How bad is the front cabin for US airlines? This bad: Continental revealed in its March numbers that its RASM (revenue per available seat mile – a rough gauge of average fare) dropped 19% in March over last year. While coach fares have certainly been lower, it’s the front cabin that would contribute to drops of that magnitude.
This is hardly a sign of impending doom – they’ve stripped a ton of cost out of the system (along with lower fuel prices), but it shows how much the high-end business traveler has disappeared from the skies. Couple that with Continental’s strong international presence, and the large dropoff in people paying $6,000 to fly in C to Tokyo starts to add up.