We think it's almost a punishment that we have to walk through first and business class when we’re heading to our mediocre economy seats. It is like we’re being taunted by what we can’t have. It is probably everybody’s dream to one day be able to fly in first-class; whether you are given an upgrade, or you actually have the money to buy a first-class ticket. Our bucket list includes being able to fly first-class while on an International flight. Who wouldn’t want to fly first-class? Plenty of space, gourmet food, being waited on hand and foot, and let’s not forget the first to get on and off the plane! The only thing that beats flying first-class is flying on a private jet! But ouch! That price, though! That’s why we don’t get to fly first class, we’ve still got student loans to pay off... Maybe someday the cards will be in our favor, and we’ll get a free upgrade. We can only dream.
Anyways, the elusive golden ticket to the oasis behind the curtain comes with a lot of perks. From seats that turn into beds to five-course meals, there are plenty of things that make us turn green with envy. Here are 15 things travelers will only see in first class and 5 things only seen in coach.
20 Only In First Class - Suites
If having a bed isn’t enough for you, you could always book the flying suite on Etihad Airway.
For over $30,000, you and a guest can fly with a personal living room, bedroom, and private bathroom.
You’ll get a leather sofa instead of cramped seats, a dining table instead of a plastic tray, and a 27-inch flat screen TV instead of a little 6-inch screen. It will only cost you about someone’s yearly salary. Can you imagine that there are people that actually have enough money to book this flight for a simple two-hour flight? What if nobody books it? We bet that’s where the flight attendants take their breaks (at least that’s what we’d do).
19 Only In First Class - Private Chauffeur
For some airlines, getting a first class ticket means you get service before you even board the plane.
If you fly first or even business class with Turkish Airlines, you don’t need to worry about finding a ride to the airport. The airline will send a luxury car and a personal driver to your door to pick you and your luggage up.
They’ll even have a car waiting for you when you land to whisk you off to your destination in style. The Lufthansa Airline even will allow first class guests to borrow a Porsche 911 during long layovers to explore the city for a bit before coming back to make a connecting flight!
18 Only In First Class - Showers
If you’ve ever had to travel on a long flight, you know how gritty and bleary you feel when you deplane. As you enviously walk through the first-class section of the plane, you might catch a glimpse of what allows first-class flyers to step off the plane with a spring in their steps. A shower. Some planes have small showers in their first-class section of the plane. Passengers are able to get a quick rinse to refresh themselves during long hauls.
17 Only In First Class - Actual Beds
Watching an international flight deplane is like a scene from a zombie movie. The passengers are staggering out in a stumbling haze. Joints are popping as people finally stretch out their bodies after a 14-hour sleep deprived flight because of screaming children and tight quarters. Except for a small group of polished and refreshed people who got off before the masses. Those that flew in first-class walk off the plane with purposeful strides, looking like they had a solid night of sleep. Which they can do because instead of being crammed four in a row, they had plush beds to sleep in.
16 Only In First Class - Massage Chairs
We were already jealous when we heard that people in business and first class get seats that recline all the way back. Now we’re just biting our knuckles as we learn that Turkish Airlines have seats that have built-in massagers. So, not only can you fully recline the seat into a lie-flat bed, you can get a full body massage while you’re at it! We’re tempted to pull an Annie from Bridesmaids and try to sneak our way past the curtain and into a first-class seat! Hey, Turkish Airlines, help a gal out and bump us into first class. Please!
15 Only In First Class - Real Dishes and Silverware
You won’t find any fork and spoon fusions and plastic microwave trays in first-class. No, no no, when you fly as an elite, you get treated as an elite, and that means fine china and plated silverware.
Singapore Airlines even has a private line of china designed by Wedgwood, an extremely famous fine china company. These gorgeous plates and delicate crystal glasses means your oven baked lobster and truffle butter mashed potatoes (cooked fresh by an on-board chef) are beautifully presented.
Let’s just hope those expensive plates are insured in case of turbulence!
14 Only In First Class - Your Very Own Butlers
Flight attendants already go through intense training, and some even go to flight attendant schools. However, as skilled as they are, they can’t compare to a Savoy-trained butler. On Etihad Airways, for an obscene amount of money, guests can fly in “The Residence.” In the luxury three-room cabin, guests will be taken care of by elite butlers. The specially appointed butlers go through the same training as the staff at the Buckingham Palace. From learning how to arrange flowers to how to sew a button on a suit, these professionals can do it all. You won’t even need to lift a finger as they’ll be able to predict your needs before you even know them. It’ll just cost about £12,500 for a ticket!
13 Only In First Class - Private Lounges
Frequent flyers all know the drill when it comes to flying. Leave for the airport with plenty of time to spare in case of traffic, check-in process, and long security lines. However, occasionally you arrive at the airport with a bit too much time to spare, so you have to sit in those uncomfortable seats and wait an hour for your flight. Well, if you’re flying first class, you can wait and relax in the private lounges. Everything from a full-service bar to private bedrooms can be found in these hidden away lounges, only accessible to those with a golden ticket.
12 Only In First Class - Pyjamas
When we fly, it is all about comfort. So that usually means yoga pants and a sweatshirt. On some airlines though, they’ll provide you a set of luxury pyjamas that you can change into – and then keep! Some people adore the pyjamas so much that they’ll buy them off the internet, where other passengers have placed them for sale. Air France’s first class seats come with unisex Givenchy pyjama sets that also come with leather and felt pouches you can stow them in, and
Emirates has moisturizing pyjamas that release capsules of sea kelp that hydrate your skin,
just to name a few! Our yoga pants seem so plain in comparison.
11 Only In First Class - Personal Mini Bar
When you fly in first class, you already have a smaller passenger-to-flight-attendant ratio, so you usually have top-of-the-line excellent service. If you want a drink, the attendant can have it in your hands in seconds. Still, some airlines feel that perhaps the service isn’t quick enough, so they’ve installed private mini-bars in the seats. Instead of making the effort of flagging down an attendant, you can simply reach over and pull out your own drink. Perhaps it is a popular option with the more introverted guests, but still, it is an added luxury you won’t see outside of first class.
10 Only In First Class - Spa Treatments
We all know the horrors of navigating to and in an airport. Airports are usually the busiest hub of activities in a city. Millions of people are going in and out of the city, rushing to their next destination. If you are partially stressed after arriving at the airport, and you’ve got a first class ticket, you can get yourself a little relaxing spa treatment before you board.
One of the most popular lines is Thai Airways, where all first class guests are given a complimentary 60-minute massage before flying.
You can even soak in a bubble bath for a little while!
9 Only In First Class - Amenity Kits
One of the best things about flying first class is the little goodie bags that you are given. While in economy, all we get are some refolded blankets and a pitiful excuse of a ‘pillow,’ those that fly in first class get deluxe amenity kits. Each airline uses different brands for their kits. EVA Air uses the famous French brand Melvita line for their kits, Emirates use Bulgari, and Cathay Pacific use Aesop, to name a few. You’ll get various skin care, lip balms, eye masks, and other treats to use when you’re flying. These kits are so popular that people bid an extravagant amount of money online for them.
8 Only In First Class - Conference Rooms
Savvy businessmen (and women!) know that money is time. So, you would think that being stuck on a 14-hour flight would be a waste of productivity time. However, airlines realize that for some people, business never stops and a long trip is actually perfect for getting some work done. Qatar Airways now has Business Class Q-Suites where a group of four seats are placed together. It's always working time somewhere!
7 Only In First Class - Gourmet Food
Horrible food is often used in the same conversation when talking about flying. However, those that fly in first class have little to complain about.
From caviar to fresh sashimi, first-class flyers can choose from a mouth-watering menu curated just for them.
Those that fly ANA Japan can choose the delicious 12-course tasting menu that also includes spectacular pastries made by the winner of the ‘World’s Best Pastry Chef’, Pierre Hermé. Hawaiian Airlines has a drool-worthy Beef Kare Kare that we really want to try, and JetBlue has a hot and cold tasting menu for those that want variety. We’d fly first class just to eat some of these items.
6 Only In First Class - Virtual Windows
Everyone always wants the window seat while they fly. Not only so they can watch the view, but also so they’d have something to lean their head against. The worst seat is always the center, where you’ll be blocked in by two strangers and have a lack of personal space. However, if you fly Emirates first class, you’ll actually want a center seat. Not only are all the seats in private pods, the center seats now have virtual windows. Actual cameras are mounted outside the plane and provide an HD live feed to the realistic looking windows in the suite. They’ve honestly thought of everything.
5 Only In Coach - Cramped Leg Room
The bane of all those flying in economy - cramped leg space. We’re going to gloat for a moment that this is probably one of the few situations where it is actually nice to be a short person with short legs. For the rest of humanity who have to cram themselves into an economy seat, it is horrible. And, to make matters worse, some airlines now forbid passengers from bringing a carry-on unless they pay for it. Instead, you’re only allowed to bring a personal item that can fit underneath your seat, taking up even more precious room for those with long legs.
4 Only In Coach - Long Lines
There is a reason why it is important to get to an airport early. Lines. Lines everywhere! Check-in lines, security lines, bathroom lines, boarding lines. We (normies) don’t have the luxury of flashing our golden tickets and by-passing all those tedious lines. And can we just take a moment and rant? When the boarding counter says that they are now boarding a specific zone, that doesn’t mean you can all queue up and try to board! There are zones for a reason! So it is streamlined and quicker to get everyone on! Still, those in first class don’t have to worry about lines seeing as how there is usually only a handful of them.
3 Only In Coach - Bathroom Situations...
Imagine sitting on a 10-hour flight and having to share a handful of tiny cramped bathrooms with a few hundred other people. By the end of a flight, those toilets will be looking pretty horrific, and we pity the person who has to go in and clean them. We’ve also seen some less-than-ideal situations where the toilets don't function properly or become backed up. There’s nowhere to escape when you’re flying. You’re in a metal tube thousands of miles in the sky! Not in first class, though. With their granite countertops and luxury brand soaps, their bathrooms are nicer than most that we even see on land.
2 Only In Coach - Questionable Food
When you fly economy, you’re not going to get the fine china and oven baked lobster (that we talked about earlier). No, you’ll be eating one of the mass-produced microwaved trays of plastic tasting food. Sometimes the food isn’t too bad, but more often than not we’re served a congealed blob that we’re not always sure what it is. We hope you don’t get a seat in the back, because usually by then, the best option out of the two or three choices that you get are already gone. We know from experience. There are no personal on-board chefs for us, sadly.
1 Only In Coach - Lack of Personal Space
When you fly first class, there is always plenty of room to stretch out your legs, or your arms, or your entire body. In economy, you have to deal with folding your body as small as possible. Some people are so frustrated by this that they attempt to spread out as much as they can in an attempt to get comfortable, regardless of other people’s personal spaces. That means overspills into your seat, seats reclined into your space, fighting over armrests, and feet stuck in the weirdest places. Some people truly contort themselves into the oddest as they settle in for the long flight. Even worse are the annoying kids that think kicking your seat is great fun.