A business class ticket represents more options to the traveller.
But not all business class tickets provide unlimited options to the holder and sometimes, everyone seated in the business cabin has paid different prices for their tickets.
The different fares that each business class traveller pays represent the benefits for the ticket holder.
Travelling on a business class ticket offers flexibility, comfort and convenience. Some of the conveniences include a dedicated security and check-in counter, extra luggage allowance, free unlimited changes of travel dates and time, free upgrade to first class, the cancellation of an entire trip without incurring any charges, and receiving a full refund of the ticket price.
Travellers can check the single letters on the ticket that show the class or status of the ticket booked.
In airline speak, this is referred to as the fare code or fare basis and is often printed under the flight details in a single letter e.g. J, C, D, I, or Z.
With most airlines, if the booking class on your business class ticket is J, it means that you paid a premium fare for it. And, depending on the airline’s ticket conditions, this ticket will give you full flexibility: Valid for 12 months from the date it was issued, you can change your flight at no cost, you can cancel your ticket and receive a full refund, your ticket is endorsable on another airline if need be, and you can upgrade to first class with your frequent flyer miles.
If you have the letter C on your ticket, it means you paid full fare or what is known as an unrestricted fare — meaning that your ticket is fully refundable if your trip is cancelled before travel.
This ticket is also valid for 12 months, and you can change your dates of travel at no extra cost, but it is non-endorsable.
You can only use it on the airline that issued it. The letters D, I and Z on your ticket are the most restrictive and are usually the discounted fares.
The holder will incur extra charges, usually from about $200, to change the time or date of travel. Changing the destination on this fare class is not allowed. Also, the validity is a maximum of six months and tickets are non-endorsable.
If your journey has multiple legs, you may find that your ticket has various fare codes.
Each code has its own restrictions for each leg, and your journey may be restricted to the rules of the most restrictive leg. For example, if the fare code on one part of your journey is non-refundable, then most likely your entire ticket will be non-refundable.
Ask your travel consultant or agent about the restrictions on your ticket for a better experience.