It has been debated for years whether flying first class is worth the cost or points. You work hard to have a perfect holiday and it can start with a flight and end with a flight. Traveling on long trips (more than 4hrs- domestic and international) I have found there are some valid reasons why it works for us to purchase a first class ticket.
Here is a little experience of ours on what happened to us the last time we flew economy to Europe. We were all excited to go to Paris for a four-day short get away. My husband booked us a romantic 5 star hotel and we had our day tours scheduled. Our tickets were booked and we even managed to get bulk head seats for a little extra room. As we got comfortable in our seats we noticed all the seats around our entire section (at least 50 seats) were filled with middle school age children.
Now I love children, we have three of my own (about us). But children of that age have a lot of energy. They need less sleep than us older people. It is just an elementary conclusion that when you put 50+ kids on a plane for 8 hours they are going to talk, laugh, exchange music, be up and down in their seats, stand in the aisle way… and so on.
We arrive feeling exhausted!
Unfortunately, we did not get any sleep ourselves on this overnight flight. Arriving in Paris mid-morning exhausted and jet lagged we made it to our hotel. Instead of enjoying the day in beautiful Paris, we shut our curtains and slept…and slept. Waking up disorientated to find it was 9:00 pm, we ordered room service and stayed up until 3:00 am. First day in Paris ruined.
As you can imagine we are now all screwed up on our sleeping schedule. Our 2nd day in Paris was better, however still tired and somewhat out of sorts we were still able to enjoy ourselves. The 3rd and 4th day we were feeling more like ourselves and had a great time.
On our way back home in economy, we again did not have a pleasant flight. Our seats were very uncomfortable. One of the seats were not reclining correctly and having the passenger directly in front of this seat was reclined back all the way. Eight hours of being cramped, trouble sleeping again. Lack of sleep again hit us hard when we returned home making the next couple of days miserably tired and having trouble with energy.
Justifying should we fly first class instead?
My husband and I began to discuss for our next international trip would first class be worth the cost? So our own pro and con list was made:
Con’s of Flying First Class
- The extra cost in money and/or points
- We could take two flights (or more depending season rates) for the cost of one first class ticket
Pro’s of Flying First Class
- Better seats =better sleep. Lays down as a bed
- Arrive at destination rested
- Better food, wine and Champagne choices
- Do not waste 1st day at destination (add up what the cost of your first day is worth)
- Service in First Class
- Luggage weight requirements are better
- Luggage receives priority (first out on luggage retrieval)
- Some airlines offer their private lounges when purchasing first class ticket
- Priority boarding
- No worries about being able to bring your carry on items abroad and having storage for them
- Bathrooms dedicated for people in first class= less people using them.
- Power ports are better
- Amenity kits
- Exit plane first
Even though the pro list wins, we still wanted to compare and see if flying first class is worth the cost. We concluded, our first day of vacation is a very important day. It can be our very first impression of a place and we want to experience it fully, in a great mood, rested and full of energy. Arriving early mornings, many hotels are not ready for you yet, so you need to have the energy to get out an explore. Somethings you cannot put a price on when traveling. The moment you see the Eiffel Tower for the first time, looking up in the Sistine Chapel, walking around Stonehedge, riding in a gondola in Venice or seeing the blue waters of Santorini. These experiences can all happen on your first day and all are priceless.
In conclusion, we only fly first class internationally now. For us it works, flying first class is worth the cost and it has been smooth flying since. This is not meant to be a snobby sounding article but more about enjoying every moment of your precious holiday time, which starts with your flight.