What are the differences between flying economy and first class?


Some may have had the luxury of experiencing the grandeur of first class, but for others, it remains a great mystery. If you have already been fortunate enough to turn left into the exclusive cabin then you know how wonderful the experience can be, but if you are yet to fly first class, then the encounter is still just a little sneak-peek behind the red curtain before you’re told to return to your economy seat. Peasants!

However saying all this, the golden ticket to first class does come with a considerably costlier price tag, so we want to put it up for debate as to whether it is actually worth it. Let’s discuss the differences between flying economy and first class.

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Do you get the star-treatment?

As a first-class traveler, you’ll be offered access to a first class lounge, where you will have a space to grab a pre-flight drink, relax, and unwind before boarding. Here you’ll enjoy the time away from the busy and overcrowded areas from economy class queuing. You’ll also board the plane as a priority before the economy-class passengers.

Depending on the airline and the type of ticket you hold, you might be offered other premiums like your own private lounge space, concierge service, meals and snacks, and even showering amenities. If the hustle and bustle of pre-flight organization causes you stress, then getting a first-class ticket just for the quiet calm of a lounge might be worth it. On top of all this, the beverages are usually free too…

What food and drink is on offer?

Offers vary across different airlines, but if you are flying long-haul, then you will be offered unlimited meals and drinks at no charge. A special high-quality menu is provided to first-class passengers, with the food tasting significantly better than most meals provided in economy-class. Some services even offer formal tableware for that extra luxury experience.

Do you get extra comfort?

A lengthier long-haul flight usually means you’ll more than likely be having a nap at some point, so are the first class seats really that much comfier for you to feel cozily at home? Well, it all depends. Airplane models vary with the design of the cabin, but all first-class tickets will offer a seat with more legroom and a bigger, wider, and comfier chair.

If you want to pay that little bit extra, there are also first-class private suites available with luxury features such as a sliding privatized door, a large touch screen TV, storage space, and even a chair that reclines into a bed.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Is it worth the price?

The answer to that question depends on several factors – the length of the flight, the airline you are flying with, the benefits on offer, and most importantly, the price you are paying. If you are able and willing to pay the extra cost, then perhaps the perks and privileges may well be worth it.

However, always remember that there may be opportunities for you to fly first class without having to pay the price. Sometimes an airline may offer a discounted upgrade, and frequent flyers can use their miles to upgrade too. It’s always a good decision to take your chances and ask about the upgrade options at the check-in desk. You never know what they might have up their sleeves for you…

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