Some airlines don’t refer to it as first class anymore, rather putting it down as business class, but either way, is it really worth it flying in a cabin class that’s clearly more than a few notches above what you’d get flying in economy class? I mean there is no doubt about the fact that you get more perceived value for paying at least double what you’d pay for the list-price of an economy class ticket, but let’s drill down to this perceived value and ascertain whether or not it’s really worth it.
The perks of first class vs. economy
Priority check-in and boarding
Getting to check-in before everybody else perhaps goes down as a frivolous perk, but hey, if you don’t want to wait in line then that’s a perk to enjoy. If there are many other first class travellers then you will inevitably wait in line, albeit it’ll naturally be a shorter line than that serving economy class passengers. When it gets to the customs lines though everybody’s equal.
A better in-flight service
First class passengers definitely get an in-flight service that’s miles better than that of the economy class travellers. It’s like having a set of personal servants at your beck and call in a restaurant that’s flying above the clouds, which can be converted into a bedroom anytime you feel the urge to get in some good sleep.
Better cabin facilities
Fewer people using the same lavatory facilities can definitely make a first-class flight worth it in many respects and in some premium airlines you can even enjoy the use of your very own private restroom. You get better cabin facilities all round to go with the better in-flight service.
Weighing-up the cost differences
In all honesty, as someone who understands the value of money from the point of view of someone who is business, I’d say that ultimately the value of flying first class depends on a number of contextual details. If you’re on a three-hour flight for example, I wouldn’t think it makes financial sense to effectively splurge on a first class ticket, because you won’t have all that long to enjoy the associated perks. In that case you’d basically just be paying at least double what it costs to fly economy just to enjoy some premium food in the sky, to go with a goodie bag you probably don’t need if you can afford to pay that much for a ticket.
I’d say the value of a first class flight shines through on long haul flights that are at least 10 hours long. You get all the privacy you need along with the kind of space associated with a make-shift hotel in the sky. I’d say it becomes worth it if you might need to get a good night’s sleep so that you’re fresh for a business meeting or event you might be attending at your destination. I guess that’s why many airlines refer to it as business class instead of first class.