All coach passengers have experienced pangs of jealousy as they pass the First and Business Class seats on their way to their simple seat at the back of the plane, with limited legroom and a single itchy blanket for comfort. That jealousy is understandable: the conditions in First Class are often even more amazing than coach passengers know.
It’s common knowledge that First Class offers comfort and luxury for fliers, but the extent of their services may surprise you. Keep reading to find out 10 interesting things that only people who fly in First Class will know. You might be surprised!
10 There’s Such Thing As A Flying Suite
On some airlines, flying First Class is better than coach travelers could possibly imagine. The Etihad Airways’ Residence suite, for example, is bigger than many rooms. The suite comes with your own private living room, a divided bedroom and even an ensuite with your own shower. In your living room, you’ll find a leather sofa, not one but two dining tables and a 32-inch flat-screen TV.
According to Smarter Travel, the bedroom has a double bed made with designer Italian linens and a second 27-inch television. All this can be yours for a cool $30,000 (one way).
9 Prestigious Chefs Might Prepare The Meals
While some people would argue that plane food is plane food, whether you’re in First Class or coach, travelers on Air France might beg to differ. The French airline serves meals from the best chefs in the country on its flights, and refers to the service as the "Art of Dining."
On selected routes, the airline serves a meal created by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, who is based in the U.S. Aside from the world-class food that is available, there are also lounge bars equipped with flowing champagne on many airlines.
8 The Food Isn’t All That’s Fancy In First Class
Some airlines take it a step further and make sure that the food isn’t the only thing that’s fancy in First Class. On Singapore Airlines, passengers in First Class have the luxury of eating their meals with bone china. The range was specially designed by the iconic china company Wedgwood for the airline. Talk about lavish!
The food on Singapore Airlines is generally of great quality compared to a few other airlines, even in coach. In First Class, the varied and tasty dishes are cooked fresh by an on-board chef.
7 Some Airlines Employ Their Own Butlers
Flight attendants are often helpful no matter which class you are flying, but Etihad offers even more to its premium passengers in the way of real butlers. Yes, you read that correctly. These employees, who have undergone weeks of training with the famous Savoy Hotel to become qualified for the job, wear white gloves and cater to every need of the fliers who stay in the suites known as The Residence.
The butlers work with the flight attendants to make sure that the passengers under their care don’t want for anything during their journey.
6 First Class Guests Might Get Special Privileges At The Airport
Most of the time, the privileges of the guests in First Class go beyond the actual flight itself. When Lufthansa fliers in First Class have a long layover at an airport, they have the option to book the Porsche First Class Excitement experience.
For an extra 99 euros, those flying First Class with the German airline can rent a Porsche 911 for three hours. That price also includes gas and insurance, so travelers can explore the city they’re in and return to the airport in time for their connecting flight.
5 Their Own Terminal
That’s not all First Class fliers get when they choose Lufthansa. For more than a decade, the airline has operated its own First Class Terminal that is exclusive to First Class passengers. Fliers can avoid the chaos of the Frankfurt/Main busy terminals and instead check-in from their own private building before driving directly to their plane.
Not every airline offers its First Class passengers an entire terminal, but most of them have access to a private lounge where they can wait to board away from the crowds. The lounges usually have access to free meals and other facilities.
4 Some First Class Chairs Have In-Built Massagers
If you’ve ever traveled in coach, you know how uncomfortable a long flight can be. Most of the time, there’s nowhere near enough legroom, and trying to sleep on an overnight flight can leave you with pains all over your back.
But in Turkish Airlines’ Business Class, the lie-flat chairs have a built-in massage feature. This allows passengers to avoid getting knots, and to smooth out the knots they already have. Long overnight flights are a breeze with this feature, but once you’ve experienced it once, you’ll probably never be satisfied with coach again.
3 Sometimes People In First Class Network
Because First Class tends to attract a certain type of passenger, many of said passengers use their flying time to network with like-minded people. A lot of fliers in First Class have one or two things in common, and usually, they revolve around business.
According to Worldation, Virgin Atlantic reported that one in five of their First Class fliers had done business with someone they met on their First Class flight. There are even some flights that have been specially planned to serve as networking opportunities for passengers interested in doing business with their fellow fliers.
2 And Even Hold Meetings
The primary function of flying is to get from one place to another, but not all First Class passengers have time to waste in comfortable chairs and beds while they wait to arrive at their destination. Some use their time in the air to network, and others get their work done during the flight.
Qatar Airways offers Business Class Q-Suites which provide groups of four seats that can be used to hold business meetings. They can also be combined into a conference room complete with media panels to present PowerPoint slides.
1 Some Airlines Chauffer Their First Class Passengers To And From The Airport
For many First Class passengers, the luxury begins even before they arrive at the airport. For those flying Business Class on Turkish Airline, a luxury car and driver will be there to bring you to the airport, or to your destination after the plane has landed. All passengers have to do is give their flight details ahead of time, and the airline will take care of the rest.
Emirates offers a similar complementary deal to its First Class passengers and so does Qatar, but customers will have to pay a fee for the latter.