Say farewell to those business-class airfare bargains


Companies feeling flush enough to send their employees on business trips have been doing so on the cheap in 2009. Fares in premium classes have tumbled in tandem with passenger traffic, giving corporate travel departments great deals on the best seats at the front of the plane. A British Airways sale this summer let business-class travelers fly round-trip from San Francisco to London on the serene upper deck of a 747 for just over $3,000, more than half off the usual premium fare.

But the cheap corporate travel bonanza is coming to an end, says a report Wednesday from American Express, which operates one of the world's biggest travel agency networks. Amex (AXP) sees prices on long-haul domestic and international business-class flights originating from the U.S. rising anywhere from 3 percent to 8 percent in 2010, "as the world begins to show signs of emerging from the recession."

Originally published