Corporate Travel ? Longer Flights means Business Class !

Corporate travel policies often allow business-class tickets for flights longer than nine or 10 hours. Personal travel policies may be different — we all may have a limit for how far we’ll fly in a coach seat.I know, some travelers say 15 minutes may be too much to endure grumpy employees and cramped space – and pay extra fees for the privilege. For most others, 12 hours might be the limit, or 15 hours, maybe more.

Longer flights are working their way into airline schedules. It may seem contradictory, but being on a plane for a very long stretch can actually save time – if you avoid a connection somewhere. On average, people pay more for the privilege.

Singapore Airlines pioneered ultra-long flying with 18-hour treks from the U.S. to Singapore nonstop. That airline decided that 18 hours was too long to be in coach – those flights go with planes fitted with only 100 business-class seats. Actually, customers decided – demand for business class was much greater.

And once you’ve been in coach for more than 15 hours, you can understand why.More of this type of flying is coming. Greater fuel efficiency, produced by new engines and more aerodynamic designs, has given newer jets longer range. The latest offerings from Boeing and Airbus all can travel more than 8,000 nautical miles (9,200 statute miles) before stopping for gas. The Airbus A380, for example, has range 1,000 nm longer than traditional 747; the just-introduced Boeing 787 can go 2,000 nm farther before refueling than the plane it is replacing, the 767-300.

In addition, older models have extended range with strengthened bodies and bigger landing gear and wheels to carry the weight of more fuel. A long-range version of the venerable 777-200 can travel 9,395 nm – farthest in the world now for commercial airliners. The 777-200 went into service in 1995 with a range under 5,250 nm. The difference: one carries 53,515 gallons of jet fuel, the other 31,000 gallons It also has to carry a lot of water for all those parched passengers.