For most of us, first class air travel exists up there with unicorns – cool in concept, mythological in nature. Until the day you win the lottery or become the Next Big Thing in Hollywood, Airport Metals has your inside scoop on what exactly happens for those lucky few who secure a spot at the front of the plane.
How were first class cabins introduced?
In the grand scheme of things, air travel is still a fairly new development. Looking back at the layout of planes in the early 1980s and into the 2000s, there really wasn’t that much of a distinction between plane cabins. However, motivated by the increased demand for air travel and with an eye on potential profits, airlines altered the layout of planes and cabins by installing seats closer together to allow for more paying customers to travel on a single flight.
Naturally, the demand for more comfortable travel meant that reserved areas with larger seats, more legroom and extra perks like gourmet meals and personalised service became a sought-after luxury – with an increasingly luxurious price tag. This is likely to have been inspired by the pre-existing class systems in other modes of transportation, such as boats and trains.
Which companies offer first class service?
Most of the major airlines offer first class, or their own version of the service. Qantas and Virgin Australia both offer first class, and Emirates consistently tops airline awards for their impressive service. America’s Delta is another option, and American Airline’s Domestic First Class is likened to the business class standard of other countries. If you have the money, most airlines will make your comfort and enjoyment their top priority.
How much does a first class ticket cost?
The important, painful question is the price – how much will a first class ticket set you back? It varies for each airline and is different again depending on whether you’re flying domestic or international. A Qantas first class flight from Sydney to North America is going to cost you a cool $14,350.
It’s not all champagne and caviar
No – there’s far more up for grabs when you fly first class. Passengers can expect fast-tracked check-ins, priority boarding and exiting, lower or non-existent costs for luggage checking, and dedicated lounges for you to relax in prior to your flight. Most airlines also have a range of perks available in their lounges such as chef-curated menus, complimentary spa treatments, and access to extensive entertainment options and Wi-Fi.
Until the day when you can confidently stroll through the priority lane, champagne in hand, enjoy the fact that airline travel has never been more accessible to people across the globe. Start planning your next trip today!