AVIATION: Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

Corporate travelers may have trouble finding a cheap airline seat these days, but not a cushy one. Faced with restrictions on economy fares, executives are turning to business class as a compromise between pricey first class and cramped coach. Airlines, which make more money on business class than on steerage, are competing for coach-weary passengers by offering such amenities as wider seats and more extensive menus. New giveaways include helicopter shuttles to airports and upgrades to first class.

The stakes in the air war are high. About 20% of all airline passengers worldwide this year flew business class, and the number...

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