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5 Tips for Your First Time Flying Business Class


If you have your first flight in business class coming up, you’re probably excited. I know I was — and still am, every time. It’s one of those travel upgrades that never gets old.

You also probably want to make the most of that business-class ticket. They don’t come cheap, after all, whether you pay in cash or miles you earned using travel credit cards. Here are a few simple tips that can help you have a great time on your flight.

1. Pick your seat and meal in advance

You’ll be able to choose these ahead of your flight on the airline’s website. Make sure you pick a seat as soon as you can, especially if you’re flying with someone else. There are often a limited number of seats together in the business-class cabin. It’s nice to have your travel partner right next to you, not on the other side of the cabin.

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I’d recommend using SeatGuru to help choose a seat. Select the “Seat Maps” option, and then plug in the airline, date, and flight number. You’ll see a seat map of your flight with info on which seats, if any, you may want to avoid.

You can also pick your meal on the airline’s website. You should definitely do this if you have any dietary restrictions, but it’s a good idea even if you don’t. Airlines sometimes run out of certain meals. By requesting yours in advance, you can ensure you get the one you want.

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2. Use the priority lanes

As a business-class passenger, you’ll have access to the following priority lanes:

  • Priority check-in: If you need to check bags or forget to check in online, you can use this as you check in at the airport.
  • Priority security: You’ll still go through the same security check as everyone else (unless you have TSA PreCheck). But you can go through a shorter line to get there.
  • Priority boarding: Your boarding group will be one of the first ones called, and there’s normally a separate lane you can use.

3. Visit the airline’s lounge

A business-class ticket normally includes airport lounge access. Lounges are a comfortable place to wait for your flight, and they help you get into luxury travel mode. Try to make it to the airport with some time to spare, so you don’t need to rush and can visit the lounge.

You can find the location of the lounge you’ll have access to on the airline’s website. You can also ask at the check-in desk when you’re at the airport.

Learn about the amenities the lounge offers online so you know what to expect. For example, for my last few red-eye flights, I’ve been able to visit a lounge with showers beforehand. I always take advantage so I can freshen up and change clothes before the flight.

4. Dress comfortably

It’s called business class, but that doesn’t mean you need to be in business or business-casual attire. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. One of the benefits of business class is how much easier sleeping is, so I wear clothes I don’t mind wearing to sleep.

Some airlines provide pajamas for business-class passengers, although this is far more common in first class. Many of them provide soft socks in their business-class amenity kits, so you can keep your feet comfortable. And in case you were wondering, it’s perfectly fine to take off your shoes when you’re on the plane. Get yourself as comfortable as possible to enjoy the trip and get some rest.

5. Ask the flight attendants if you need anything

Don’t be shy or worry that you’re going to be a bother. Flight attendants are usually happy to help. If you’re not sure how something works at your seat, ask them to show you. If you’d like a snack or another drink, there’s most likely plenty available.

You can use the flight attendant call button for this. While flight attendants on U.S. flights sometimes say the call button is for emergencies, it’s typically used for service requests on long-haul international flights. Just try not to use it in the middle of a meal service.

Business class is a fantastic way to travel. It’s certainly harder on your finances, but there are often deals available, and it’s also much more affordable if you pay in credit card miles. While you’ll probably enjoy yourself no matter what, following these tips can help you get the most out of the experience.

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