Sitting at the front part of the airplane definitely guarantees you a pleasant and memorable air travel experience. First class has become a symbol of luxury air travel.
If you are a first-time passenger in first class, you are likely to have many questions. In this article we will cover some of the important things you should know, if you want to fly in first class.
First class travel provides you with the ultimate comfort you need when flying. You know that long-haul international flights can be exhausting but by choosing first class travel, you can be sure that you won’t experience any of the effects of long flights.
By flying in first class you can really get a world class air travel experience. If you want to feel pampered, relaxed and productive during your entire flight, first class flights are the perfect choice for you.
What is first class?
For those of you who are just entering the world of first class travel, first class flights offer the largest space and the most comfortable seats for passengers compared to the other air travel classes. First class cabin is available on domestic and short haul flights but it’s not the same as first class cabin on international flights.
If you choose to fly in first class on a domestic route, the seats will still be large and comfortable but they won’t have the same compartments and features you will find on international long-haul flights.
The first class seats on long duration flights are more spacious than those on shorter first class flights.
First class cabin has rows of just four seats while regular economy class offers rows of ten seats. The seat configuration of economy class is 3-4-3 while the seat configuration of first class is 1-2-1 or 1-1-1.
First class flights offer the highest quality air travel services and amenities that have no analog in the airline industry. Depending on the airline and the flight type sometimes there can be some similarities between first and business class.
Some airlines completely removed their first class and merged it with business class. So you should know that business class is the highest air travel class of certain air companies.
What is the cost to fly in first class and is it really worth it?
The standard price for an international first class flight can be somewhere between $5000 and $10 000. And this is normal given the fact that a first class cabin offers the most luxurious amenities and services of highest quality on-board.
However, there are different ways in which frequent flyers can get a first class ticket for a much lower price. Airlines often offer ticket discounts and seat upgrades to its loyal passengers who wish to enjoy the amazing benefits of first class.
The prices of first class flights can’t go as low as those of business class flights but their high price makes sense given how high is the quality of all first class services.
Airlines offer discounts on first class flights too but the lowered price for a first class ticket is still high for the largest part of travelers.
First class is more convenient for long-haul destinations and it’s even recommended for long distance air travel. But if we are talking about flights with short duration and domestic flights, then booking a first class ticket may not be worth the high investment.
So if you need to fly on a long-haul transcontinental route, choosing first class will be the best option for you.
If you are one of those who can afford to get a first class ticket, then you should not hesitate to enjoy the many advantages first class flights provide you with.
First class passengers get world class services and many perks both on the ground and during the flight.
Some of the perks are:
- seats that can be turned into comfortable beds
- private compartments in the airplane cabin
- premium lounge access at the airport
- private transport to and from the airport
- personalized air cabin service.
Let’s not forget about the welcome glass of champagne after boarding the aircraft.
The luxury amenities of first class lounges can really maximize your air travel experience and you should not miss to get advantage from some of them.
You have the option to get advantage of a variety of luxury amenities that will help you feel special and well-rested.
What amenities first class flights offer?
Ultra comfortable seats
First class seats are more spacious and offer more extras than the seats on the other air travel cabin.
In fact, some airlines offer entire suites on their first class cabins that offer passengers the privacy and quiet space they need.
These air cabin suites are equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and productive flight. They feature sliding doors, space for your baggage and personal belongings, sufficient lighting (that you can adjust according to your preferences), trays for dining and working.
First class seats offer 60 inches of legroom which is way more than the legroom economy class seats offer. The seats have dividers between each other which offers added privacy for the passengers.
In first class you have plenty of entertainment options, you can watch movies, listen to music and podcasts or play games.
First class seats offer different extras such as:
- built-in TV monitors with a touchscreen
- compartment for storing personal baggage
- power outlets for charging devices
The TV screens inside the first class cubicles can be either controlled from their touchscreens or with a handy remote controller.
Luxury lounge access
If you have much time between connecting flights, don’t miss to spend it at your airline’s first class lounge. First class tickets include exclusive access to luxury airport lounges that offer a great variety of services and amenities.
Five-star lounge amenities
Restaurants and dining areas
Some of the available first class lounge amenities are restaurants, cafes, bars, buffet zones with a rich offering of meals and drinks.
Lounge restaurants offer you a rich menu with exquisite restaurant-quality meals and premium quality drinks. The meals are prepared by professional chefs with high quality ingredients.
As a first class lounge guest you can either choose to sit down and wait for a waiter to show you the menu or either serve yourself a chosen meal at a buffet, if you are in a hurry.
First class passengers will find different self-service spots throughout luxury lounges. They offer different drinks and light snacks.
First class lounges offer also a work area where passengers can get their job done in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere. This area features office chairs and tables with computers, printers and even meeting rooms – everything a business traveler needs to catch up on their work projects.
In first class you are not going to wait long at airport checkpoints. First and business class passengers can use a dedicated check-in counter that is designed only for premium class flyers.
And as a first class passenger you can also use a separate line that allows you to pass through security and immigration quickly.
This option is a great time-saver. Instead of waiting in a long queue to board your airplane, you can take your seat and enjoy a glass of champagne before everybody else.
During the check in process all first class flyers are invited to sit down by a desk and they are assisted by a check-in agent with their luggage.
More baggage allowance
Another great advantage of first class travel is the option to bring more baggage with you. As a first class passenger you can check an additional baggage piece.
Premium quality meals and drinks
On first class flights the drinks are served in real glass cups and the meals on ceramic plates.
Here you can try a rich selection of wines and champagne as well as spirit drinks, beer, freshly squeezed juice. You can also choose from two separate menus-food menu and drinks menu.
The quality of the meals offered on first class flights and at the lounges can’t be compared to this of the food you will find on economy flights.
First class travelers can enjoy in-flight a la carte dining, gourmet meals, buffet meal options.
Private chauffeured transport
In first class you are never in a hurry and you never miss business meetings or other important events. Premium cabin passengers can enjoy the option of having their own private luxury vehicle that will transport them quickly to and from the airport.
When you arrive at the airport you just wait for your private car to come to pick you at the lounge and drive you to your boarding gate.
Some airlines offer their customers also a hotel pickup service which means you can be driven in a luxury vehicle from your hotel to the airport.
Full-service in-flight bar
Depending on the airline and the aircraft model you can find in-flight bars where first class passengers can enjoy alcoholic drinks, cocktails and light snacks.
Luxury amenity kits
International first class flights offer their passengers complementary kits during the flight which can make your flight more comfortable.
These kits include different travel essentials and cosmetic products such as:
- moisturizing cream and lotion
- hair comb
- sleep mask
- ear plugs
- noise-canceling headphones
Individual attention from air cabin crew
Since first class cabins have a small number of seats, passengers are more likely to get individual attention from the flight attendant staff and ask for the things they need. One of the greatest things about flying in first class is that you can inform the flight attendant staff of your personal food and drink preferences.
Tips for beginner first class fliers
Book a spa treatment
First class lounges offer their customers spa centers with different rejuvenating spa therapies with cosmetic products from renowned brands.
Depending on the airline you need to make your spa reservation at least 24 hours before departure. But some airlines allow you to book a spa therapy upon entering the first class lounge.
Upgrading to first class
The good news for those of you who are flying on a more strict budget is that you can travel in first class for cheap. There are some ways in which you can score an upgrade from business class to first class.
What are the factors that can help you to get a first class upgrade?
If your chosen business class flight is overbooked, then you can choose to give up your seat and ask if you can be upgraded to another flight.
Elite flyer status
Getting a VIP status in an airline is another way to get an upgrade to a first class seat. As each airline has different rules concerning the status of an elite flyer.
In general, the higher your status in an airline, the more likely you are to get a first class seat. One of the quickest ways to obtain an elite flyer status is to sign up for an airline credit card.
Upgrade with miles and points
It’s possible to use your points and miles to get a seat in first class. Some airlines offer their passengers the great option to use their award points and frequent flyer miles to upgrade booked economy tickets.
However this depends mainly on the fare class of your ticket, so don’t forget to check it. Some air travel classes (such as basic economy) don’t offer you the option to upgrade.
Make a bid for an upgrade
All passengers who travel on an air travel lower than first (this doesn’t count for basic economy flights) can bid on a seat in first class. If you are a frequent flyer, your airline will inform you with an email about the available upgrades for you. This option allows you to get a seat on a higher class flight at a lower price than the original fare you have booked the flight on .
This option includes some restrictions and for this reason you should check the conditions of your company.
Use an upgrade voucher
Air companies give their elite flyers upgrade vouchers every year. So, if you are an owner of such a voucher and don’t plan to use it, you have the option to gift it to someone.