Most Expensive Seats for Travelers


Everyone knows there’s a broad range of cost when it comes to airfare, but did you know that range starts at $11 and ends at $35 million?

In order to get this data, we jumped on-board Google Flights and spanned the globe, searching hundreds of airlines serving thousands of cities. It was suggested that the optimal time to buy flights is between 47 and 54 days, so we settled on 7 weeks for our searches. Our research was conducted at the beginning of May so these prices are for flights occurring the last week of June.

Other than the least expensive (listed) flight on Earth, from Warsaw to Brussels for $11, we also looked at what gets you the best and least bang for your buck in the U.S. (New York to Miami is best, Newark to D.C. is worst), and what the most expensive non-private flight is: Portland, Maine to Billings, Montana.

We checked out prices for the now-defunct Concord (a cool $12,000) and for a single person private jet flight from New York to Los Angeles, which was $33,910. Kind of makes purchasing a private plane seem like the more fiscally conservative thing to do.

As for big ticket items, there’s also a route regularly flown by Etihad Airways that will take a passenger in its penthouse cabin from New York City to Abu Dhabi (and back), for $64,000. That works out to $2,370 per hour for 27 hours of flying. We’ll assume in-flight beverage service is included.

As it turns out, getting airborne is one of the most expensive activities on Earth… or just above it… or way above it.

Virgin Galactic, one of the leaders in an emerging market known as “space tourism,” has already begun selling tickets for its flights just a wee bit beyond Earth’s atmosphere, which will include two-and-a-half minutes of weightlessness to be enjoyed by passengers with fat wallets. The cost of these flights? Two-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars. Which is actually a serious bargain when compared to our list-topper, the single most expensive seat ever sold in human history. In September 2009, Guy Laliberté, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, paid $35 million for a seat on the Soyuz TMA-16, on its trip to the International Space Station. To be included on this trip, Laliberté paid $121,527 per hour, around the clock, for 12 straight days. Though, to be honest, it may well have been the best value per dollar of anything on this list of the most expensive and cheapest seats for travelers!