This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Good and Bad From One Airline's Overpriced Business Class Cabin

Stocks in this article: BA GOGO

Class of service aside, I experienced something on this flight I have never experienced before. And even though I fly quite a bit, it was weird. I'd go so far as to say it was unsettling.

Prior to takeoff for about 15-20 minutes, immediately after we departed for a few minutes and for longish stretches during the final hour or so of the flight, I (or we, as this was not lost on my fellow passengers) could hear dogs barking in the cargo hold below the business class cabin. I'm not sure what the rules and regulations are that govern the transport of live animals, but, boy, when the barking was in full effect, I felt like I was watching one of those animal cruelty television commercials. The ones narrated by Sally Struthers that feel like they never end as they proceed to rip your heart out.

Mind you, I'm not griping about any emotional or sensory discomfort this might have caused me ... I just felt bad for the dogs. Maybe science shows that through the barking the dogs were just fine, but, even still, I'd never put my dog through that. Somebody needs to administer a stronger sedative or do something different next time around.

My other gripe -- and I don't mean to provide fodder for Louis CK -- but no WiFi!

In 2014?

How can you call it business class without WiFi? There's no excuse for no WiFi. Strike a deal with GoGo  (GOGO) and make sure every plane that leaves the ground, no matter how long it will be in the air or where it's going, has WiFi.

Other than that, business class in the international business class configuration on Air Canada was pretty good. But it's a luxury I wouldn't suggest affording yourself unless you can really, really, really afford it.

Is it worth an upgrade fee of roughly $800 (you can do this at check-in) on top of a base fare of just under $400 one-way (that's what I paid when I booked the flight in December for a preferred seat in row 12 of economy class) or between, from what I gather, $1200 to well north of $3,000 at the time of booking?

Absolutely not. So if you're not a millionaire, don't do it. You're much better off blowing that cash elsewhere or saving it.

I'd take Virgin America's first class service in a heartbeat. You can upgrade to it, most of the time (at check-in), for around $300. And, while you don't get the private pod or lie-flat seat, you get pretty much everything else the way more expensive business class on Air Canada offers.

In fact, I reckon Sir Richard Branson needs to fashion and commission a license plate frame that reads: I'd rather be flying Virgin America

The seats on Virgin are just as comfortable. The food selection on par. And the drink selection much better. Virgin also wins on entertainment options with live television. Though, as a honorary Canadian, who grew up on the border and loves Canadian TV, it was fun to be able to watch (limited) on-demand programming from the CBC. I spent a good two hours with Peter Mansbridge and George Stroumboulopoulos interviewing everybody from the great Bobby Orr to awesome Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

So, onto the experience, in pictures ...

2 of 7

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs