When it comes to business travel, budget is the new black. But cheaper fares don't always come at the expense of comfort and convenience, and some low-cost carriers get you where you need to go with business-class benefits. Take a look.
- $30 to $100 one way
- Main Cabin Select option (roomier coach seat with first-class amenities).
- Two free checked bags for first class. One for MCS.
- In-flight Wi-Fi.
- Power outlets for every seat.
- First-class lounges at some airports ($35 fee for all passengers).
- Healthful (and higher-end) food and drinks.
- Touch-screen entertainment system with music, movies, video games and passenger-to-passenger chat.
Pros: With mood lighting in cabins and a seatback food ordering system (no aisle jams!), flying commercial doesn't get hipper.
Cons: Extremely limited routes. Cramped coach conditions are a drag.
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- $15 average Business Select option includes priority boarding and an onboard cocktail.
- No change fees.
- First two bags free.
- Terminal gates have plug-in stations and seating areas for business travelers.
- Business Select travelers get extra frequent flyer benefits and "fly-by" security access at some airports.
Pros: The low-cost carrier with the fewest fees, the most extensive routes and the nicest reputation.
Cons: Zero frills. Hard to feel like a VIP with unassigned seating.
- $49 to $129 business-class upgrades (12 seats on every flight), available even after takeoff.
- $15 for the first bag.
- In-flight Wi-Fi.
- Large overhead bins to avoid gate-checked luggage.
- Three round-trips in business class equal a free one-way ticket.
- Business elite qualification is just 25 one-way flights a year.
- XM satellite.
Pros: Business class is a good value, with plenty of flights out of the Atlanta hub.
Cons: More fees than the rest--it's even $20 to reserve an exit-row seat.
- For $10 to $40, get Even More
- Legroom seats (about eight inches better than average).
- First bag free.
- Red-eye flights offer free Shut-eye kits with eye mask and ear plugs.
- Seats are leather and provide at least three more inches of legroom than most other airlines.
- Live TV programming on individual screens.
Pros: Great perks: Free checked bag, DirecTV and satellite radio, extra legroom and unlimited snacks and drinks.
Cons: Few departure cities and a bare-bones frequent flyer program.