Travel class. What are they and how they differ?

Travel class. What are they and how they differ?


Even those who do not use air transport know that there are some different travel classes (classes of passenger service on the planes).

Let’s see what the difference is between the business class and economy one and why the former is more comfortable than others.

The first class

First class in the plane

So, not all flights have the first class – that is the main peculiarity of transatlantic routes. Every air carrier tries to make this type of class as comfortable as it can, and that’s why besides the seats that are folding up to 180°, or small sofas, the most companies equip their airliners with real beds in separate cabins.

There are certain services for the passengers of the first class: they may wait for their flight sitting in a comfortable lounge, pass check-in control without turn or in special terminals aimed especially for this purpose, get to the airliner by business-class car or by limousine.

The big menu provides with beverages and meal, polite and careful personnel comes to help the passengers each time. The price of the first class ticket exceeds the one of the economy class for eight – fifteen times.

Business-class

Business class

The alternative to the first class (on the airliners, where it isn’t) is the business-class, introduced by KLM company in 1976.

It should be mentioned that the difference between the business-class and economy class (at some air carriers, mainly at national) is only in food and in more careful service.

Business-class seats are of the following types:

  • those that recline only up to 160°, with 17-34 inch width and 34-80 inch seat pitch;
  • those that recline up to 180°, with 18-23 inch width and 55-67 inch seat pitch;
  • those that fold up 180° and make up a mini-sofa parralel to the floor.

The ticket price includes beverages, special meal, often Internet access.

A comfortable lounge waits for the passengers before their check-in, the check-in process, itself, takes place either at the check-in counter or at the separate terminal.

The delivery of business-class passengers to the airstair is done separately from the passengers of another classes. As a rule, business-class ticket price exceeds the one of economy class for 3 – 5 times.

Besides, the passenger has the right to change the date of flight free of charge, and in case of refusing to fly – to return the whole air fare.

Economy class

Economy class

As a rule, the economy class is in the middle or in the back part of the plane and it is cheaper than other two classes mentioned above. The seat width is between 17-19 inch, and the distance between rows may vary according to the flight – if it is local, the distance is from 30 to 36 inch, the seat pitch is from 29 to 36 inch.

Service and comfort of the economy class depend on a certain air carrier, but each seat is equipped with the folding table and the pouch with the evacuation map and flight book by all means.

For far flights the passengers are given blankets and pillows, ear muffs, ear- phones, hygiene set. Food depends on the airline company.

Soft drinks, tea, coffee are offered during short-term flights.

Other classes

Airline companies often practise their own classes of service that can combine peculiarities of close classes.

For instance, econom-comfort or econom-premium classes are often practised that represent something from the business class and something from the economy one.