Money might not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. And, when it comes to flying, first (sometimes called business) class passengers have it made.
The average flyer has to deal with long TSA lines, cramped seating, and inedible food, but first-class passengers get to look forward to five-course meals and ruining their diets with an unlimited stream of free drinks, among other things.
Though some of the amenities on this list are specific to certain airlines, most of them can be enjoyed by the majority of business class passengers. Here are 10 things that first-class passengers get that economy doesn't.
10 Priority Boarding And Exiting
One of the worst parts of flying economy is all of the waiting around that occurs. You wait to get your bags checked, wait to get called to board. While you're waiting, first-class passengers have already been seated.
The duration varies from airline to airline, but, on average, first-class passengers usually get seated between twenty to thirty minutes ahead of everyone else. It's not fair, but it does make sense, given the exorbitant price of their tickets. They also get to exit first! First-class passengers also get to skip over the post-flight scramble that occurs as dozens of people attempt to deplane.
9 Private Lounges
If you have a late flight or are just overly punctual, you will probably spend at least a couple of hours sitting in the airport until it's time to board the plane. If you have an economy ticket, you could waste a little time and a lot of money at an on-site eatery or bar. But, if you hold a business class ticket, you can ball out in a private lounge.
They don't exist in every airport, but the ones that do are only for business class. In them, you could find comfortable booths to work and recharge your electronics, premium snacks, and refreshing beverages. Think of them as the V.I.P section of the airport.
8 Larger Seats
By the time that you jump through the thousand and one hoops it takes to book a flight, get to the airport, and then board said flight, you're probably aching to get seated so you can relax. Unfortunately, it's not easy to relax when you have an economy ticket. Airplane seats, which typically are arranged in rows of threes, are notorious for being too small. There's barely any legroom for the average person. Plus, if you're super tall, you can expect to be extra cramped.
First-class passengers, however, usually enjoy seats that are paired in groups of two, and way larger than economy class. There's more than enough room to stretch your legs and get comfortable.
7 Seats That Lie Flat
If you've ever tried to sleep in economy, then you know that it's nearly impossible. The seats that barely come equipped with an armrest do recline, but not enough to get a really good nap in.
First-class flyers not only get ample room around their seats, but they also get seats that recline back like beds. This means there is no one complaining about you lying on their legs, and no worry of waking up with a muscle spasm. That's the good life for you.
6 Unlimited Free Drinks
Most airlines offer economy class passengers a complimentary drink for short flights and two to three for longer flights. If you're nice enough to the flight attendants, you might be able to score an extra drink, but that's pretty rare. Anything else has to be paid for.
From the moment that first-class passengers board their flight, the drinks start flowing. At least for most airlines. It doesn't matter whether it's water, milk, soda, tea, and in some cases, even wine or beer, first-class passengers get the luxury of being well hydrated, unlike their economy counterparts.
5 Larger Bathrooms
After downing a few drinks, you'll probably have to make a trip or two to the bathroom, depending on how long your flight is. If you're in economy, then we're sorry to tell you that you'll probably barely have enough room to turn around. Yes, they're really that small.
First-class passengers enjoy much larger accommodations. The bathrooms are large enough to comfortably handle your business. Some even have showers!
4 Five Course Meals
Airplane food is usually pretty gross in economy. It's not just because airlines hire terrible chefs, either. Something about high altitudes can affect people's taste buds, which influence how much they enjoy their food. Some of it is definitely gross on its own, though, don't get us wrong.
First-class flyers still deal with the altered taste buds, but their food is generally higher quality. Usually, if the flight is long enough, first-class flyers will be offered a five-course meal, complete with an appetizer, salad, main course, dessert, and fruit and cheese tray, made with real, quality food and served on real dinnerware.
3 Personal Mini-Bar
While economy class passengers are munching on peanuts and shortbread cookies during shorter flights, first-class passengers are offered a wide array of snacks that they don't even have to leave their seat for.
Instead of having to bother the flight attendants, some first-class flyers have a fully stocked mini-bar, right next to their seat. These goodies do cost, but we doubt the price is a factor for these high rollers.
Most economy ticket holders get their snacks and meals served to them by flight attendants. That's all well and good, especially if they manage to get something good on their flight.
However, first-class passengers get to experience more than their share of luxury in the sky. While this isn't true for all airlines, several first-class ticket holders get their meals served to them by butlers in full uniform. So, while they're enjoying gourmet food and premium drinks, they're also fully immersed within the fine dining experience. Can someone say lucky?
The absolute best perk that first-class flyers get to experience isn't yet widely offered, but more and more airlines are hopping on board. We're talking about on-flight suites, equipped with private beds and sitting areas, specialized food, luxury towels and so much more. Plus, if you're flying with your significant other, you can also request a double bed. But don't get ahead of yourself. They're only for napping. Officially.