American Airlines 737 Jet taken at dusk at DFW airport.
Here's Why Airlines Are Slowly Doing Away With First Class
While they were once a common feature, airlines have been quietly scrapping first-class seating, with many beginning to eliminate the seats for domestic and international flights.
At a conference in 2023, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker told The Telegraph, "We don't want to put first class in the aeroplanes because it is very expensive real estate."
His comments highlight a trend with airlines trying to add more seats to planes, even if it means retrofitting them like AA and JetBlue have done to stay profitable.
First class may be waning, but business class is on the rise. Part of the reason for their popularity is that they take up less space on airplanes.
The aircraft types also affect first class. Singapore Airlines and Emirates feature mini-apartments for their highest-paying ticket, but the jumbo jets needed aren’t common.
The arrangement of first-class cabins is also less flexible; if demand changes, then it is more difficult to keep the aircraft with these seats profitable.