How premium can a premium flight be? Dan Campbell-Lavis talks us through the differences between First and Business Class Flights.
When it comes to premium travel, the old cliché really is true. ‘Once you’ve flown premium, you won’t want to fly any other way.’ And I can attest to that. Having experienced the incredible luxury of Business Class and First Class cabins, it’s simultaneously a perk of the job and a curse, as it’s so hard to go back to Economy.
While there is quite a noticeable difference between Economy Class and Business Class, the difference between Business and First is much closer and very much comes down to privacy and service.
Business Class really does spoil you…
Business Class cabins - while offering an incredible experience for leisure travellers - are very much set up with a business traveller in mind. They offer a private cabin that is quiet and spacious with seats that have large desks, in-seat power supplies and flat beds so you can get some sleep. On the ground, Business Class lounges encompasses a similar experience. Lounges are a quiet place to relax or work, there are office spaces set up with computers and printers, and hot meals and showers so you can freshen up before the flight.
But First Class takes it to a new level completely…
Where Business Class is designed with the business traveller in mind, First Class is designed to be the ultimate experience in the sky. As a result, the biggest differences come down to space, service, privacy and of course price.
Service in particular is hugely different in First Class. For example some airlines offer a private chauffer service in luxury cars from your home to the airport, where you’ll then be dropped off outside the a dedicated First Class check-in counter. From there you will enjoy a private and speedy security and immigration area, which will often lead directly into the First Class lounge – so you never have to face the crowds and bustle of the airport. Dedicated First Class Lounges are also less about business and more about the full experience with everything from spa treatments to Champagne rooms and restaurant-style dining.
Private from start to finish…
From the lounge, you’ll then board the plane first via a private entrance just for First Class passengers, where you will be welcomed by the crew who will ask you about how and when you want to dine throughout the flight. In Business Class you are typically served a three course meal which you can choose off a menu, along with premium drinks and champagne upon arrival. In First Class though, some airlines will cook and prepare you whatever you want. British Airways have recently honed in the idea of choosing what you want before you fly, so you can pre-select your meals in advance by booking them online, allowing you to get your first choice of food. It’s also generally freshly prepared for you and served on china alongside fine wine you would find in a 5 star restaurant.
For the New York to London night flight with British Airways, the staff will even offer you the dinner service at the airport, so you can get on the plane and enjoy 6 hours sleep without the staff disturbing you. It’s that attention to detail that really sets First Class apart from Business Class.
Skies the limit with First Class…
The other thing to note is that while Business Class services can greatly vary, First Class cabins generally enjoy the same industry standards. As a result, airlines are constantly working to innovate their service and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
For example, Emirates has showers on board their A380 as well as First Class Suites where you’re space has a door you can close for full privacy. Singapore Airlines also offers similar suites as well. Etihad is taking it to the next level though where they are putting apartments onboard their planes. Their new ‘The Residence’ is essentially a private jet onboard an aeroplane with three private rooms; a bedroom, lounge and bathroom. The apartment also comes with a butler.
The First and Business Flight Centre difference…
Anyone can book a premium airfare online, but if you’re looking to get the best value for money, that’s where we can help. At First and Business, we not only have the relationship with the airlines to enable us to get the best airfares, but we also have the expertise and exposure of experiencing First and Business Class cabins first hand. So we can find you the best in-flight experience for the best-value price.
For more advice on premium cabins, talk to our First and Business premium airfare experts today.