# Where do the names “First”, “Business” and “Economy” class originate from?

As said in the title: where do the names "First", "Business" and "Economy" class originate from? Why they didn't use the names "First", "Second" and "Third". After all it can be hard for someone not that familiar with English to find out that "Business" is ranked higher than "Economy".

• It's a mere guess so only a comment: "Second/Third" class do not sound too nice, do they? It sounds better when you link it to something positively connoted like: "business". It's not "first", but it still sounds appropriate for those people who think of themselves as important businesspeople. What's the image you have when hearing "business"? The same for economy: It does not sound good to fly "third class" (like third class, when people were still separated in social classes). But to travel in an "economic" way sounds good, doesn't it? It's mere PR gags, nought more. – Patric Hartmann Jun 17 '15 at 12:54
• I think what @PatricHartmann is trying to say is that they come from the Marketing Department. They still mean 2nd and 3rd class, they just sound nicer. – FreeMan Jun 17 '15 at 13:36
• why did all airline companies used the same ones. They don't. "Business" is often called "club". "Economy" is often called "coach". American airlines often call "business", "first" on two class configurations and so on. – Simon Jun 17 '15 at 13:45
• @PatricHartmann FWIW trains in the UK have "Standard" class rather than "Second" - a change which was made in the 80s for precisely the reason you suggest. – Nigel Harper Jun 17 '15 at 13:48
• You might try asking this on English.SE as well – Pondlife Jun 26 '15 at 16:29