Finnair believes that some business class passengers might be making the purchase solely for the premium in-flight experience. The carrier launched a “Business Light” ticketing option today that delivers the on-board amenities but not other business class benefits.
We want to offer our customers journeys that look like them, and we will be adding more choice and personalisation opportunities to our offering as we re-introduce services and prepare for ramp-up of our operations.– Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair
Business Light, similar to a basic economy ticket, includes carry-on baggage only. Meals on board are also included, but nearly everything else is priced a la carte. Among the options not included in a Business Light fare:
- Reservation changes
- Airport priority services (i.e. check-in)
- Lounge access
- Advanced seat assignment
- Onboard internet
These additional features can be purchased separately or through a Business Classic or Business Flex fare.
Finnair will introduce the new Business Light fares on “all short-haul and most intercontinental journeys” according to the company.
While airlines have talked about unbundling of premium cabin fares for some time now (Emirates‘ President Sir Tim Clark suggested it as viable back in 2017), few airlines have taken the plunge and fully separated out the in-flight experience for those fares. Finnair is ready to see if the loss of those softer touch parts of the trip skew the appeal of the product for business class passengers.
This effect could be especially pointed in the short-haul market where the seating is particularly similar between EuroBiz and economy. On longer-haul flights the bed may be worth more of a premium.
And, as with most Basic Economy fares, expect that this new Basic Business works to allow the carrier to increase revenue, either through higher fares or increased ancillary revenue. Unlike the economy version, however, there are some real cost savings with not delivering all of the benefits, including lounge access and wifi. Then again, a passenger with elite status might get those benefits anyways, lowering their travel costs.
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