Is Flying Business Class Worth It

Is Flying Business Class Worth It

ABSOLUTELY! I’m obviously biased but I’m hoping that after reading through this article, you’ll see why I get so pumped to fly business or first class internationally!

What Is Business/First Class


Before we delve into all the things that make flying business or first such a luxury, it’s important to first establish that not all business/first class experiences are created equal.

For example this is first class

Alaska Airlines First Class

…And this is also first class. Pretty much the same right?

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

The big difference here is that the First Class experience can vary wildly depending on if it is offered on short domestic flights (like Alaska Airlines) or on long haul international flights (like Singapore Airlines). Pretty much everyone will agree that the second example is far more luxurious and exciting than the first. These are the kinds of luxury redemptions that are possible with points and why this hobby is so enjoyable. Let’s dive into what makes up theses amazing experiences.

Seats


One of the biggest noticeable differences between premium cabins and economy is in the seat itself. This is often referred to as the “hard product” which encompasses everything that is built into the aircraft and is unchanging for each customer who sits in that seat. Most long haul business/first class seats are “lie-flat” seats which allow you to recline freely without affecting the row behind and ultimately transform the seat into a bed. This usually is a big sell of pursuing these seats because they offer much higher quality sleep and rest that is noticeable prior to reaching your final destination. You can see an example of this lie flat bed in my review of Lufthansa’s business class.

Japan Airlines Business Class Bed

Another big benefit of these seats is the privacy offered by them. These premium cabins are often small, only having a small number of seats in configurations that limit disturbances from other passengers. Some airlines’ products like Qatar Airways QSuites even have doors that make the whole experience that much more private. The ability to sleep on a proper bed and have high levels of privacy in your own seat are what transform the mundane chore of flying into a peaceful oasis that make the whole flying experience that much more enjoyable.

Qatar Airways QSuite with door

Service


Service is next on our list of reasons why flying business/first is so awesome. Service is often referred to as the “soft product” which entails the human element of the experience and may vary from flight to flight. Things like how the flight attendants assist you, the food, the presentation of the dishes, to the level of attentiveness flight attendants give you to make the whole flying experience more enjoyable are all part of the soft product.

When flying first or business, there will be fewer flight attendants and this allows them to better cater to each passenger’s personal needs. You can expect to be addressed by name and receive a higher level of welcoming as opposed to what is seen in economy. These flight attendants are specially trained to work in these cabins and are there to make the whole experience great for you.

In addition to this, most premium cabins offer an amenity kit of some sort which may include things like lotion, face wash, eye masks, chapstick, or other toiletries to help make the flight more pleasant. These amenity kits are often from notable brands and are a nice touch in making the whole experience feel that much more luxurious. One of my favorite parts of flying business or first is being able to receive pajamas. There’s just something about sleeping in airline branded pajamas that makes the whole experience feel special and unlike any other.

ANA First Class Amenity Kit

Food


This is a huge factor for many frequent fliers and probably the main selling point for all the foodies out there. In premium cabins, you can expect a very specialized menu and dining experience that is different from what you receive in economy. Upon boarding, you will normally receive a welcome drink of choice with options like champagne, juice, or water. Once airborne, flight attendants will normally hand out paper menus listing all the food choices available in flight.

The food on these flights is nothing to be scoffed at as these airlines invest heavily into providing top notch dining experiences. These airlines have chef inspired menus that seek to provide high class culinary offerings from caviar to local delicacies. For example checkout Cathay Pacific’s partnership with a Michelin starred restaurant to provide lobster or iberico pork belly to name a few. You can also expect a multi course meal complete with appetiizer, main course, and dessert. Another great benefit is that on the long haul flights, these airlines will also have an “anytime menu” which lists out food that can be ordered whenever. If you’re still feeling hungry and want a bite, these anytime dishes are a great and delicious way to satisfy those in flight cravings.

Cathay Pacific First Class Dining

Lounge Access


Probably the most underrated part of the premium cabin experience is the ability to enter business/first class lounges depending on the respective class you are flying in. Prior to boarding your flight, these lounges provide a great way to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Depending on the lounge, you can find things like buffets, quiet seating areas, and showers all of which really get you in a good mood to fly.

With the prevalence of credit cards offering complementary lounge access, it’s important to highlight that these lounges are unlikely to be able to be accessed via credit card perks and are not just your usual run of the mill lounges. These lounges can vary wildly but there are some pretty insane ones out there like Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge which allows you to relax with your own hot tub, or Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Lounge which is one of the largest lounges in the world and offers everything from nap rooms to world class food.

Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge

Priority Lines


The last really great aspect of flying in a premium cabin is gaining access to dedicated lines at almost every step of the check-in and boarding process. Passengers flying in business or first class are able to check in at airline counters dedicated to serving premium cabin passengers. If you’re checking in bags, this is a huge time saver and makes the process much easier. Even at the security section, there can be a special line for just passengers flying in business or first class which really reduces time spent waiting in line. Lastly, passengers in business and first class get to board the aircraft first and this is a nice touch as it allows you to get situated in your seat and gives you more time to get comfortable before takeoff.

Dedicated Boarding Line for First Class

Conclusion


Flying in international business or first class is truly a luxury that everyone should try if they can. It comes with a myriad of perks and benefits that really make the whole flying experience that much more enjoyable and memorable.

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