Economy passengers have long wondered what goes on at the front of the plane. What the seats are like, what facilities first class passengers have access to, the standard of the food and whether you can actually sleep more comfortably are often pondered — and fantasised about.
To provide some concrete answers travellers who have been lucky enough to bag a seat in first class have been revealing exactly what the experience is like on an internet forum, from being offered pyjamas, to being able to shower before landing. Though not everyone thinks it's worth the outlay.
And for most people, having more legroom and space as well as the more calming environment is the biggest difference from flying economy. One Redditor explained: 'My stepdad worked for an airline when I was growing up, so I got to fly first class a number of times.
'Aside for the most obvious thing, more room, there was something better. Peace and quiet. Because first class passengers aren’t packed in like sardines, there’s a sense of calm in that part of the aircraft.' While ldn6 agreed, having recently flown first class with Singapore Airlines.
He said: 'The biggest difference has to be the feeling of total separation; you're in one of the quietest, most serene environments possible while 35,000ft in the air with completely personalised service.' Traveller 9a_ praised the ability to sit cross legged in seats while thismydallasaccount also said the quality of the seat was the biggest difference.
Meanwhile other people commenting on the thread said the little added perks were what made first class so much better.
Verystormy wrote: 'I used to fly Emirates first. You board and your seat will have a pair of pyjamas waiting for you. You press a button and it seals itself off into a little private room which you can get undressed in.' While also praising Emirates' premium service, my-pw-is-password added: 'Taking a shower at 40,000ft, having gourmet meals, alcohol always flowing, having less noise around you, getting chauffeured to and from the airport, being able to actually lie down flat, having a separate lounge area from your seat.'
Fellow traveller duncan_D_sorderly also said the food was much better, saying: 'With Air France they had an on-board chef to individually make the meals, was a surprise to be asked how I wanted my filet steak tournedos cooked.'
And the angry_norwegian was most impressed by something completely different. He explained: 'The feeling of superiority as you mean mug [stare down] all the coach passengers walking past you.'
But for Makerbot2000, it's not just the private boarding, fine fining, real linen and silverware, flat beds, free toiletries, sleep suits and superior entertainment systems that are better than coach. He added that even on the ground, the first class experience is totally different. He explained: 'Exit is private and escorted to fast track area to clear customs. However, not everyone was impressed with the first class experience, with some even saying it was not worth the money.
One Redittor b1ndvision explained: 'On most flights? Not much, to be honest. Free drinks, hot towel, more room. Real glasses rather than cheap plastic cups.' While MakerGrey added: 'Honestly, it's just okay. It's not that first class is awesome, it's that coach is so terrible. Thirsty? Have a cocktail. Sit in first and they'll hang your coat and put your carry on in the bin. pw_is_my_password said: 'If you're just flying domestic or not on a fancier airline, then first class probably isn't that different from coach - mainly just nicer seats.'