What were the targeted audiences for each travel class?


David Clayton

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Feb 13, 2020
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Hi all, I hope this post doesn’t end up as a reply in an already existing thread like last time. So, I have a general understanding as to which class some different socioeconomic groups would travel in on ocean liners. Wealthy businessmen would travel in first class, middle class professionals in second class, and immigrants in third class. But I don’t know about other groups. E.g. would a working class tradesman travel in second or third? Would a wealthy doctor travel in first or second? My question is what travel classes would certain groups generally choose to travel in? Thanks in advance.
 
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Kas01

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May 24, 2018
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There are a couple of laborers who traveled via second class, but it seems that a number of them were booked for other ships and had to switch reservations. This was probably a one-time thing that White Star put on. I don't see how coal miners or chauffeurs would travel in second otherwise.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Hi all, I hope this post doesn’t end up as a reply in an already existing thread like last time. So, I have a general understanding as to which class some different socioeconomic groups would travel in on ocean liners. Wealthy businessmen would travel in first class, middle class professionals in second class, and immigrants in third class. But I don’t know about other groups. E.g. would a working class tradesman travel in second or third? Would a wealthy doctor travel in first or second? My question is what travel classes would certain groups generally choose to travel in? Thanks in advance.
I think your question pretty much answered itself. Generally yes as to you what you asked. Wealthier in first, middle/upper middle class and wealthier who couldn't get a first class cabin into second class and the lower social economic people in third. If you look at the bio's of the passenger list here on the site you can see what their standing was. Arun might be able to answer this better but I'm not so sure there were a lot of wealthy doctors in those days. Probably better off than most but from what I've read they weren't paid like they were later in the century.
 

Aly Jones

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First class was a class of itself within it's self. First class ranges from dear first class cabins to cheaper first class cabins.
There are a couple of laborers who traveled via second class, but it seems that a number of them were booked for other ships and had to switch reservations. This was probably a one-time thing that White Star put on. I don't see how coal miners or chauffeurs would travel in second otherwise.
Hi kas01,

I know many passengers booked 1st class on other ships but Then were transferred to titanic. However once transferred they were bumped down to second class.

I've never read 2nd class passengers were transferred into 1st class on titanic though?
 

Kas01

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May 24, 2018
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First class was a class of itself within it's self. First class ranges from dear first class cabins to cheaper first class cabins.

Hi kas01,

I know many passengers booked 1st class on other ships but Then were transferred to titanic. However once transferred they were bumped down to second class.

I've never read 2nd class passengers were transferred into 1st class on titanic though?
Other way around. I believe these were upgrades from 3rd as a result of Oceanic's cancelled sailing in particular. Coal miners, bus and cab drivers, farmers, to name a few 2nd class occupations, don't strike me as a typical cross-section of middle-class Anglo-American society, though that may have been the case back then.

At least one 2nd class passenger upgraded to 1st during the voyage (Alfred Nourney, posing as a Prussian baron), but not that I know of before the voyage.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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I have a general understanding as to which class some different socioeconomic groups would travel in on ocean liners. Wealthy businessmen would travel in first class, middle class professionals in second class, and immigrants in third class.
I think that profile in generally true but there were some exceptions. I have done some research into Finnish second class passenger and Titanic victim Martta Hiltunen. She was definitely from a working class background and left to herself would have almost certainly travelled Third Class where the majority of Finnish and other Scandinavian passengers were. But Martta befriended fellow Savonian Finn Anna Hamalainen shortly before the voyage and it seems that they came to a sort of an agreement. Anna Hamalainen was travelling with her baby son Wiljo to join her husband who was by then working in Detroit; my Finnish sources tell me that it was very likely that Ana Hamalainen paid part of Martta's fate so that the latter could afford to travel second class. The two women bought tickets together - Anna’s ticket number, which included her infant son Wiljo in it, was 250649 and Martta’s was 250650. In return to Anna's favour, Martta had agreed to work as a housekeeper for Anna' family for a year or so while she settled into life in America herself.

Of course, as events turned out, Anna and Wiljo Hamalainen were saved on Lifeboat #4 but poor Martta missed out.
 

Aly Jones

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A husband brought his wife a 2nd class ticket while he travelled in 3rd class. It's how much one could afford.

Also I had read many people travelled in 3rd class but could afford 2nd class. They were saving extra money. Why pay more when it doesn't matter what class you were in, you still end up at the same destination .
 
Nov 14, 2005
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A husband brought his wife a 2nd class ticket while he travelled in 3rd class. It's how much one could afford.

Also I had read many people travelled in 3rd class but could afford 2nd class. They were saving extra money. Why pay more when it doesn't matter what class you were in, you still end up at the same destination .
That was probably generaly true by the time of Titanic. The years preceeding that steerage could be a real hell hole. Paticularly for women unless they had a protector if you know what I mean. I've read up on the history of steerage in the 1800's...could be brutal.
 

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