Even as coach class seats get more cramped, airlines around the world are spending billions of dollars to develop even more spacious and luxurious business-class seats that stand out from their competitors, according to a New York Times article in August 2013.
Lufthansa alone is spending nearly $4 billion in upgrading its cabins with over a billion dollars being spent on seat design, research and installation.
The reason for this trend is that business class and first-class passengers account for up to half of the revenue of some major carriers, despite being just 10-15 percent of total passenger numbers.
Airlines are hiring architects, industrial designers and even yacht designers to develop advanced seats with innovative features. A single business-class seat may cost up to $80,000 while custom-made first-class seats can cost as high as $250,000 to $500,000 each.
No wonder that business class today is comparable to first-class on most airlines 10-20 years ago.