The Difference Between Coach, Business & First Class

Brittany Reed

Buying a plane ticket should be simple, but there’s often more to it than just booking a seat. Knowing exactly what you’re getting for the seat you’ll be occupying can be tricky, but knowing exactly what class your seat is in can help you navigate easier. But how do you know where you want to sit? Is first class really better than economy class? (Hint: yes) Is business class that far behind first? (Hint: not really). And is economy class as bare-bones as people say it is? (Hint: depends on the airline).

Economic Seating
Coach and economy are essentially the same thing. In economy, you’re getting a seat that will take you from where you are to where you want to go. The frills are limited, as is the legroom, but you can check out the options that your airline offers. For example, you’ll likely see differences in Wi-Fi availability, food, in-flight entertainment, and level of service. For the most part, if you’re looking to get the best price, economy class is the way to go.

One Step Up
Premium economy can go by many different names, but it all stands for an upgraded economy seat. It will cost a bit more, but not as much as business class or first class seating. You might find yourself with a larger seat, better TV screens, and better food. Some airlines will go all out and give you drinks, meal choices, amenity kits and more so it might be worth it if you’re feeling the need for more than just a seat.

Better Business
The Difference Between Coach, Business & First ClassBusiness class flying will spoil you to the point that you might never fly economy again. Look for larger seats that can turn into a bed, real meals on real plates with real utensils, pre-flight drinks, and a dedicated bar, and service with a smile. Business flights are better than flying economy, but not as expensive as flying first class.

The Top Of The Line
First class seating is thought of as the cream of the crop; reserved for celebrities and the rich. First class offers seating that converts into full-sized beds that can go completely flat at the touch of a button and include luxury pillows and linens for ultimate comfort. Spas, heated floors, and personal bathrooms can be found on many airlines as well as personal audio/video units, flat-screen monitors, showers and even onboard 3-room apartments.  The customer service is at the absolute peak, the food is created by 5-star chefs, and the price tag reflects it all.
Perks On The Ground
Of course, differences can begin before you even board your flight.  Some first class perks include being driven to your plane in a car and receipt of a complimentary spa treatment. Lounges on the ground for first class are impressive for many airlines, especially internationally, while domestic first class lounges are still behind. Business class lounges are typically quieter so you can get some work done or just relax in peace. They offer comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi and snacks but are not as extravagant as first class.

Enjoy The Journey
The difference really is clear, but only you can decide the best way to fly for your situation. No matter what class you’re in, remember to make the best of your flight and enjoy it for what it’s worth as the journey is just as important as the destination.

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