Aviation

What flying business class is really like

Alison Godfrey / AAP

Ever wondered what you are missing out on when you walk past business class to the back of the plane? It’s more than just those comfortable seats.

From free tacos to parent rooms and soft pyjamas – here’s 14 reasons why flying business from LA to Sydney is worth the upgrade from check in all the way to luggage pick up.

  1. THE EXPRESS PATH

The first difference that passengers notice when flying business is that they get through airport security a lot faster than everyone else thanks to a special “express path” card. In LA, it’s like the airport version of a red rope. Business class passengers get to smugly walk past all the economy fliers lining up impatiently and head straight to the security screening. In Sydney, the card allows departing business and first class passengers to enter security through a separate door – manned at all times by a bouncer checking for the golden ticket. Then once again, they get a faster, separate line to the economy passengers lining up in their droves.

  1. LOUNGE ACCESS

LAX is not that interesting. There’s better and cheaper shopping in town. Browsing the shops will take you ten minutes. Waiting three hours for international flights is about as fun as watching paint dry. Business class passengers, however, get to head straight up to the lounge area where they have comfy seats, televisions, internet access, computer games and soft lighting.

  1. SHOWER BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT

One of the best pre-boarding perks of Business class has to be access to the showers. In Los Angeles the Qantas business lounge has 17 showers for passengers to freshen up before boarding their flight. That’s right – you can have a shower and change into clean clothes at the airport. There’s even free shampoo, conditioner, body wash and moisturiser to ease you into the journey. In Sydney, the business lounge has 11 showers and there are seven in Melbourne.

  1. FREE TACOS

It’s Taco Tuesday every day in the LA business class lounge. The tacos are so tasty, they deserve a special mention. On the day we visited they were serving pulled pork chipolte tacos. One passenger told us he was lining up for his fifth serving.

  1. FREE FOOD

You could pay $50 for a bite to eat before your flight, or sit with a bad overpriced coffee at the crowded gate lounge – but if you fly business you get great food for free. Buffet style fresh food is served in the One World lounge for all Qantas, BA and Cathay passengers all day, every day. Fancy a relaxing glass of red before your flight? Simply pour yourself a glass or see the bar staff.

  1. KIDS ROOM

Travelling with kids? It’s worth the upgrade just for the pre-flight peace. The Qantas business lounge has it’s own kids room – with a TV on children’s programing, floor puzzles and loads of toys. Some toys are so popular, we’re told, they have made a sneaky trip around the world.

  1. FASTER BOARDING

See that separate line onto the flight for Business class passengers. It’s not only faster, but in LA when the A380 flies in, it means business class passengers get their own top deck entrance.

  1. ONBOARD MASSAGE

The first thing most business class passengers do on their international flight is hit the button on their massage chair. Ease away the tension with a strong lumbar massage.

  1. BETTER BLANKETS

Airline economy blankets are woefully inadequate. If you’re tall, they don’t cover your legs. For most people they barely combat the chill of the airconditioning. In business the blanket is thicker, longer and more like a quilt.

  1. LIE FLAT BEDS

Upgrading to Business class means you actually get to lie down to sleep. On the LA to Sydney flight, that means you will actually sleep overnight and arrive at 6am in the morning feeling less like an utter wreck. The seats have a soft mattress that is attached mid-flight meaning they are softer and a lot more comfortable. Once the seat is reclined, the passenger’s head is surrounded by the seat pod – reducing the light and interference from other passengers. Sleep tight business class.

  1. PYJAMAS

See the faces of anticipation on those business class passengers as they take their seats? They’re waiting for their pyjamas. The grey soft Peter Alexander designed pyjamas may not be the most attractive things in the world, but the sure make long-haul flights far more comfortable.

  1. THE AMENITIES KIT

Business class passengers still get a beautiful amenities kit designed by Kate Spade which includes lip balm, face and hand moisturisers, thick socks and an eye mask.

  1. EXPRESS PATH OUT

Remember that express path card? That works when you get off the plane too. So when everyone else is lining up at customs and immigration business class passengers get to sail on by faster than everyone else.

  1. LESS WAITING FOR LUGGAGE

Business and First luggage comes out faster than economy. Enough said.

Upgrading to business class will set frequent fliers back 72,000 points from Economy to business on the Sydney-LAX route.

*The writer tested out Business class as a guest of Qantas and Visit California.


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