Have you been considering flying business class and wondering what the perks and benefits are opposed to an economy seat? Well, I can let you in on a little secret … generally speaking there is a HUGE difference between the two cabins. We have been fortunate enough to fly business class on quite a few occasions over the past decade. Occasionally we splash out and pay for business class seats, but mostly it has been through the clever use of our frequent flyer miles or because we have been flying for work.
Of course, every airline offers something slightly different and unique in their business class cabin. And it will also depend whether you are flying domestically, internationally, long haul or short haul. But as a general rule, here are some of the incredible perks you can enjoy when flying business class.
15 Perks of Flying Business Class
#1: Dedicated Check-In
Your business class experience commences as soon as you arrive at the airport. Long waiting check-in queues are a thing of the past! When flying business class, enjoy a dedicated check-in line which will (almost) always be much shorter than the economy queue, and you will also be given the VIP treatment by the airline staff.
#2: Excess Baggage Allowance
Flying business class will generally afford you an increased baggage allowance. This applies to both your check-in and cabin baggage. Now, whilst I am an advocate of trying to travel light, it is a lot easier said than done. Especially say, if you are moving country or flying with a toddler. So it can definitely be beneficial to have that extra baggage allowance.
#3: Fast-track Security
Just like check-in, there is normally a dedicated fast-track security line for business class passengers. Whilst it is still the normal security process, the line is often much shorter. And the passengers in the queue are likely well versed travelers, so know how to move through security promptly.
#4: Business Class Lounge
There will almost always be an airport lounge for you to enjoy prior to boarding when flying business class. They tend to be peaceful and spacious, with much more comfortable seating than the general airport. There will be complimentary food and alcohol, along with newspapers, magazines and work spaces. The more luxe lounges will have spa quality shower facilities and some offer a kids play area.
I’m not going to lie, I enjoy arriving at the airport early just to make use of these facilities. Some of the lounges around the world are outstanding such as the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai or the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges in Hong Kong.
#5: Priority Boarding
If you are someone who likes to be ‘first on the plane‘ then you will love this perk of flying business class. Passengers are invited to board the plane at their leisure, so there is no waiting for your row to be called and scrambling to be first in line so that you can nab that premium overhead lockers space. Or if you prefer, you can be the absolute last person to board the plane!
At some airports you can board the plane directly from the business class lounge – you don’t even have to venture back out into the throng of passengers in the terminal!
#6: Drinks On Arrival
Once seated, you will be offered a refreshment prior to take off. This is normally water, juice or champagne. Its the perfect way to relax and get settled as you prepare for your business class flight.
#7: Better Seating (And Perhaps A Lay Flat Bed!)
Now this will highly depend on the airline, airplane and the route you are flying. But when flying business class you will mostly enjoy a bigger and more luxurious seat with extra legroom and more places to put all your things. If you are lucky, you may even have a lay-flat bed. These are truly a god-sent on an overnight or long haul flight. Getting some restful sleep on a flight can really help with the jet lag.
Business class seats are also perfect to recline, put your feet up and enjoy a movie on your inflight entertainment. The screens are typically much bigger too!
#8: Gourmet Quality Food & Drink
As you would most likely expect, the food and drink offered inflight are far superior when flying business class. Champagne, fillet steak, lobster… the possibilities are endless. I tend to find that the food offered is much healthier and nutritious than the bulk standard meals served in economy. And of course you are presented with a fancy menu, wine list and have the option of an entrée, main and dessert.
#9: Luxury Toiletries … And Maybe Even PJs
The more prestigious airlines favor to partner with a luxury skin care brand to provide a luxe toiletries bag to those passengers flying business class. They have all your inflight essentials such as a toothbrush, moisturiser and lip balm.
On airlines such as Qantas and Emirates, I have even received a pair of PJs on overnight flights. Initially I assumed absolutely no one would change into their PJs and slippers. But guess what? Almost EVERYONE got changed and enjoyed an extra comfortable flight.
#10: Increased Customer Service
In the business class cabin, each flight attendant is responsible for less passengers than in economy. So naturally, you will receive better customer service. Its common to be greeted by name and all your needs professionally tended to during the flight. It is a much more personalised service and definitely adds to that luxe experience.
#11: Snacks & Reading Material
Most business class cabins will have a great variety of magazines and newspapers available for you to enjoy during the flight. And they often offer a little ‘help yourself‘ snack bar with fruit, crisps, chocolates, water, juices etc. Of course the flight attendant can bring any of this to you at the call of a button, but it is nice to have the self service option if you fancy it.
#12: Sometimes There Is A Bar!
Now, I have only experienced a bar in the sky when flying business class with Emirates on their A380. However, it is a very cool experience! During the flight you can ‘pop to the bar‘ and enjoy snacks and drinks poured by the bar tender. There are several seats so you can relax for a while and mingle with other passengers. For this privilege alone, it definitely trumps flying economy!
#13: First Passengers Off The Plane
Generally speaking, if there is a first class cabin then those passengers will be allowed to disembark the plane first. Then followed by business class passengers. As there are not as many passengers in the business class cabin, it allows you to collect your things swiftly without the jostle for elbow space, and leave the plane in an orderly fashion. Its just another little perk of flying business class which makes the experience all that much nicer. It also means you are first in line for customs and baggage claim.
#14: Priority Baggage
All your check-in luggage will be tagged with priority baggage tags, and they should be the first ones unloaded from the plane. If things work seamlessly, your luggage can be waiting for your on the conveyor belt as you arrive in the baggage hall and you are departing the airport in an instant. Its the best feeling after a long haul flight when you don’t have to wait around for your luggage.
#15: Complimentary Chauffeur-drive Service
I have only experienced this myself with one airline, that being Emirates business class. However I was offered a complimentary chauffeur-drive service to take me to the airport and then onto my final destination upon landing. Now I know it sounds a little over the top, but wow, it is so nice to walk out and see someone holding a sign with your name. And then have them whisk you off to the car whilst they assist you with your luggage. Its the perfect ending to what has hopefully been a relaxing and luxurious flight.
So, as you can see, flying business class is a pretty special experience. There are an abundance of perks and indulgences to be enjoyed prior to take off and whilst you are high in the sky. And it definitely makes flying long haul a much more enjoyable process. What do you think, will you splash out for flying business class? I hope you can all experience it at least once! Safe travels, Shell x