Every day millions of future jet-setters from around the world are faced with a decision, ‘do I stick with Economy or upgrade’.
In this article we will explore some of the reasons why paying for these premium travel options is worth the added cost.
Priority Checkin, Security Screening, Immigration and Boarding
Getting from the airport’s entrance to the boarding gate can be one of the stressful and time-consuming tasks you can do at a major airport, besides maybe taxes.
One of the major advantages of premium tickets at many larger airports is the ability to access ‘priority’ queues which can shave literal hours of your time waiting in lines both at your origin and at the destination airport.
Examples of these luxuries include:
- Priority Check-in and bag drop
- Porter to pick bags up from hotel or home prior to leaving
- Priority line at security and immigration (leaving and entering)
- Golf Buggy Transport around the airport
- First to board the aircraft
For busy travelers, this can be the difference in making a flight on short notice, or checking into your hotel hours earlier to get a good nights sleep.
It should be noted many of these services are available as a paid extra or available for free in certain circumstances if you have a disability.
Airport Lounge Access
While it may sound like a novelty, good lounge access can be extremely valuable to get grounded before a long flight. Particularly while waiting for connections, waiting out delays or relying on its services to get refreshed.
Highlights of these include:
- Comfortable seating and a quiet environment to catch some rest
- Complimentary food and drink: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, alcohol & non-alcoholic beverages
- Complimentary WiFi and Business services: Desks, Charging ports & Newspapers
- Shower and bathroom facilities
You may not need a premium ticket to access these lounges, many airports have lounges that can be accessed with certain credit cards, if you hold a status with a partner airline (One World, Star Alliance) or can be purchased with points on the day.
Extra Perks & Special Treatment
Paying more for your ticket in almost all cases gives you more perks to make your trip more enjoyable.
These often include:
- Extra Baggage allowance, often a second 20-30kg checkin bag and additional hand luggage
- Premium Meals: 2-3 meal courses depending on flight length, larger nicer meals, variety
- Amenities Kit: brand name products, good quality toiletries bag or goodies and loaning of noise cancelling headphones on some airlines
- More attention from the cabin crew such as warm towels, blankets and refreshments
Premium Seats & Space
The ultimate answer of what so many are paying for is the seat!
Every airline and aircraft type will differ slightly however the main points are:
- Larger seat and space: seat width, Foot Room, seat padding, wider armrests, ability to recline flat to get sleep.
- Privacy: On long haul many business class seats have a screen or wall between passengers improving hygiene and giving yourself some much-needed personal space
- Seat Power: Most business class seats offered by airlines include USB charging and AC to charge devices such as laptops which is essential for working long haul or bringing your own personal devices.
- Complimentary Onboard Internet: Many of the latest generation aircraft from mainstream airlines now offer very capable WiFi services so you can remain connected
- Latest Generation Entertainment Systems: Wider Screens, Increased functionality
While it’s hard to put a price on your time, for the traveler with places to be a good night’s sleep before a full day of work or several hours on a long-haul flight can be invaluable and worth paying extra for.
There are many compelling reasons why spending the extra for business class may be worth the expense, from the added comfort, lounges and time savings navigating the airport.
It does come with a sometimes nail-biting price though! If you are not lucky enough to have your company pay for the flights, an alternative may be ‘Premium Economy’ which may include many of the same benefits at a lower budget. Additionally some airlines allow you to use points to upgrade to a higher class or closer to the departure date bid amongst passengers for the remaining seats.