The majority of people who travel by plane book a ticket in the economy class, also known as coach or standard. If you prefer some extra luxury or have specific needs, you might opt to pay a bit more for business or first class seats. Before you book your next flight, you should know the difference between the three so you can make the best decision for yourself.
If you’ve been on a plane before, you’re probably familiar with the cramped seating and limited leg room. This is a common trend in the economy class. Even movies and TV shows have featured bits where a person has a stranger sleeping on their shoulder during a long flight. As humorous as it might be, that does happen from time to time. Power outlets, Wi-Fi, snacks, complimentary drinks and entertainment varies depending on the flight. You will have to pay an extra cost for some of those amenities.
If traditional economy is too cramped for you, some flights offer a premium economy class. There is an extra cost, but it is far less than business class. With this option, you get an upgraded lounge at the airport, wider seats, better food, more luggage allowance, and even larger television screens.
The popular saying is that you’ll never be happy in economy class after flying business class once. It is a more luxurious experience with real glasses and silverware, wide reclining chairs, a private lounge in the airport with complimentary snacks, and sometimes chauffeured pick-up. Business class has become so nice that some airlines have even done away with first class.
Traditionally, first class seats were reserved for people with a great deal of disposable income, such as celebrities. First class has all the perks of business class, plus some. There’s additional privacy and a higher standard of service. The quality of airport lounges vary by region, but some say the best lounges are in Asia. However, Europe and Australia are following close behind.
As with many aspects of daily life, your experience in each class could vary by airline, country, or even just the staff on board. If you’re just looking to get from point A to point B without much concern for luxury or comfort, economy is the way to go. If you’re trying for some additional luxury (at a higher price tag), give business or first class a try. For some travelers, it is a part of their bucket list to splurge on a ticket at least once.