Economy Class vs. First Class Flights vs. Business Class Flights

When you’re planning a trip, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to consider is your flight.

Should you book your flights exclusively through one of the big air alliances or should you look a little deeper and work with a specialist travel agency to help you get the best deal? What’s the difference between the different flight classes, and which one should you choose to make sure you get the best value? We’ve broken down the three types of flights to help make your next airline ticket purchase a little easier.

Economy Class Flights

While economy class flights can be significantly cheaper than the alternatives, they don’t include nearly as many amenities as first class or business class round-the-world tickets. You may end up spending more because amenities like food and drink aren’t included in the cost of an economy ticket.

The average width of an economy class seat is 17″ so that the airline can fit as many people as possible into the relatively small space available. This severely limits your leg room, as well as your space in the overhead storage compartment. If your carry-on doesn’t fit, you may end up holding it in your lap the entire trip or have to pay a baggage fee to have it checked.

Economy flights may suffice in a pinch, but if you’re trying to collect miles for future trips, economy flights don’t earn as many miles as the other types of flights.

Business Class Flights

When it comes to round-the-world business class fares, you will be paying more than you would for an economy class flight, but with that extra price comes a host of additional benefits. First, you earn just as many miles as you would if you’d flown first class — 150% of miles flown. The seats are wider, with an average width of 21″, and more than half of them lie flat, which is ideal for long flights or flights that take off first thing in the morning or late in the evening.

Buffet food is commonly made available during the flight, as well as boarding and check-in priority, and even chauffeur services. Business class passengers get to enjoy amenities that are comparable to first class, but at a much lower price.

There are also many business class lounges at airports. Passengers can relax in private lounges and have a drink or a cup of coffee while waiting to board their flight.

First Class Flights

First class tickets are easily the most expensive, but they do have their benefits. You usually have more leg room — not only are the seats further apart, but they’re wider with an average width of 25,” and more than 90% of them lie flat. You’ll have more food options too. First class also commonly has buffet food available — but with even more options — as well as access to exclusive lounges at airports around the world.

Overall, business class is probably the best way to get the most bang for your buck. And you can get even more out of your flight if you get away from the traditional air alliances and work with a specialized travel agency. You may be hopping airlines to get the best price, but saving money means you can afford to do more of the things you want to do on your trip — without losing the comfortable flight and the amenities.