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First class is fading fast. Here's why that's bad news for economy travelers, too
First class isn't what it used to be, at least according to frequent airline passengers like Bonnie Friedman. She's been flying in the front of the plane for years and has witnessed the slow and sad decline of premium service.
"It was never fabulous," says Friedman, a communication consultant who lives on Maui. "But in the last three or four years, it has most definitely lost what little luster it had. The planes are cheaply made, the seats are smaller, the bathrooms almost too small to get into — and I’m a small person."
In first class. Yes, first class.
Friedman, like a lot of other air travelers, has noticed a marked decline in premium service. Seats have shrunk. Leg rests vanished. The food is barely edible, and the service is unacceptable.
And let's be clear about what we mean by first class: We're talking about domestic flights and generally excluding the competitive transcontinental flights, where airlines still make a half-hearted attempt to put the "first" into first class.
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