Traveling in business class is an incredible experience when traveling long-haul. From the food and service to the spacious seat that converts into a flat-bed and large entertainment screen, business class is the preferred way to fly. Although business class seats and the entire experience can vary from one airline to another, the benefits and perks that come with business class are similar. If you find yourself with a premium ticket in the future, here’s how you can take advantage of your business class experience.
24-Hour Pre-Departure Meal Selection
Having a business class ticket allows you to eat as if you’re in a 5-star restaurant (we’ll get to that in just a bit), but what some may not know is that many airlines offer 24-hour pre-departure meal selections where you can order your preferred meal ahead of your flight, sometimes even 60 hours before. Depending on your seat number, your first choice dish may not be available if you’re further back in business class. However, with the 24-hour pre-departure selection, you are much more likely to get your first choice than by waiting until you board the airplane.
Priority Check-in and Boarding
Priority check-in and boarding are also perks to take advantage of when flying business class. Premium passengers are able to skip long check-in lines and pre-board before everyone else does. Some airlines even offer the option to use TSA PreCheck if booking a business class ticket, allowing you to skip the regular security line. You don’t have to be signed up for TSA PreCheck either.
Another bonus to having a business class seat is the ability to utilize the airline’s lounge or a partner lounge. It’s the perfect escape away from the busyness inside an airport. Inside the lounge, you can grab a snack, full-sized meal and favorite drink, relax in a chair, complete some work in the business center, refresh by taking a shower, book a complimentary spa treatment (some airlines have spas) or grab a private or semi-private room (if available) and catch some shuteye. Some carriers also have an arrival lounge accessible to business and first class passengers who need a place to unwind, shower or grab a snack before heading out a meeting or into the city.
Onboard dining in business class is completely refined compared to what is served to economy or premium economy passengers. Dishes are created by world-renowned chefs, served in multiple courses on chinaware and paired with international wines and champagnes. Many airlines also offer dine-on-demand, where you can eat when you like versus during the usual meal service times. If you’ve already eaten or don’t want to eat 3 to 4 courses, the airline may have lighter menu options or healthy choices. For vegans or vegetarians, an airline can serve some exquisite meals completely off the menu, just make sure to let them know ahead of time when booking the flight.
Business Class Seat
The best perk of a business class ticket is the seat. For the entire duration of the flight, you can utilize your business seat as a workspace, dining room and a bedroom. And if you’re flying on an airline such as Aeroflot, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines or Delta Air Lines, you may be flying in a completely enclosed suite with a sliding door for ultimate privacy (seat type depends on flight route).
Make sure to enjoy every bit of the seat including the large entertainment screen, the bed, pajamas, slippers, mattress, bedding and amenity kit that’s provided. For an added touch of luxury, check to see if the airline offers turndown service where the flight crew will perfectly prepare your seat for sleeping.
Having a business class ticket means you can check in 2 free bags with a maximum weight of about 70 pounds per bag. Economy ticket holders can only check in 1 luggage for free on international flights with a maximum weight of 50 pounds on average. Additionally, business class passengers are allowed to bring a carry-on weighing 40 pounds (on average) whereas economy passengers can only bring a carry-on weighing 20 pounds. That’s double the space you can bring on board the aircraft and check in. If you’re traveling during the wintertime, you can even check in your ski or snowboarding equipment free of charge with a business class ticket, saving you even more.
There are a handful of airlines including Qatar Airways, Qantas, Emirates Airlines, Lufthansa and Etihad Airways offering business class ticket holders chauffeur service in a limo or luxury vehicle on certain routes. If available, it’s a luxurious experience not to be missed. Depending on the airline, the car can pick you up from your house and drive you to the airport, in-between airports or from the airport to your hotel or desired drop-off location.
If you find yourself with a business class ticket in the future, make sure to take full advantage of all the perks that come with it.