While I typically fly economy just like the majority of travelers, I’ve also experienced the amazing perks of flying first class thanks to a mileage rewards program. Wondering whether it’s worth using your next batch of miles to spring for a premium ticket? Here are seven perks of flying first class that I especially love.
1. Free Checked Bags
Baggage fees are a major hassle and always one of the biggest money drains when flying. When enjoying the perks of flying first class, however, a certain number of checked bags will usually be allowed free of charge, depending upon the specific policies put in place by your airline. When I flew first class to the West Coast for my wedding, for example, I was easily able to check a bag and also carry my gown onto the plane, where it was conveniently stored in the first class closet, helping me relax and avoid worrying.
2. Faster Security Checkpoint Lines
How many times have you arrived at the airport later than expected and felt your heart jump into your throat after catching sight of a long line at the security checkpoint? Having experienced this several times myself, I’ve loved being able to get into the much shorter priority line when flying first class. Along with reducing stress, getting through security faster means you’ll have plenty of time to find your gate and grab a snack.
3. Priority Boarding
In addition to priority access at the security checkpoint, first class passengers are also among the first to board a plane, allowing them to settle in and enjoy a glass of water or juice while awaiting takeoff. Ever boarded a plane only to find that all of the overhead space was already full? You won’t have to face this issue in first class.
4. Complimentary Meals and Snacks
Tasty snacks like chips and granola bars are common in first class, as are complete meals during flights that last longer than a couple hours. While breakfast and lunch are certainly nice, dinner is always the best meal of the day, as passengers are treated to a variety of items like warmed nuts, salad, bread, a hot entrée and dessert. Have dietary restrictions or concerns? Be sure to let the airline know in advance so that an appropriate meal can be arranged for you.
5. Complimentary Alcohol
Whether you’d like a simple glass of wine with dinner or a Mai Tai while en route to Hawaii, alcoholic drinks are usually complimentary for first class passengers. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink or two, but remember to also sip plenty of water and avoid overindulging. After all, the last thing you want is to get sick onboard or arrive at your destination feeling tipsy.
6. Roomier Seats
Along with being spacious, first class seats offer especially comfortable headrests and plenty of extra space to accommodate drinks, books, laptops and more, thanks to large armrests and tray tables. As someone who often has trouble sleeping during flights, I’ve definitely appreciated the opportunity to curl up in my first class seat and recline a bit more than would typically be possible.
7. Nicer Restrooms
Airplane bathrooms are notoriously small, but the first class lavatory is typically a bit larger and also cleaner, due to fewer people using it throughout the flight. First class restrooms also tend to get more attention from flight attendants, meaning you’re less likely to encounter things like overflowing trash bins or no paper towels toward the end of the trip.
Like the sound of these perks, but don’t think you can afford a ticket or save up enough miles? Some of the advantages listed here, like free checked bags and priority boarding, are also available to mileage rewards program members, so be sure to check into these types of options if you’re a frequent traveler. Have you been able to enjoy the perks of flying first class?