Business class got better and cheaper.
In 2000, I (read: my parents) used to pay 2400 EUR for a round trip from CDG to PTY in economy class (adjusted for inflation that's 3500 EUR)
Now the same ticket is 800 EUR on average. I usually can fly business class for under 3000 EUR before miles & amex cashback, and I get all of the following: > can lay my seat flat and get a full night's sleep> unlimited champagne and booze> gastronomical meals prepared by onboard michelin chef> high-pressure cabin and quieter engines, meaning for a less tiresome journey> all the movies I want> outlets, inflight wifi to get some work done on the go> access to the lounge for even more delicious treats and a shower, even a masseuse and a turkish bath at some airports
You say things got worse, but that's not true. People flying economy today just couldn't afford to fly in the past.
For those who could, things got a lot better. And I'm just a pleb, for really rich guys they have private jets which are even better than the experience I get flying business on Air France.