Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coach or Business Class?

Differences between airfares and service classes: Coach / Economy vs Business / First class

Many travelers do not know much about differences between coach and business class. Travelers want to find inexpensive airline tickets in either economy or business class, but really not sure what is difference is. Prices and rules are the major differences, though service and quality can also play a big role in a flight option you choose.

Is it really worth flying business or first class?  The answer is Yes and No.

All depends on your destination and the plane/ aircraft and your budget. I would not recommend spending money for business class on the US domestic or European domestic flights. Besides the “better” and not “outstanding” service you will not really feel the difference worth the money. You will have plane seats that are about an inch wider and will have a different meal menu to choose from. 

There is quite a different picture when you get onto the international, especially transatlantic flights. If you look for plane tickets to Europe, a flight ticket might cost you $10k, but you can get plane seats that recline into a bed with blankets and nice pillows. You will be greeted on board with a glass of champagne.  The service would be outstanding. There will be several hot or cold meals to choose from to include unlimited wide variety of alcohol. You would also get metal silverware instead of plastic wrapped utensils with your meal. I could go on and on about the pros of business or first class.

Are there any cons of business and first class? Yes, there are. Similarly as with domestic flights, there are certain circumstances when it is not worth spending money on business class plane tickets to Europe or other international or transatlantic flights. The major criterion is the aircraft. Older aircrafts do not have as much space as newer and some aircraft types either (e.g. Boeing 747 on some destinations). There is really not that much difference between a coach and business class seat. There might be difference in food and service quality or options offered, but value is still not there. So if this is the case, my suggestion is to get most inexpensive airline tickets in economy or coach class and have more things to do or more expensive attractions or visit or just spend the difference in money elsewhere. 

If you want to fly cheap in business class, you can try buddy passes or stand by that you can get from the airline employees. Some word of caution… you also need to know that a stand by is not a guaranteed space on a plane. You will get on the plane only if there are some seats left available in business or coach class. If flights are full, you might need to wait until the next available flight. So good things usually come with some risk and it is up to you if you’re willing to take that chance.

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