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Is Flying First Class on an Airline Worth the Price?

Updated on January 26, 2012

How much more are you willing to pay for an airline ticket for more seating space and legroom? Better food? More privacy?

Many are not willing to pay anything more because the airline tickets are expensive enough and sitting like a sardine for a few hours is worth the savings. I tend to agree. Even flying to Germany, a 10 hr. flight from San Francisco, is not THAT bad. It is doable. Yet, if you have money to blow and you do want more space, depending on the airline, your ticket will cost anywhere between $160 to $1600. The lower end is called Economy comfort or premium economy. There is still business and first class.

Airlines using the premium economy class basically provide you with a bit more space and room. For instance, on a Boeing 777, NZ Airlines has six seats per row, for most French, German, Japanese, British airlines, there are 8 seats across, while most US airlines have 9 seats across. For that extra money, on average, you get 40-50% more legroom and better recline ability. You also get early boarding, expedited baggage and up to 25% more frequent flyer miles. US airlines are more stingy and provide only three more inches of legroom.

Regardless of the airline, a seat is a seat. Seat pitch is between 34-38 inches. Its width is between 17-20 inches. The differences are whether you have a cabin,better food, priority check-in or early boarding, and service. You are still sitting close to a stranger, if you have to sleep, you most likely will do so in the near upright position.

You decide if the extra cost is worth it.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      I tend to agree with both of you.

    • Kristy Borowik profile image

      Kristy Borowik 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I really don't think that flying first class is worth the extra cost unless you have a lot of money to burn. I flew first class once, and detailed my experience here:

    • Marie-Grace profile image

      Marie-Grace 5 years ago from Travelling, Always

      It gets worse- tickets to London during the Olympics this year have already soared to $5,000.00 per first-class seat and beyond. It's one thing to pay a little more, but you can take an entire vacation (and a very nice one) for that kind of money.