Flying International Business Class - Is It Worth The Cost?
The airport is bustling with tired travelers. Everyone is in a hurry to get where they're going. Your first stop is security. You go through the metal detectors and struggle with your shoes while simultaneously avoiding the lady behind you trying to knock you over with her carryon. After you rush to your terminal, you're forced to wait in another line to board before finally cramming into your sardine can of a seat… Such is the plight of most airline travelers. Economy air travel is something to be endured.
But what if there was a way to avoid all that headache. What if there was a way to fly through security and avoid the stupid lines of people waiting to board? What if when you got on the flight the aisles were wide and your seat spacious? Once you were seated, what would it be like if you were given champagne and warm nuts? How great would it be if your seat folded down into a comfy bed so you could sleep soundly?
This place exists. It's called 'business class," and it's magical. What's it like to fly internationally in business class? And most importantly, is it worth the extra cost? Keep reading to find out.
What’s It Like To Fly In Business Class?
For this article, we're going to focus on what it's like to fly American Airlines international business class. Each airline has it's own pros/cons, and some are better than others. Plus international business class, on all carriers, offers more amenities than domestic business class. But what was it like on AA?
The first thing we noticed was how much extra room there was. If you generally fly in economy, it's pretty shocking. The aisles were wider, the seats were bigger, and we even had our own overhead storage bins. Each chair was surrounded by a futuristic-looking pod that gave us privacy from other passengers. Oh yeah, and the seats? They laid flat and turned into a bed so we could get plenty of rest. Without a doubt, the best part of flying at the front of the plane was all the space.
After we got over the shock of all the extra room, hot towel and beverage service started. Once the plane took off, the flight attendants took our dinner order. The quality of the food was disappointing for us. It was leaps and bounds better than what's availible in coach, but it was still just airline food. It was presented very nicely, table cloths and real plates, but the flavor was lacking for sure. The best part was dessert and all the snacks that were available the entire flight. Plus we were able to order soda or drinks whenever we wanted.
After we ate, we changed into pajamas and watched some movies. The movie selection is the same on the entire plane, but we had noise-canceling headphones at our seat that sounded great. After we had filled up on snacks and drinks, we both went to sleep. In the morning, we woke up relatively refreshed and ready for our vacation. My main takeaway was that flying internationally in economy is something to be endured. You go through it because your traveling to have fun on your vacation. But sitting in business class makes the flight itself something to be enjoyed.
Is It Worth The Extra Cost?
Now, this is where it gets tricky. Without a doubt, flying business class is hands-down a better experience than economy. It's comfortable and relaxing. You hit the ground at your destination rested and ready to explore. But is it worth the massive increase in cost?
We use credit card points to pay for all of our flights. On AA, economy to Europe is 30,000 points, one way. On the same plane, in business class, it costs 57,500 — just less than half. Since we're not paying cash for these tickets, it's absolutely worth the extra points to us. As long as we have the points, we will always choose business class over coach. Tap here to find out more details about how we accrue so many points.
If you're paying cash, however, the difference in cost is much more substantial. The flight that we used points for would have been around 800 dollars in economy. It was 9000 dollars for business class! Nine. Thousand. Dollars. Reread that...Nine. Thousand. Dollars. Each! That's a ton of money. Flight prices do change regularly, and it is possible to get good deals on these seats. Sometimes you can find last minute business class seats for as little as a thousand dollars, but it's rare. So, if you're paying cash, you'll be using a lot of it.
Whether business class is worth it to you is a personal decision. For us, we would never pay 9000 dollars for an airplane seat, no matter how good it is. But since we don't pay for our points, we'll opt for business class whenever we can. It is a better experience and the best use of our points. You land well-rested and ready to explore. Whether that is worth the extra cost is up to you.