Why Fly First Class

Why Fly First Class


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Flying First Class

It’s your honeymoon and your wedding didn’t bankrupt you.
You’re a paparazzo hoping to spot celebrities.
You’re a celebrity hoping to avoid paparazzi.
You fly enough to gain frequent flier status privileges - including complimentary upgrades!
It’s your reward for all those mid-February business trips to Fargo.

Due to the race to improve business class, first class is a slowly dying breed. Some airlines have dropped it entirely and those that still offer it limit it to “premier” or “high-yield” routes with very heavy business traffic and hence enough people willing to pay for the privilege. However in the mid-late 2000s, carriers like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Emirates have released new first-class products.

The first class experience begins before you board the plane: some airlines like Thai throw in limousine transfers to and from the airport, where you can expect to have your bags carried by a porter, be checked in at a private first class check-in area and enjoy your first glass of bubbly at a first-class lounge. Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub goes a step further, dedicating an entire terminal to first-class flyers!

Once onboard, first class is perhaps best known for the superlative meal service, and indeed high-quality champagne, lobster tail and caviar do still feature on some menus. These days, though, the trend is towards a wide selection of entrees served to order and lengthy wine lists. Service is very personal, with first class cabin crew tending to as few as two or three passengers each.

A standard amenity in modern first class is a lie-flat seat, which lies completely flat (180 degrees) and and is increasingly offered in suite or cradle configurations where you have a curtain or other privacy divider to separate you from other passengers. (Come 2007, Virgin Atlantic is promising to pioneer double suites on its A380 superjumbos, although its Upper Class is strictly speaking somewhere between business and first class!) When reclined, the seat will actually resemble a bed, made up by crew with comfortable linens, pillows, etc. Pyjamas are usually provided and even the toiletry kit will contain recognizable brand names. When sitting up, seat pitch regularly exceeds 200cm (80″) and there are rarely more than 4 seats in a row.

When it comes to frequent flyer miles, first class passengers can accrue up to three times the number of miles flown. For example, those flying round-trip long-haul like Singapore-Los Angeles using SIA’s Suite Class have more than enough miles to redeem up to 2 intra-South East Asian flights.
Last but not least, first class gets the best seats in the plane. This is almost invariably at the front of the plane, where engine noise and turbulence are minimized. Hence they are called first.