Travel – First Class vs Business Class: What I’d Pick
Are you a frequent flier? Whether you travel often for business or pleasure, quite often making the choice between flying first class or business class can seem like a difficult decision.
However, there are a few factors to keep in mind that might just make your decision that little bit easier. So, let us discover 3 things to consider when debating whether to fly first class or business class.
Generally speaking, first class tends to cost twice as much as business class. Of course, there are exceptions to this, especially during off peak times and sales periods, and pricing can also vary significantly depending on the route you choose to take and the airline you decide to fly with.
With this in mind, it is important to remember that paying more usually provides access to more amenities. Whereas both business class and first class sections typically offer adjustable, lie-flat seating, delicious food and snacks, and complimentary alcohol, if freedom of choice matters to you, then first class tickets often come with additional perks such as luxurious meals and enclosed spaces.
That being said, if you are looking to expense the cost of your flight ticket, then most companies will make allowances for business class tickets, especially for international flights. First class tickets are far less likely to be included as part of your expenses policy. It is therefore fundamental that you check your employer’s expenses policy before booking your flight.
Similarly, if you or your employer collects air miles, there is not normally much difference between a first class and business class tickets. Industry standards state that economy ticket holders earn 100% of miles actually flown, whereas business class and first class air miles are normally set at 125% and 150% respectively.
Consequently, a lot of frequent fliers claim that the mileage bonuses are not worth the huge jump in cost and so flying business class sometimes makes more sense where value for money in terms of air mile bonuses is concerned.
Although both business and first-class services can be differentiated from economy seating, the improvements and luxuries on offer can fluctuate depending on the airline. Although in most cases, first-class amenities supersede business class amenities on international flights, for domestic flights the actual differences might only be slight and therefore not worth the extra money.
Put simply, if getting a good night’s sleep and a guarantee of privacy are important to you, then travelling first-class is strongly recommended. Nonetheless, there are some fantastic business class services out there too, so remember to do your research to work out which perks are provided as part of your rate.
Additionally, if the actual airport experience matters to you, while some airlines do offer different lounges for first-class passengers, the majority of business class and first class passengers are allowed to make use of the same lounge and terminal. Needless to say, waiting to board can be tiresome, but relaxing in a comfortable seat with access to exclusive snacks and drinks can make the experience more enjoyable.
When choosing between business class or first class, make a checklist. Do you want a seat that turns into a bed? What is the layout of the cabin like? Will you be in close proximity to other passengers? From there you can use your findings to assess which factors matter most to your journey so that you can enjoy peace of mind that you will be getting exactly what you paid for, and a laid back flight to boot.
Food and drink provisions can often be used to make the distinction between business class and first class. For example, while business class food is up there with high quality restaurant fare, dining in first class is an experience in itself.
Meals prepared for first class customers are usually overseen by world famous Michelin-starred chefs. Correspondingly, before booking your ticket it is well worth making an enquiry about the food that will be served on your flight.
Furthermore, while complimentary alcohol might be available in both business class and first class, first class customers sometimes have exclusive access to onboard bars where you can mingle with fellow passengers and enjoy delicious cocktails from trained bar staff.
Ultimately, with business class perks getting better and better as airlines move their focus towards improving business class services, some aviation experts claim that first class might soon become a thing of the past. Business travel is hugely profitable for airlines, with the numbers of business travellers increasing year upon year.
On a final note, be sure to always check with your airline prior to booking so that you know exactly what to expect and can choose the right type of ticket for your next flight.