Experiencing Premium Air Travel: A Comprehensive Guide to First Class and Business Class

As a traveler, you may have noticed the rise in popularity of luxury plane seats. And you’re probably curious about what distinguishes business class vs. first class.

If you’ve found yourself wondering if business class is worth it, especially on international flights, find out the main differences between business class and first class below.

Key Differences Between Business vs. First Class

Believe it or not, depending on the airline and if you’re traveling domestically or internationally, there can be several differences between first class vs. business class. We’ll keep it simple by providing a few of the main distinguishing factors between these two classes so you know what to generally expect with each one.

The Seat Experience

A typical business class seat isn’t just a recliner but lies flat or angled. It offers far more space than in the economy or premium economy cabin seats.

When flying first class on a plane, seats are often angled for privacy. For international flights, first class seats often have amenity kits that have pajamas and slippers, which are more luxurious than what you get in business class.

In-Flight Services and Amenities

The biggest difference between a business class flight and a first-class flight is the in-flight services and amenities. Business-class food is good, but first-class passengers get food that’s often prepared by or selected by famous chefs – and wines are carefully paired with each course. Additionally, many first-class flights have amenities like name-brand bedding products, a good mattress pad, and more.

Overall, service is generally much more attentive in first class than in business class. This is largely because in business class there may be one flight attendant for every ten or so passengers. Whereas in first class, there’s typically one flight attendant for every few passengers. It makes a huge difference.

Privacy and Space

One of the top priorities for flyers is personal space. Business class seats are much better than economy seats, offering more space and often featuring direct aisle access. However, first class seats are on a different level, often providing fully enclosed suites with individual temperature and lighting controls. First class seats offer the most personal space and privacy.

Cost Implications

When it comes to cost, is first class worth it? Is business class worth it on an internationalflight? Since first class tickets can be much more expensive than business class depending on the airline and the route, this is an important consideration to make.

Since you can get many of the same amenities in business class, especially on international flights, that you do in first class, it may be worth going with business class and saving the extra money. But if money isn’t an issue and having extra service and luxuries will make a big difference for you, then first class may be the way to go

Why Choose Business Class?

Wondering if you should choose business class? Here are a few reasons it may make sense to choose business class over first class.

The Value Proposition

First-class is ideal for long-haul flights and international routes. But if you’re flying from one coast to the other in the U.S. or to a somewhat closer destination, a business class flight will provide all the comforts of first-class without the huge price difference. You’ll enjoy extra legroom and reclining space, more overhead bin room, larger in-flight entertainment screens, and much better food than what’s served in economy.

Business Class for Work Trips

If you’re traveling for business, business class offers all the conveniences you need, with work-friendly amenities like Wi-Fi and privacy of a business class lounge where you can work before boarding.

You can also check an extra bag, and upon landing, your luggage will be at baggage claim before economy luggage.

Why Opt for First Class?

If you need a few reasons to splurge on this upgrade, we’ve got them.

The Ultimate Luxury Experience

A first-class flight is always the most luxurious choice and is perfect if you feel like being pampered. With first class, you definitely get what you pay for. This section of the plane has less seating and is more comfortable. Some airplanes have private suites and showers for first-class passengers. Passengers also get more personalized attention from dedicated flight attendants.

First Class for Leisure and Special Occasions

For most travelers, first class is a treat reserved for special occasions and not the norm. A few times when splurging on first class is the perfect choice? Honeymoons, milestone anniversaries and birthdays, long international flights, when you really need pampering for one reason or another, and whenever you can snag a great deal.

Packing Essentials for Luxury Travel

Need some recommendations for what to pack in a carry-on for a long-haul flight in different plane classes? Here are some essentials you’ll want to pack whether you’re flying business or first class:

  • Slip-on shoes
  • Hoodie or sweatshirt
  • Outfit change
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Ear plugs

Get Ready to Travel in Style

Get ready for your domestic or international flight with stylish luggage.

Gear Up with Briggs & Riley

Briggs & Riley offers modern luggage collections designed for the discerning traveler, including ZDX, one of our most popular collections. Having the right luggage is important for efficient packing and convenient traveling. No matter which Briggs & Riley luggage you choose, it will far exceed your expectations and complement your luxury travel experience.

Now that you know what to expect when flying business class vs. first class and when you may want to choose one class over the other, explore our luggage collections to find the perfect bags for your travel needs that meet the luggage size allowance for your flight.

Whether you book your next flight first class or business class, always travel in style with Briggs & Riley.