Travel Hacker Reveals How Much Business Class Flyers Actually Earn

Ever walk through Business Class and thought: "Excuse me but... how much money you got?"

Travel Hacker Reveals How Much Business Class Flyers Actually Earn

Travel hacks have become a veritable currency, with some of our favourites including this hack for a free hotel lunch or avoiding lost luggage. However, this newly released insider business-class knowledge from a pro-level travel hacker proves that sometimes a little insider know-how trumps all the free food in the world.

Zachary Burrabel — a US-based travel hacks and credit card tips blogger with over 375,000 followers on Instagram — posted a video that posed an interesting and insightful question: have you ever walked through Business Class and thought of your fellow flyers: “Excuse me but… how much money you got?”

WATCH: The Points Guru Reveals His Business Class Secrets.

How Did He Find This Out?

Before we get into the numbers, it’s worth taking note of precisely where Zachary gets these figures from as well as a minor but crucial mistake he makes when presenting the data. Drawing from the ‘Hemispheres’ magazine — the in-flight reading offered by United Airlines — that you can find in seatbacks around the world, Zachary’s discovery comes from little-known marketing stats…

Given that so many people come into contact with these magazines, selling ad space is the publication’s main source of revenue but — in order for potential advertisers to best understand who will be reading the magazine and, therefore, what ads are worth targeting at them — the publication has to understand some key information about their readers.

Importantly, this includes how much they earn; understanding how much someone earns is key to understanding how much disposable income they have available to spend on advertised products. However, how much people travelling on any given plane actually earn can vary massively cabin by cabin, and so the magazine’s media deck — shared with potential advertisers — breaks down median income by cabin and class…

The Magic Number

Now to Zachary’s minor error: he claims that the number he finds in the magazine represents the median amount earned by an individual travelling business class. However, if we actually look at the status floating behind him, we can clearly see that this number is related to the median household income of business-class flyers.

This means that though the figure will, in some cases, apply to high-earning individuals it will more often than not be shared between multiple working adults. Nevertheless, the figure — USD$380,700, as per Hemisphere’s 2022 media kit — is still a sky-high one in the eyes of many lowly economy travellers.

In fact, some more of the floating figures that Zachary shows but doesn’t quote can help us break down this number further. 28.9% of these households seem to be single adults while over two-thirds — 66.7% — are married couples. Overall they are split 52.7% male compared to 47.3% female and, perhaps most interestingly for younger readers out there, have a median age of 46.8 years.

A 2022 edition of Hemispheres magazine. Image: Twitter

How To Enter The Business Class Elite

If you’re wondering exactly how you can make this kind of money, there are some further clues in the deck: 90.5% of these flyers are college or university-educated while 32.4% have a postgraduate degree of some kind and 51.7% have some kind of management or professional qualification.

However, if these avenues aren’t available to you or don’t appeal, we recommend following Zachary or the whole host of points gurus out there who can help you find your way into the pointy end of the plane for less. As one keen commenter on Zachary’s post says:

“I’m crying. $380k?! THE MEDIAN… being an actor/freelancer myself— travel hacking is the only way I’m able to access these kinds of flights. I feel like we’re a secret society together!”


For now, keep grinding and get credit card savvy… business class offers are better than ever and we wouldn’t want anyone to miss out.