Travel insights: What's the Difference between Flying Business and First-Class?

Discover the key differences between flying business and first-class. The late Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "It's not the destination, it's the journey." We're almost sure that the famous American essayist may not have been talking about flying business or first class, but he might as well have been.

Travel insights: What's the Difference between Flying Business and First-Class?
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When compared to economy class, both first and business class are not just located at opposite ends of the airplane. The two are also usually at completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of comfort, food, services, and even perks. 

Now, both first and business class are known to be more expensive than economy class precisely for the enhanced premium flying experience they offer. Yet, passengers are left wondering what the differences between the two are. One reason for that is that although business class and first class have some differences, they are not as pronounced as those between first class and economy, for example. 

This article explores the key differences between business and first-class for those passengers who are not sure what tickets to book for their next flight. 

Check-in, luggage, and boarding 

When you're a first-class or a business class passenger, you don't really worry that much about getting to the airport several hours before your flight. One reason for that is the fact that the queues you need to wait in aren't that long. 

Both business and first-class passengers have priority check-in, tagged luggage, and boarding. This significantly shortens the time you spend actually boarding the plane. Now, one slight difference business class travelers can notice is that first-class waiting lines can be a bit shorter. One reason for that is the fact that not so many people can afford to travel first-class. 

Another small difference, but this can depend from airline to airline, is that business class travelers get two checked bags, while first-class travelers get three checked bags. 


Pricing is also different when it comes to flying first-class vs business class. Unsurprisingly, first-class tickets have higher prices than tickets to business class. In fact, first-class tickets can cost about twice as much as business class tickets. 

It's essential to know that flight ticket prices can vary depending on a number of factors, including airline, destination, and the day or season you choose to travel. So, flying business class to New York can be more advantageous than flying business class to another destination, in a different season or day. The same goes for first-class tickets. 

It's really difficult to tell how much a business class or first-class ticket costs because that depends on a number of factors. However, generally, during the same time of the year, for the same destination, tickets for business class would be cheaper compared to first-class tickets from the same airline company. 

Lounge access

Lounge access is one of the most sought-after perks by passengers who prefer to spend more and fly business or first-class. Lounges offer perks like free Wi-Fi, food, drinks, and entertainment options for passengers to have a premium experience while waiting for their flight to take off. Plus, lounges for business and first-class passengers are a lot less crowded environments compared to the waiting lounges for passengers flying at economy class. 

Most airline companies allow both business and first-class passengers to lounge. However, some companies may only offer lounge access to first-class passengers. 

Food and beverages 

When it comes to food and beverages while on the board, there is another slight difference between in-flight food and drinks for business and first-class passengers. More precisely, first-class passengers can expect their food to be a step above the foods business class passengers can enjoy. 

For passengers flying first-class, dining in the cabin is a premium experience. Most airlines serve their meals on fine cutlery, and probably a famous chef has helped craft the menu. Yet, if you're on a short flight, and you're not really into sipping champagne and eating caviar, paying a first-class flight ticket for the food, there isn't really a smart idea. Business class food is also restaurant-quality food. 


There's also another difference when it comes to deboarding from the plane for first-class and business passengers. First-class passengers are generally among the first to board the plane. But, business class passengers are the ones to follow. So, even if you are flying business class, you won't wait for too long to get off. 

If you're not pressured by time to leave the airport, you don't necessarily need to spend more on a first-class ticket to get off the plane among the first ones. 


Needless to say, the more money you pay, the more amenities you'll get on your flight. One of the biggest differences the two classes have in terms of amenities is related to when the service starts. With first-class, service starts before takeoff, since you're at the airport, waiting for your plane. With business class, service starts rather when you get on the plane. However, even with business class, you get plenty of amenities, including skincare products, a sleep mask, and everything that can add to your comfort, including a pillow and a blanket. 

First-class amenities are more or less similar, but some airline companies go a bit further, offering their passengers silk pajamas and full duvet covers as well. 

Wrapping up 

The differences between flying first class and business class aren't as striking as those when you compare economy class with first class. Yet, first-class passengers do get an extra premium experience with small details. To those travelers who don't need or even care about such amenities, it is simply not a good financial idea to purchase a first-class ticket. Business class is luxurious as well. 

Yet, if you want to be completely spoiled during your travel and can afford it, flying first class will give you the fantastic experience you've paid for. 

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