With all the amazing innovations that have been introduced to business class these days, many have begun to consider this way of flying to have replaced first-class air travel.
However, this elite experience is alive and well on many airlines, and the differences between it and business class are considerable.
Below, we will outline the fundamental ways these two methods of air travel vary from each other.
1) First-class lounge buffets boast higher quality food and offer more choice
The differences between the first class and the business class flying experience can first be observed on the ground.
Most airlines have lounges for both business and first-class passengers. While these spaces are oases of solace from the stresses of travel, the degree of luxury contained within varies greatly between business and first.
These differences can be most easily observed in the buffet lines: business class lounges commonly offer snacks and simple foods in its line, while first class has a dizzying array of entrees from which one could construct a quality meal. First class lounges tend to be more intimate, while business class lounges tend to be more crowded.
2) First-class gets the latest and the best of everything
Airlines with first class sections is where you’ll find the latest innovations in air travel. Long before lie-flat seats became a feature in business class, they were widely enjoyed by those at the front of the plane.
On-board entertainment systems were a luxury that wealthy travelers had the privilege of experiencing first back in the 1990’s.
Throughout the history of air travel, first-class fliers have always been served the finest food that could be prepared at 40,000 feet.
This isn’t to suggest that business class passengers have it rough. Even if they are on a flight that doesn’t offer lie-flat seats, theirs are much wider and are far more comfortable than those in economy, their entertainment system screens are only slightly smaller, and their meals are far superior to what is served at the back of the plane.
3) First-class meals resemble those served in a fine-dining restaurant
The difference between business and first-class food doesn’t stop at the lounges. If anything, the gulf between the two becomes more pronounced once you are up in the air.
Business-class food is far from being bad – compared to the mediocre offerings provided to economy class fliers, meals offered to these passengers contain better quality ingredients, and are expertly plated to create delight.
First-class meals are a quantum leap above this, though, as they are designed by leading chefs (for example, Air France’s first-class menu was conceived by chefs that each earned Michelin stars), ingredients are top notch, and are accompanied with top-shelf alcohol.
4) Amenity bags are stocked with higher-value goodies in first-class
In order to help passengers freshen up during and after long-haul flights, airlines typically provide business and first-class passengers with amenity kits.
In the case of the former, products like face moisturiser, deodorant, and sleep masks are common, but the items contained in a typical first-class amenity kit are much more exceptional and valuable.
Think brand-name perfumes and colognes, shaving kits, and even silk pajamas on some long-haul international flights.
5) Service is on a more personalised level in first-class
However, one of the most important differences between business and first-class has to do with the level of service that wealthy passengers receive.
While this segment of their clientele constitutes a fraction of the customer base of airlines, they are responsible for up to 7% of revenues.
As such, they are ones receiving chauffeur service to the airport (Etihad), getting walked through an expedited check-in procedure, and being waited on hand and foot throughout their flight.
Whether you decide you’d rather book First Class or Business Class, you’ll have a wonderful time in both classes of travel. If you want to get the best possible fares at up to 50% off the standard price, give them a call and they’ll be able to issue you with a private fare that can’t be found anywhere else online.