Why don’t you fly business class?

looking our airplane window to wing and sunset on the horizon

It was the last leg of a very long day flying home from Asia. All that was left was a “fast” 4.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Chicago. I could smell home.

“Does your company let you fly business class?” Asked the guy sitting next to me.

“No, we don’t fly business class for these trips because it is hard to justify the extra cost,” I said emphasizing the WE.

“Those people must be a-holes,” the guy said next.

I said with a chuckle, “yes, they kind of are.

Oh, if he only knew! Haha!

But it got me thinking: What’s the purpose of business class tickets, expensive office furniture, or other extraneous business expenses?

Do any of these add value to your customers? Do any improve their livelihoods?

Now I am not saying that if you splurge for business seats on your next international flight you automatically value customers less than I do. That would be a false assumption.

Rather, I am challenging you to think about what you’re spending your money on. For instance, I paid around 1K for my coach seat on the way to Asia, where business class seats were priced around 6K. For that difference, we as a company can invest in many different things, like a new unit tool for a new product, that may solve a customer need.

As relaxing as sitting in business class may be, it won’t have that kind of effect on the future.

The point here is what do you really value?

Putting the customer first should change everything, including where you sit on an airplane.

(And kudos to the road warriors whose business class seats have been earned through status upgrades! Good things tend to come to those who hustle, don’t they?)