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Business Class is all about the seat, right? No way!
It’s lovely to be able to lie flat, absolutely, but the whole business class experience, is so, SO much more than that.
Red Carpet Treatment
The first (and for me, one of the most important) benefit is, no lines. Or very little. That business class check-in line that you have been eyeing off for years, is finally yours. Skipping past most other passengers, you’re checked in as quick as you can say “Where’s the lounge?”
The next line you may encounter is immigration. Another line that you’ll benefit in being a business class passenger. Most airlines will hand you an ‘Express Pass’ which will send you to a special line which you should breeze through, fast tracking you to the next perk of being up the pointy end, the lounge.
At the gate, you’ll also board first, through your own line. Some A380’s have more than 400 economy passengers. Imagine THAT line! Not for you today my friend…
After you’ve touched down, you’ll be one of the first to disembark (after First Class). I’ve never felt there was a wait after getting my carry-on out, checking all the nooks and cranny’s of my seat for anything I may have left, finding my passport etc.
How many shoes is can I take?
The next benefit is luggage. You get more luggage allowance than economy class, usually another 50% extra. It varies by airline and route, so always refer to your ticket before you chuck the kitchen sink into your 2nd bag.
Business Class passengers get a lounge to wait comfortably in prior to departure. They vary in opulence and amenities, but most will have complimentary bar for that Instagram-able glass of bubbly, a buffet for a light meal, showers and comfortable couches and chairs to relax in prior to boarding. Free wifi, usb/power charging outlets throughout and snacks are other benefits. If you’ve got a question about your flight, or even want to change your seat last minute, the attendants at the lounge desk can assist you. Departure information screens will ensure you’re up to date with your flight’s status, and usually flights are called upon boarding time.
Welcome aboard, Ms Summerhayes
Upon boarding, you’ll be warmly welcomed and directed to your seat. Your flight attendant will make themselves known to you, offer you a welcome drink and will ask if you need help with your seat and show you where everything is. On most airlines you’ll have an amenity kit – a small pouch with things like moisturiser, socks, toothbrush etc, and some airlines also give you pyjamas to change into. I love the pyjamas! Next, have a look through your menu to start thinking about what you want to order and for when. You can usually pick when your meal arrives. I like to have my meal as soon as possible after take off on a long haul flight so I can settle down with a movie and sleep the bulk of the flight.
Speaking of movies, you’ll also have a bigger screen to watch the in flight entertainment on. Some up to 58cm! With this, most airlines will allow you to use noise-cancelling headphones. Honestly though, my favourite travelling item I EVER bought, which I’ll never fly without, are my Bose noise cancelling over-ear headphones. They will top off your business class experience! I even sleep with them on. Tip – take a neck pillow and use that as your pillow so you have room for your headphones. Sleeping on your side with your over ear headphones IS possible.
Now, we come to the seat. Seats vary greatly between airlines and aircraft. Generally, you’ll be able to comfortably recline while relaxing, and also lie flat. Some the average sized person will be able to stretch out comfortably, and others, you’ll be angled or sleeping in the ‘Z’ position. If you’re super tall like my partner, you really need to check the length of the bed in the flat position. Etihad ‘Business Studio’ really fit the bill, allowing him to fully stretch out. At 6.7” tall, that’s impressive. Some airlines seats are 7 feet long!
Some airlines have privacy doors on Business. Doing a bit of research on the aircraft configuration you’ll be travelling on, or asking your agent, will ensure you have all the specifications that you’re wanting.
Meals are another great benefit of flying Business Class. You’ll get your table made up with a tablecloth, real cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, a wide selection of entrees, mains and desserts finished off with a choice of beers, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. Some airlines you can order your meal in advance. For example, Singapore Airline’s ‘Book the Cook’ where you’ll have a much bigger range of meals to choose from. Feel like a cheese plate towards the end of your movie? No problem. Wake up in the middle of your flight and feel like an English Breakfast tea? Too easy. If it’s there, you just have to ask.
Even the bathrooms are upgraded for you. Some have Hollywood-style mirrors (the ones with the lights around the edges) and are much bigger than their economy counterparts. You’ll find upgraded soaps, fragrance and more bench space. You’ll also not have long to wait ‘to go’. Unless it’s directly before or after meals, you’ll most often breeze right in.
Extras you may find on your flight – some aircraft have bars and lounges. The Virgin Australia 777’s have a great sit-at bar so you can enjoy bar service and snack on nuts while chatting to your fellow Business Class passengers. The first time I did this it was just because I could. The next time, I found it great to get out of my seat and actually have somewhere to go while I stretched my legs. On Emirates A380’s you’ll find a personal mini bar at your seat! Airlines are constantly adding to your onboard experience, so I can’t wait to see the next innovation in Business Class travel.
You may get addicted to points…
One more benefit of Business Class – points. Your frequent flyer points balance will get a boost from your trip, many more than you would have earned in economy. When you get enough points, you can fly up the pointy end for taxes only! There are so many ways to earn points for travel. I’m personally a big fan of the Velocity program and teach my clients how to make the most of their frequent flyer memberships. It’s an art, but a very lucrative one if you maximise your opportunities. I fly Business most of the time, but I don’t necessarily pay for it! Get points savvy.
Time for you to live the pointy-end life?
Contact me for a quote and you might find that travelling the way you WANT to might be more value for money than you think. Get yourself up the pointy end. You deserve it!
Written by Sharon Summerhayes, Director of Deluxe Travel & Cruise and lover of ‘the pointy end’.