difference between 1st & business class

Old Sep 5th, 2002, 06:52 PM
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difference between 1st & business class

This is a very stupid question, I know. Please do not tell me again. I seriously do not know the difference between business class & first, except that business is cheaper. Is business class only available to those that are traveling for work? Useful answers only- all others have your laugh and move on!
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 07:17 PM
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I'll bite - but from meager experience, since I was upgraded to Business Class once this past year and upgraded to First Class also once this summer. So in a relatively short period of time I experienced both.

Both classes have more room than you can imagine needing if you've been flying Coach. In Business Class, the seats recline, but not totally flat - still, enough to get a good night's sleep. There are pre-flight drinks and newspapers, and generally speaking they start to take care of you the minute you get into your seat.

First Class is something else. The seats have more positions than you can think of - there are lumbar buttons and side-to-side buttons - and a space for your carry-on luggage by your seat and audio tapes and movie cassettes in addition to the in-flight movies and a trolley with wine selections and later dessert selections and all manner of "restaurant-type" selections (none of which masks the fact that the food and wine are still nothing like restaurant quality).

The thing I liked best about both classes was the seats. Being able to sleep for a few hours - something I've never achieved in Coach - made a real difference in my first day in France, even though I usually just push on through and am fine on Day 2.

The "little" extras - the sleek pouches with shampoos and spritzers and slippers and all - didn't impress me much. The service in the Business and First Class cabins didn't impress me much, either - they simply had more to do and did it OK.

Having flown both Business and First Class in the last year, I must say that I would never pay the exorbitant premiums one must pay to get those seats.The only real advantage is being able to sleep on the plane (and I didn't get THAT much more sleep - but that's because I'm a non-sleeper on flights even if I take melatonin or Donormyl). If I had business meetings to go to the next day, it would be an advantage and maybe worth the price (especially if someone else were paying for it), but I'd never shell out the extra money to fly Business of First Class just to get myself to Europe for a vacation.

The food was a definite non-impressor. It was fancier than in coach, but no more palatable.
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 07:24 PM
Jim Rosenberg
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Business class has nothing to do with your reason for flying. In some airlines, there may be three classes of service offered on some flights. Business class is the middle tier; considerably nicer than coach in terms of space and service, but not quite as plush as first class.

Some airlines don't offer three classes of service. Northwest, for example, offers World Business Class and coach. WBC is, in effect, first class for those flights. (Some airlines also offer a type of coach service with extra seat pitch, but we won't complicate the discussion with that).
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 09:20 PM
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why are you bothering to ask, the prices for both classes are way out of your range, so just sit back in economy and be content.
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 03:53 AM
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How would you know what is out of my price range? I am a low key person that has always traveled budget, but I do have the resources to travel better. I just prefer to save my $$$ than blow it on $3000-$6000 seats. But I may want to splurge at some point. Didn't I ask for USEFUL answers????
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 04:19 AM
Jim Rosenberg
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If you ever decide to splurge, the most cost-effective approach is usually to purchase a coach seat that is upgradeable for miles. As you've probably seen here before, the lowest-priced tickets in coach often are not.
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 04:23 AM
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'Most' passengers in First Class nowadays aren't paying anything like the exhorbitant official fare demanded by airlines, but fall into usually one of the following types:
1. Frequent flyers using miles or (often free) upgrade vouchers.
2. Airline staff (often standby).
3. Travel agents, VIP, CIP (commercially important passengers = big spenders) on some kind of promotional/operational upgrade.

Normally business travellers get their companies to fly them in business class, but more and more firms are downgrading. From business' point of view, it's not so much comfort in the air as flexibility of ticket which is paramount. Hence the trend nowadays of flying full fare economy, which usually gets upgraded to premium economy (separate cabin, extra legroom, but economy service), or occasionally to business. If you have elite status as frequent flyer, you get access to airport lounges even if flying economy, and also a lot of clout on overbooked flights and waitlisting.
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 05:00 AM
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Flew business class last year with United from San Francisco to London Heathrow at the end of our holiday, just for the experience of it. My wife had flown business class numerous times on business (First on one occasion to NYC) and was accustomed to it, but for me it was completely new. I was looking forward to a relaxing meal, a film and a sleep before arriving in London.

What happened? Well, they do ply you with alcohol... A whisky on boarding the plane, wine with the meal, port afterwards (and my wife's too - she was pregnant) - and by this time I was too interested in playing with all the buttons on the seat to sleep! Once we arrived in London, I had put my seat into every position at least twice, had used the massage thing in the seat, watched three films and an episode of "Cold Feet" and didn't sleep a wink.

A fantastic experience, but worth the extra? Probably not - I'd rather have spent it on a better hotel, to be honest, and enjoyed luxury that way.
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 07:17 AM
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Not a stupid question at all. Thnaks for asking it! I've only flown first class once and enjoyed it but it is not in my budget to do it again. I would like to ask someone, when they pull the curtain, are the first and business class sections at that point together? I really don't know what "business class" looks like. To me, it's just first class and then coach. What am I missing? Thanks
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 09:11 AM
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I have flown business class on Varig, Qantas, Swissair and American Airlines, and only in first class on American Airlines. Most were international flights, and a couple on American were from DFW to SFO.
I can say that I noticed that domestic Business class differed substantially from the International Business class.
Also that the international business was much better than domestic first class.
The new airplanes from American airlines, in First class have seats that turn into small beds. They are awesome! You also get a lot of extra service: Your own bottle of Evian to drink during the night, all the pillows you want, extra blankets, your own DVD with movies, language or executive courses, etc. Some of the things I liked from American Airlines versus the other airlines were: Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. An excellent selection of Vintage Port (They have 6 grapes Vintage Port). Sundae ice cream with different toppings. (You can probably tell that I have a sweet tooth!).

Also, the small bags with goodies that they give out are different from Buisness and from First class. In American (First class), I got Estee Lauder products (about 5 years ago - they also had different versions whether you were a male or female). Last year in American I got Origins (They only were giving out one type of bag-for both sexes, and less goodies than before). In Business they were giving out HoneyBee Gardens. In Qantas (Business class), I got Bath and Body works products.
ALso, business and First are always separate service (there is always a curtain between them).

I can also say that I have been extremely lucky as I have never paid for any of this seats myself. They have been a combination of upgrades, and just been plain lucky.
In Qantas for example, the plane was oversold, and instead of asking people to upgrade with their miles, they just told me and my husband that since it was only full by 2 seats, they were going to put us in Business.

If I had to pay for them I probably would not do it. I much rather travel in coach (and SUFFER, if its full and you get a middle seat) but I rather spend the money at my destination, or simply have a longer vacation. I wasn't that impressed with the domestic Business/First class service, but If I was going to use my miles I would use them on an international flight.

In domestic I would fly coach.
Also, I like American Airlines because with the additional leg room in their flights, its definitely much better than before (In coach I always seem to get the middle seat, usually seating between 2 large men!, and the flight seems to almost always be full).


Old Sep 6th, 2002, 09:59 AM
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I have found the cure for jet lag, and it is called Business Class. We paid full-fare for econonmy seats to London and used FF miles to upgrade. It's definitely the way to go. I can never sleep in cattle class, but slept like a baby in BC, and had no problems at all with jet lag (which I usually suffer from badly). Definitely worth the extra money (for full-fare economy) and miles to me, but I'd be hard pressed to shell out $3,000 for a ticket.
Old Sep 9th, 2002, 08:29 PM
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Another benefit to flying business or first class is the use of the airline's private lounge before the trip. The last time we flew home our flight was delayed for a couple of hours. It was almost worth the upgrade to sit on comfortable sofas with TV, newspapers, magazines and an array of beverages and food to snack on. And the very private bathrooms were immaculate. I don't mind flying over coach - I'm a small person, the lights are out and, hopefully, I'll get in some fitful sleep. But for the long daytime trip home, it's great to be able to fly business or 1st class.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 08:44 AM
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