Changes in store as demand for premium seating plummets

09/22/2009 | NYTimes.com

In response to plummeting demand for top-dollar tickets, some of the world's airlines are rethinking their seating options. Some carriers have gone so far as to gut the first-class area of their planes to make way for more affordable seating that comes with slightly more legroom but a lot fewer top-end perks. "With cuts in corporate travel budgets, there is now much less willingness to pay up to eight times the fare on long haul for the extra legroom and champagne offered by business class," noted Peter Morris, a chief economist for aviation consulting company Ascend Worldwide.

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