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Friday, January 17, 2014

The difference between First Class and Business Class

Before you proceed to book your next luxurious journey, stop and think about the difference between Business Class and First Class – the differences other than the fare. The actual answer to this topic is really complicated and depends on a variety of factors. For example, certain airlines offer business class facilities which are far better than the first class services of other airlines. Furthermore, certain flight routes also boast of fancier business and first class seats than the rest. And then there are some airlines that offer unparalleled business and first class facilities. So how do we tackle this question? To fully answer your questions and satiate your doubts, we asked a number of travel experts on their views about the business and first class facilities offered and generalized their views as much as possible to offer an overall overview to our readers.

First of all, let’s understand the concepts of business and first class. In the old days, business class simply implied more comfortable seats and more space between passengers. However, as competition between airlines intensified, an all new business class emerged. The business class of today offers separate check-in facilities, more pleasing audio visual experiences, special food served amid luxurious settings and extremely comfortable seating facilities. This segment generally caters to business flyers and corporates.

On the other hand, the first class offer a wide range of luxuries such as chauffeur driven airport pickups and drops, better airport lounges, private cabins, champagne on arrival and super luxurious seats. The first class is generally used by the super rich or by honeymooners looking for an exquisite flight experience on their first journey together.

What makes this concept even more confusing is that there is a third class which has become popular today. Most airlines have now done away with the actual first class on their international routes and simply offer passengers with the “Business First Class”. This class offers passengers all the amenities and luxuries of the first class along with the lie flat beds of the business class.

As a result, the lines between business and first class seem to be blurring by the day and as airlines compete for a market share, those airlines that do not offer first class facilities simply keep upgrading and enhancing their business class travel to make them a viable option for first class passengers as well. Most industry experts also believe that the concepts of first class should all but disappear on most routes within a period of 5 years as the trend of using the lie flat seats of business class while having access to all first class type facilities seems to be extremely popular among modern day flyers.

But till now we were only concentrating on international travellers. The best option for domestic flyers still remains to be the economy class as the business class on domestic routes can turn out to be a major disappointment. The food is not all that great and despite the 2 by 2 setting, there is hardly any space available on most airlines. Passengers seated in a window seat practically need to climb over those seated in the aisle seats to access the restrooms and lounge access is restricted as well. Furthermore, most airlines operating on domestic routes do not offer first class options.

If you need to book your business and first class seats, remember that the best airlines in terms of their business class and first class facilities on international routes are British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Ethiad Airways. In fact, the First Class offered by Singapore Airlines is also considered to be the very best by most flyers. The extremely intimate and private suites, on-board showers, superb in-flight entertainment selections and international WiFi are just some of the features offered by the airline.

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