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Travel Tips

Is is worth it to fly Business Class ? Find out why

The perils of flying Economy

An economy seat will get you from point A to point B. You will be fed along the way and you will do your very best to pass the time hunkered in your place. You may try to watch the given entertainment, or try to sleep. Throughout the flight, you will risk rubbing arms and shoulders with the passenger(s) seated next to you.

At the end of your flight, you ache to deboard into the expanse of the airport terminal. If you have a layover, you depend on the amenities provided by the airport to its passengers. Regrettably, your experience can, of course, vary greatly from airport to airport.

Some perks of Business Class airfare

With a business class ticket, the Airline will take care if you. Some airlines provide a chauffeur service from home to airport to home (or anywhere) to their business class passengers. This is true for first class and business class passengers flying one of Etihad, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Qantas.

El Al provides a chauffeur service only to their first class passengers.

Brussels Air however provides a generous chauffeur service to any single passenger or two passengers having a combined airfare valued at $1900 or more.

An accepted perk of a business class air-fare includes access to exclusive lounges furnished with comfortable seating, complimentary meals and refreshments, showers, spa, laundry services and conferencing. The perks are endless. In some instances perhaps you may even be saving money by purchasing a business class ticket if you avail most if not all of these services.

Seating in Business Class Flights

N509FZ [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

No one will deny that Business class seats and food are superior to Economy. 

Economy seats can vary in width from 16 inches to 20 inches. The leg room (pitch) can vary from 20 inches to 38 inches. (Source: SeatGuru). This space matters very much if you are in a long haul flight and strapped to your seat for a minimum of 6 to 7 hours.

For an additional fee, you can upgrade to a premium economy seat. You will get the same service as the rest of the passengers in the economy – but you will have a better seat. The seat width in Premium Economy can vary from 17 inches to 21 inches. The leg room (pitch) can vary from 29 inches to 46 inches – which can be worth the extra for some passengers.

Many airlines offer a Recliner type seat in Premium Economy. These seats have a greater recline as well as a footrest that can be elevated. Recliner seats are also mainly found in business class of short-haul flights.

In long-haul flights, few airlines and aircraft are equipped with Recliner type seats in the Business Class. This may also be the case if the aircraft was changed by the airline for that particular flight for some reason.

However, Business Class in long-haul flights in most airlines are equipped with lie-flat seats. There are two types of lie-flat seats: Angled-flat and Flat-Bed.

Angle-Flat seats recline to almost flat position – but your head will be a little higher. This is okay for most people but for some, they may find themselves sliding down the seat.
Flat-Bed seats recline to a position parallel to the cabin floor – thus no risk of sliding.

The seat width in the business class varies from 18 inches to 30 inches. The leg-room (pitch) will vary from 30 inches all the way up-to a generous 82 inches.

Dining and Service for Business Class Passengers

Matt [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Business class passengers flying long haul have the biggest perks in terms of lounging and dining when in transit or at the departures at the airport. They have access to exclusive lounges, provided to them by their airline, which include complementary meals which you can eat on comfortable chairs.

Meals in airport lounges are always buffet style – there may be exceptions which I am not aware of. Food and Drinks and Salads are all laid out in front of you and you can have as much as or as little as you want.

One word of foresight – some passengers taking over-night flights or are in transit late into the night at an airport may find the buffet service a little disappointing. This is likely because of reduced staff or that the kitchen is closed for the night. In the worse case scenario – you may find the lounge closed for the night.

Sebastian White [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Business class passengers are given priority boarding before the economy class passengers. Large air crafts such as the Boeing 747, the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A380 have a capacity for 50 to 80 business class passengers.
To save time (and grievance) in full flights, Business and First Class passengers are boarded via a separate gate. At some airports, they will board directly from the lounge.

When on board and seated, Business Class passengers are usually offered a pre-flight drink or snack as the economy class passengers board. Once in the air, they are offered a menu for their lunch or dinner where they can tick off their choices. Additionally, they may choose their snacks and breakfast at this point also.

On some airlines, Business class meals are are served by on-board chefs, who may customize your plate if a need arises. They do not however cook meals on open flames on board.

Airlines will invest money to provide food to all their premium passengers that is pleasing to the eye and with a touch of human emotion. Some airlines will go out of their way to provide exclusive beverages on First and Business classes to further enhance passenger experience.

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