June 7 – Luxury air travel has slowed down significantly because of the global recession, and carriers are making extra efforts to lure clients back. Many people sitting at the front of the plane have only paid for the back of the plane and been upgraded, experts say, and internet savvy travelers do their bargain hunting online. “Luxury air travel has essentially been grounded. One of the first prerequisites to go in a tough economy” said Peter Yesawich, CEO of the travel marketing company Partnership, which tracks travel trends.
Mr. Yesawich explained that, except for long haul flights, most people flying in first class are flying on upgrades. He said much of the real profit comes from the front of the plane, but corporations and individuals are limiting that travel. Some big carriers like Delta and British Airways are trying to lure business travelers back to first class by offering additional amenities including onboard showers, flat seats for sleeping, and Internet access.