Even as most flights are packed these days, some planes still take off with plenty of vacant seats, including in First and Business Class, effectively losing the airlines hundreds of thousands of dollars. Offering lower last-minute fares on undersold flights seems a logical solution, and carriers do it sometimes, but those attempts are utterly insufficient.
Let’s look at a recent international flight — most U.S. airlines give away free upgrades on domestic routes to fill their premium cabins. I picked a United Airlines flight on a route with traditionally heavy demand in Business Class: San Francisco to Sydney. As the above image shows, on June 19, that Boeing 747 left with 18 empty seats in Business Class, including on the upper deck…
- Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, global affairs and air travel. A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state — Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He has flown over 2 million miles and visited 83 countries.
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MAY 14, 2013 — LOUISVILLE, KY
MAY 31, 2013 — BUENOS AIRES
OCT 03, 2013 — ATHENS, GREECE
OCT 07, 2013 — ANKARA, TURKEY
OCT 09, 2013 — ISTANBUL, TURKEY
OCT 15, 2013 — MADRID, SPAIN
OCT 17, 2013 — LISBON, PORTUGAL
OCT 21, 2013 — BERLIN, GERMANY
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