I’m a pretty frequent traveler, so I haven’t been shy about trying out different airlines’ first class products. I thought it might be useful to put together a solid comparison of all the different first class experiences. I’ll go through them airline by airline, from best to worst.
First, a few notes on how I’m evaluating: The biggest factors that went into my decision are seat comfort and food quality. The big three airlines — American, Delta, and United — are almost identical in both regards, so I gave extra points for having a great cabin staff and entertainment system (which isn’t too hard).
Anyway, here are the rankings:
This post is part of the “Dreamliner, Oneworld and First Class” trip report, which starts here.
I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while. I’ve had the chance to experience all the US airline’s first class products over the past couple years, and there are some interesting differences between them.
To be clear, I did not fly on every flight offered by these airlines in that class of service. Rather, I flew on actual flights with paying customers and tried to simulate what you would expect if you booked each product. In other words, flying American Airlines’ new 777-300ER first class is different than flying on the new A321T first class — even though they’re both called “first class.”
When traveling on business, the airline you choose to fly can make or break your trip. In this article we will compare the different airlines and what they offer in first class.
We compared 5 different airlines and their first class experience. All were similar in some ways, but very different in others.
The only airline that had a bar area was United Airlines. Their first class section was also extremely spacious, with plenty of room to stretch out and relax. The food was very good and the service was excellent. It was by far the best airline for first class seating.
Delta Airlines offers a great business class option for those who do not want to pay for first class tickets. They have large seats that are similar to regular economy seats, but with more legroom and wider arm rests. The meal service is decent, but could be better.
Virgin Atlantic has a great selection of wines and alcoholic beverages, as well as a wide variety of food options to choose from. Their business class is not as roomy as Delta’s, however they offer a better meal service than Delta does.
American Airlines has an upgraded business class option called “business plus.” It has wider seats than regular economy seats and more legroom, but no additional meals are served unless you order them
All airlines have first class cabins, but they vary widely in terms of seats, amenities, and services. In general, the more you pay, the better your experience will be.
Most airlines offer first class on international flights and some offer it on domestic flights. Even if an airline has first class on domestic routes, only a few select routes will have them. For example, American Airlines offers first class on flights between JFK and Los Angeles or San Francisco. Delta offers first class service between Atlanta and Hawaii.
What to Expect in First Class
First class is always the best experience an airline has to offer. Generally, first class passengers fly in the front of the plane with 2-4 rows of seats (with 2 seats per row). Most airlines also have a business class cabin that’s located behind the first class cabin and before economy. The business class cabin can have up to 6 rows of seats (with 2 or 3 seats per row). Some airlines also offer a premium economy cabin behind business class–and before economy–that has around 4 rows of seats (with 3 or 4 seats per row).
The exact number of rows in each cabin depends on the type of plane being used for each flight. Smaller planes may only have one row in first class while
If you have a choice of flying first class or coach, the difference in price is typically massive. But are the first class experiences really worth the extra money? We’ve reviewed flights on all major American airlines to help you decide.
First Class is Worth it If:
You’re over 6 feet tall and flying more than 3 hours
You’re traveling with your family
You’re traveling for business and can expense it
You have a large amount of frequent flyer miles and want to use them for an upgrade
Delta Airlines has been rated as one of the top airlines in America.
**The Best First Class in the World is…**
American Airlines has been quietly making a comeback in the last year. They have made improvements to their product and are now competitive with all of the other U.S. carriers in most areas. This includes their first class product.
American’s first class consists of a small cabin and fully flat seats on most of their flights from the east coast to Europe and from the west coast to Asia. The reason for different configurations is that some flights have a business class cabin between first and coach, while others do not.
The seats are good, but not great. They are comfortable for sleeping and reclining, but don’t offer much privacy or storage space. There is no door separating the cabin from the rest of the plane or even a curtain, so you feel like you’re sitting in business class instead of first class. However, these seats work perfectly fine for shorter flights (to Europe) since they’re fully flat and pretty private comparatively speaking (they’re angled towards each other). For longer flights across the Pacific American uses a staggered configuration which is far inferior to having fully flat seats on such long flights (I’m looking at you United).
The meal service is decent, but nothing special. They offer warm nuts prior to departure and a menu with at least three options on every