Air France Business Class to Paris, its configuration is 1 x 2 x 1. Since the cabin is quite full, our seat is 14J for LAX-LHR and 12A for LHR-LAX.
Per usual, I get the window table seat…
The amenity kits on American still leaves much to be desired. Given how EVA Airways offers Rimowa travel kits for Business Class passengers, this is a sad thing to look at for Paul on instagram upon boarding.
That being said, the flight gets the job done.
Even though the opportunity cost is high, we get to London productively and is able to maximize the utilization time for work early morning the next day.
The flight back is relatively the same, but a trick in maximizing your ground experience in London Heathrow airport is to go to the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge instead of American/British Airways.
The food offerings there are much better and very similar to what you get at its flagship hub in Hong Kong.
Since it’s also an OneWorld partner, the new Qantas Business Class lounge is another great alternative to visit instead.
Bottom line – while it’s an absolute NOT worth it for a consumer to pay $9000 USD for a roundtrip business class flight, the small perks and comfort can be well worth the global opportunity cost when you’re talking about time sensitive crucial meetings that require optimal work utilization for the employers/employees.
Of course, this is just an extreme example. Most business class fares are half this cost and when the price is right, it’s worth it to purchase that premium for that comfortable flight.