Is first Class Worth It?
As someone who usually travels coach, I had always wanted to fly first class. I found a really good deal on first class when I flew from here in the Pacific Northwest to New Orleans in December and decided to take them up on their offer at Delta. When I priced out the costs including baggage and food on the day of my trip, I found that first class was roughly the same price as flying coach, if not slightly cheaper so I decided to go with it. There are many ways you can fly first class for cheap so I suggest you look into it if you are considering it.
When trying to decide if first class is worth it, there are several factors to look at. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons and then I’ll tell you if I personally found it worth the price (if you would end up paying more for it as is usually the case)
Is First Class Worth It?
Pros of first class flying:
It can save you money on food if your trip is long– I found the food served on Delta to be pretty good for what it was. My favorite was the little cheese and fresh fruit tray they served during one of the lunches. I liked how I got free alcoholic drinks and they actually gave me full cans of soda.
You get priority boarding on most airlines– It was great being able to board first. I also got priority unload for my baggage which was nice at the end of my trip.
You get extra legroom and more comfortable seating– With planes trying to cram as many people on the plane as possible these days, any extra legroom is good legroom. The seats are a bit wider as well so for someone like myself who is also a bit wider (ha) it is great.
Free WiFi on most flights as well as ‘better’ entertainment– I liked how I didn’t have to pay the extra to get overpriced WIFI. It was nice to get it for free and the entertainment was pretty great as well with the screens in the seats.
You get a dedicated flight attendant and a bathroom very close– I liked having a dedicated flight attendant for the whole trip. It made the flight seem more personal. Also, bonus for the bathroom just a few steps away I didn’t have to share with 100 other people at once.
You can have heavier suitcases– I was thrilled to be able to have a higher threshold for how much my baggage could weigh. On Delta First Class, its 70 lbs instead of 50.
Cons of flying first class:
The seats aren’t THAT much more comfortable– While having extra legroom was good, I still felt cramped and for someone with chronic pain (one of the main reasons I booked first class) this was kind of a bummer for me as long flights in coach leave me swollen and in pain.
The meals are tiny– The meals were kind of small in my opinion. They also were not nearly as nice as I expected them to be for the price and based on what the website said for what to expect. At one point I got a sandwich with one single piece of deli meat on it. For breakfast, I got cereal and a 1/2 cup of fruit with yogurt.
The cost is outrageous in most cases– If you don’t find low cost first class flights, the cost of first class can be as much as 2 or 3 times the cost of coach or economy.
Since you get seated first, you have to wait longer to take off once seated– While it is nice getting seated and settled first, on large planes, this means you now have to wait for 200 people to board and this can take quite a while. Not a big deal, but when your legs start to cramp before you even take off it can be.
Some of the folks who fly first class can be quite snooty– I always had great conversations with economy class strangers I sat next to. With First class, it seemed like people were off-put by my dreadlocked hippiness. I tried to talk but it seemed no one wanted to strike up a conversation on one guy actually turned in his seat next to me so he wouldn’t have to look at me after he made it clear he didn’t want to talk to me.
Most planes don’t even offer all the extras you are entitled to– I found that of the 4 flights I took for that trip only 1 of them offered all I was told I would get as a first class passenger. Kind of a disappointment to charge me as if I am getting it on each flight and only do it on one.
Is it really worth it to fly first class?
I guess it depends on your goals. If you can find it cheaper, I say go for it. It was definitely pleasant for the most part. If it’s 2-3 times more, I wouldn’t necessarily say it is, unless you have lots of disposable income or your boss is paying.