Fly Business Class – it’s worth it
A key part of our travel philosophy is that we look for value not for price. When we travel, we nearly always fly business class. Join those two statements together and it says that for us, the question “Is business class worth it?” attracts a pretty solid yes!
Let’s review the benefits of flying business class in words that the airlines can’t use…
Before you leave
Priority Check In. How much fun is it really to start your trip standing in a line shuffling forward with your suitcases for an hour or more? How much better to swan up to the business class check in counter and be all done in 3 minutes?
Fast Track Lanes for Security. Did you realize that at many of the busiest airports, business class passengers enjoy a special lane for security? It’s a real bonus because it makes it that much sooner that you get to the
Business Class Lounge. Once you have enjoyed the hospitality of a major airline lounge while waiting for your flight, it is really hard to go back to sitting with the masses. If you fly business class, your ticket will make you welcome. If you are flying with the same or an affiliated airline you can also present you gold or platinum frequent flyer card if you have one.
Separate airbridge. Business class passengers don’t do the airbridge and airplane aisle shuffle. They either board first or waltz down a separate airbridge (or turn left when the enter the plane) and stroll directly to their assigned seats.
In the air
Riding at the pointy end of the plane. To fly business class is simply nicer. It is rare to encounter a crying baby or upset two year old in the business class cabin. You are never shoehorned into a seat between two grossly overweight travellers. You won’t find a rowdy group of friends who think that everyone should share their joy. You won’t be fighting for space in the overhead locker and he staff will hang your coat in a closet for you.
Comfy seats. Business class seats are very cool. They are wider. They are set further apart (pitch) and on long haul flights they are surrounded by clever places to store things all designed to make you trip more pleasant.
Large and restricted lavatories. Passengers in business class don’t stand in the aisle reserving their place to use the lavatory. If there is a bit of traffic they simply watch for the light to go out and then get out of their seat and go. Yes, even after the breakfast service on a long haul flight. Oh, and the staff are very quick to give the toilets a quick once over during a break in traffic. For many 50 somethings and older the toilets alone are a good reason to fly business class.
Lie Flat Beds. If you pick your aircraft and airline your will get a seat that lies fully flat to make a very comfortable bed. Flying 12-14 hours with a lie flat bed is really no inconvenience at all. You arrive in great shape fully rested and ready for the day. Beware! Look for words like “fully flat” or “180 degrees”. There are seats that go nearly flat but leave you on a slight slope. Often referred to as “wedgy beds” – you can guess why.
Classy Meal Service. Business class passengers don’t eat meals out of boxes. The tables are set beautifully, compete with table cloth and out comes the china and silverware. Oh, and the wine is usually pretty good too!
Attentive and friendly Staff. Do the math. Four staff to look after 48 passengers at the front vs the ratios at the back of the plane. Even better, it is generally the experienced heavily service oriented staff who are assigned to the business class cabin.
Room to work. This blog wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that business class gives you room for well… business. When you fly business class there is no need to wonder if your laptop will fit between your belly and the seat in front of you. There is heaps of room and the table doesn’t bounce up and down either. Even if you are on vacation room to work comes in handy. I like to spend time in the air sorting out photos and videos.
When you arrive
Priority Disembarkation. Why does it matter if you are one of the first off the plane? Immigration. Unless there has been a flight landed just before you, there is a good chance that you will walk straight up to an immigration counter before you are joined by a few hundred of your closest friends.
Priority Baggage. Again it is all about waiting (or NOT waiting). It is nice to see your bags amongst the very first ones onto the carousel. Grab your suitcases and head on through customs before everyone else gets there.
Increased Baggage Allowance. While talking of baggage, business class passengers typically enjoy 30Kg to 40Kg baggage allowance. While I can’t imagine ever lugging around that much, it is very nice not to be concerned about whether you are going to be over the 20Kg allowance that is normal in economy.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. For us, the hassle free and very pleasant travel experience is value worth having – so we fly business class. Sometimes we pay for it and sometimes we use points to save a bundle – but that is another blog post.