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Flying first class

(219 Posts)
MrsExpo Fri 19-Jul-19 10:33:55

We have go on a long haul flight later in the year and have been looking at options for flight times, departure airports, fares etc. Having done the research we're more or less decided what we're booking, but just for fun, DH looked at how much it would cost to upgrade to first class. shock The difference was between just under a thousand pounds for economy to around £6k (each!) for first class .... to get on the same plane, at the same airport and arrive at the same time as everyone else at the same destination.

So .... has anyone done it? Is it really worth the difference in price? What are the advantages? What do you get for the extra ££££ ?

Anyone care to share experiences?

SimonJT Fri 19-Jul-19 10:37:46

Definitely worth it, I have done it a few times longhaul and it has been really good, although I was lucky and all but one journey was paid for.

SimonJT Fri 19-Jul-19 10:48:04

Crap pressed post by accident. I have used emirates and singapore first class.

We had
Seats that turned into full beds
Privacy (you can close your door so you effectively have a private suite).
Full size tv
Freshly cooked food whenever you want it
Real cutlery/crockery
Unlimited good quality branded drinks (including alcohol)
Decent wifi
Pamper pack

On the Singapore flight we had a double suite, that was fun 😉

theemmadilemma Fri 19-Jul-19 10:48:33

I've not done full First Class, but Upper Premium.

Airport Lounge Access
Priority Boarding
Glass of champagne or orange or whatever you can image when you're sat down before the plane even takes off.
Better food.
Much more attentive service.

theemmadilemma Fri 19-Jul-19 10:50:10

Oh yes and better blankets, and little pamper packs.

LooksBetterWithAFilter Fri 19-Jul-19 10:52:29

Depends on the airlines really done are definitely worth the upgrade like Simon says emirates can be pretty special. I’ve seen some short haul flights where paying the extra was pointless although not such a big difference but I have flown first class long haul with the dc which again wasn’t such a big jump in price but did give us a lounge to relax in at the airport with drinks and snacks movies to watch that sort of thing. More room on the plane for the dc so they didn’t have to wander and annoy people as they had plenty room at their own seat. Didn’t need to take loads of snacks as they were supplied on the plane. Depends on the airlines I guess and what you actually get for your money.

RainOrSun Fri 19-Jul-19 10:53:45

Never done first, but business - more space!! I think the food is better. Its quieter, so easier to sleep.
Only ever paid for one (one way) business class. The extra lugage was helpful in that case - emptying all our belongings out of a country. Other trips have always been paid for when business.

Sleepyquest Fri 19-Jul-19 10:54:36

I wanted to do it for our honeymoon but I couldn't justify it!! Not when it cost almost the same as the whole honeymoon. I could have another holiday instead!

I'm sure it's amazing but not £5k amazing

boniobiscuit Fri 19-Jul-19 10:58:36

We were upgraded to first from business on a long haul and it was an amazing experience. Onbe of the first questions the air steward asked me was 'Mrs Boniobiscuit, would you like me to place your pyjamas in the bathroom for you to change into now or shall I just hang them in the wardrobe for you? grin

The food was superb, but no more superb than it is in business class.

The drinks selection was superb, but no more superb than in business class unless you count the vintage champagne on offer, but I'm not sure that I could tell the difference anyhow?

The level of personal attention from the crew both on the ground and in the air is a level of customer service that is mindblowing and it starts before you've even checked in. Honestly, I felt like a real life VIP, it's crazy. There is a private check-in, private security, we were escorted through the airport with our own personal attendant etc.

Is it any more comfortable than business class? Well, there is even more space, you have an even bigger TV, but in all honesty, once you are flat and all snuggled up under your -terribly posh- quilt it's not really all that more comfortable than business.

Would I spend my own money on business class? Absolutely!

Would I spend my own money on first class? Absolutely not -unless I had a HUGE lottery win and even then I'd only be showing off-

Ilikewinter Fri 19-Jul-19 11:00:16

Weve done business class using frequent flyer miles, it was fab and the only time that weve flown long haul with no jet lag because we could sleep properly on a lie flat bed.

Pipandmum Fri 19-Jul-19 11:06:44

First class once but I don’t think it’s that much better than business on most airlines. One of the best things about flying business is the lounge before. You can sometimes get a full cooked meal, but at the very least free booze, juice, snacks, etc as well as a comfortable place to wait.
I’ve boosted one leg of our uk-us flight to premium economy with Tesco clubcard - in Virgin definitely worth it, not so much on BA.

WhoAteMyNuts Fri 19-Jul-19 11:07:17

Yes it's worth it and I won't fly anything less for long haul.

The holiday starts at check in. You get different (quieter security) at Heathrow/Gatwick.

The lounges are nice with free food and drink so if you are delayed you really don't care. I never take advantage of the spa but for some people that might be nice.

On the flight the lie flat beds are worth paying for. To get real sleep without a sore neck really makes a difference. I love how you get a real pillow and duvet.

It's much quieter and the flight staff are plentiful and attentive. To be able to get up and sit at the bar breaks up the flight. The food is nicer, more variety and you can eat at a table with your partner off plates with cutlery.

Bags have always been off the plane first and obviously you get to leave the plane first.

For lots of people they would prefer to spend the money elsewhere and I used to feel that way. However, once I tried it I won't go back to economy/premium etc.

superram Fri 19-Jul-19 11:10:17

I’ve flown first class to New York and business to San Francisco. First was a special birthday and it was fab but not that much more fab than business. Lie flat beds are brilliant and I would do it every time if I could afford to (I can’t

Bluegrass Fri 19-Jul-19 11:10:37

Only done Upper Class in Virgin which is lovely as long as someone else is paying! It is easy to rave about the food, but everything seems great when you compare it to Economy! If you compare the food to a good restaurant it suddenly doesn’t make the thousands of pounds feel quite so justified!

Everything feels much calmer and more personal which is lovely, so if money is absolutely no object or if you are swimming in frequent flyer points from work then it’s great, but personally I can tolerate being uncomfortable for a little while in Economy if it leaves me much more money to spend on other things!

YouJustDoYou Fri 19-Jul-19 11:10:54

First and BUsiness is heaven. HEAVEN. Not much difference tbh between First and B, except less cramped. If I could I'd do it every time (but work wouldn't appreciate that). The food and drink is just....heaven. The space is....heaven. The comfort is...heaven. I used to do a lot of 12 hour flights to and from a far-distance country for work and was extremely, extremely fortunate enough to be allocated certain seats. Can't afford it now, but dear god it ruined me for life.

YouJustDoYou Fri 19-Jul-19 11:11:48

Upper Premium is still a good compromise tbh.

Titsywoo Fri 19-Jul-19 11:13:06

Not first class as such but I've flown Virgin Upper which is halfway between business and first. DH had loads of airmiles and we upgraded us and the DC for a trip to New York. It's so much nicer and if I were rich I'd fly anything 4 hours or more in business or first but I'd have to have a lot of extra money or I'd not bother.

The things I loved:-
Virgin Upper Lounge at Heathrow - amazing. Drank loads of free champagne, ate a nice free meal and got my nails done. It's huge and very comfortable.
Not having to queue to check in.
The space onboard was lovely. Seat with a foot rest (and the whole thing turns into a bed).
Champagne and snacks when you first sit down
Very comfy chair and you can recline without pissing anyone off
Food was lovely - they put the table down for you (much bigger one) and lay out cutlery, napkin and your own mini salt and pepper shakers in the shape of planes. Later on they serve burgers and nice sandwiches and sometimes ice cream or cupcakes.
There is a bar you can go and sit at (DS was found sitting here in the evening of the flight out chatting up the stewardesses and had even blagged a burger early!)
Less people in upper so no queues for the toilets
You get off the plane first
When landing back at heathrow they have a revivals lounge where you can have food, a shower and freshen up before you head home (or to the office for business flyers!).

It is fab but as I say I'm not rich enough to pay several thousand per person just for a few hours on a plane! I think a huge amount of people who use business/upper/first have upgraded with miles because they fly a lot.

Pollaidh Fri 19-Jul-19 11:16:10

The big step is between Ec/PremEc and Business. Between Business and First there isn't much difference in terms of space. These days many airlines have fully flat beds in Business, plus the food and service is better, but really the difference is being able to lie down on an almost proper bed. That means, on a work trip, at least some rest before you arrive and start working. There's also the lounge, which gives you quiet and space to eat, work and relax before the flight. IME it's the flatbed makes long haul travel bearable.

Not much point upgrading for economy, as you get the same seats as economy, same pitch etc - but often (not always!) the middle seat in a set of 3 is kept empty, so you don't get squished by the person next to you.

IheartNiles Fri 19-Jul-19 11:16:13

Only worth it if you’ve got the money to waste on it, surely.

HundredMilesAnHour Fri 19-Jul-19 11:16:16

I've flown First Class quite a few times on Emirates, BA, American and Cathay. I like the Emirates hard product (seat etc) but the BA soft product (service, food, etc) is my favourite as the staff are just so lovely.

Slightly depressing when the bathroom/shower room in Emirates First Class is bigger than my bathroom at home but hey ho.

First Class (or even Business) really makes a difference on long flights. For me the flight is a big part of my holiday and I enjoy having some nice food and wine and some time time to myself without thinking "I should be doing x". I only fly First if/when I can get a good deal. Coming back from Denver (where I'd been working) to London I was offered an upgrade from Business to First for only $500 and I jumped at the chance. It was bliss after 2 very full-on weeks of hard work.

coco123456789 Fri 19-Jul-19 11:17:50

We flew emirates business class to Australia. It was an unbelievable experience! Business class was upstairs on the plane so really nice and quiet, we had fully flat beds (with mattress!) and pillow and duvet so you could actually lie down and go to bed. I slept 7 hours solid on the Melbourne-Dubai leg, I literally couldn’t believe it when I woke up and it was 7 hours later. Even in premium economy I have only ever managed a doze and woken up feeling stiff and groggy and not really rested. At Dubai airport we have a lovely free meal in the lounge and I had a shower with fluffy towels etc. the biggest plus point was that I felt hardly any jet lag as I managed to sleep on both legs. Usually even if I’m only going as far a NYC it takes me a while to get over the jet lag.

HJWT Fri 19-Jul-19 11:18:11

@MrsExpo go on youtube and type in first class flight experience better than asking on MN!

BuzzShitbagBobbly Fri 19-Jul-19 11:21:24

I usually fly business long haul, but going first next time.

It's just ...."extra".

Yes you arrive at the same time as everyone else, but arrive a rested, calm, non-manky feeling human. Not a dead-eyed, dog tired shell (I have been that person so I know what it feels like). Delays are fine because you are in a nice lounge and can relax and wait in comfort. perhaps have a nice shower before you board etc. Boarding is at your leisure, no gate lice and rushing to ensure you get overhead locker space. Attentive service with crew calling you by name and not rushing. Real crockery and glassware and good food and drink. better quality IFE. More baggage allowance (hold and cabin) than I know what do with, but it's good to know I don't have to worry about excess charges

It's all much more serene and you don't feel pushed and shoved and rushed about. I already love flying but premium cabins make it an experience to enjoy, not endure.

Yes it is expensive, but I am someone who finds it to be worth spending money on that element of my holiday. Others may not. C'est la vie.

LemonBreeland Fri 19-Jul-19 11:24:10

It is worth looking at business class prices, as the leap in price between each class is rather large. Business class still allows the lie flat seats and great service.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Fri 19-Jul-19 11:30:15

Even check-in is better.

I mean, I am still amazed at the queues of people waiting to actually check in as opposed to having done it online and just waiting to drop bags, but with premium you get a special lane so you just walk straight up and get done in seconds.

Then off to the fast track security and immigration, which again is much calmer, less cattle-herding feeling. Last time I had a pleasant conversation with a very nice Qatari man after he made a comment on my cabin bag.

Then you just settle in comfortably with complimentary refreshments in a nice lounge, and wait till you fancy ambling over to your gate. Where you can skip the queues again.

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