5 Things to Know When You’re Traveling First Class for the First Time
Traveling in first class for the very first time can be incredibly exciting… But there are a few things you should know before take off.
Given that nearly 1 in 5 Americans has never flown in an airplane in their life, only a small percentage of people have had the opportunity to fly first class. Traveling in first class is an experience that offers all kinds of extra comforts that the typical coach passenger might never have expected.
If you’ve been bumped up or are about to fly first class for the first time, make sure you follow these 5 tips to get the most out of the experience.
1. Try Out The Lounge
One of the top perks of flying first class is the access you get to the lounge provided by the airline you’re flying with. This is a standard feature of getting to fly first class. It’s often quieter and more comfortable than the standard waiting area.
You’ll even be told when it’s time to board.
The lounge should be your first destination once you get through security. Here, you can socialize with other travelers, relax with your family, and even meet executives and celebrities.
Relax and be your normal charming self.
You might find yourself invited to a VIP experience or given backstage access to a show by one of your favorite singers.
There’s typically a host or concierge posted at the door. They’ll be assigned to you to help you get anything you need. Be respectful and try not to be overly demanding. Call them by their name and they’ll call you by yours.
These service professionals can get you a refreshment, direct you around the airport, and help you take advantage of everything the lounge has to offer. Politeness matters and tipping can be nice when it feels appropriate.
2. Board On Time
You have a responsibility to your other passengers to board in a timely manner. While it’s not as crucial for you to board as for someone who needs to get all the way to the back of the plane, it shows courtesy. Often the gate attendants will continue to wait until everyone is boarded from first class before everyone else gets on.
Boarding promptly helps to keep the ball rolling.
If you’re worried about boarding on time, the staff from the lounge can help you. If you’re traveling alone with young children or have a disability, the lounge staff can help you get through promptly.
The gate attendants are also aware of the importance of getting everyone boarded quickly and efficiently, so they’ll be happy to help. Do your best to board on time and if you need help, ask for it.
3. Stay Cool
One of the most important elements of flying first class is to stay cool and act like you’ve been there before. If you’ve never ridden first class, you might have walked past celebrities on your way to your seat in coach. When boarding a plane, no one is really that comfortable, so don’t make a big deal if you see your favorite celebrity sitting in front of you.
Also, don’t be a slob. If you’ve got multiple carry-on items, keep things tidy, even if you have extra room. The other passengers don’t want to see your food wrappers and all of the magazines you’ve got crammed in your briefcase.
When you’re talking to your flight attendants, be as polite as possible. Your service will improve the more polite you are. You’ll also remind others around you to say please and thank you.
Kindness is definitely contagious.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Things
When you’re trying to get comfortable, don’t be afraid to ask for things. Flying first class entitles you to beverages, snacks, pillows and other comforts that you don’t get in coach. Once everyone is settled in and the first round of refreshments are served, feel free to ask first class attendants for comforts you’re missing.
Some people have to take out a loan to travel first class, so they’ll be even more inclined to ask for one of everything that’s on the menu.
If you forgot a pair of headphones, ask the flight attendants if they can help you out. If you’re feeling parched, as people so often do on flights, a refill on your water isn’t too much to ask.
For people with children or who are traveling with disabilities, talk to the flight attendants if you need special accommodations. They’ll make sure you can do everything you need to do and get as comfortable as possible without any hassle.
If you’re hoping to stay at a boutique airport hotel when you land, ask the flight attendants if you can get help finding one when you land.
5. Mindfulness Matters
Being mindful of the people around you is what makes a first class experience great. If you are considerate and respectful of both the staff and the other travelers, you’ll have a safe and relaxing trip.
Even though the drinks are usually free, don’t drink too much during your flight. Even if you’re not an unfriendly person when you drink, it could cause you to be a little extra clumsy or fall asleep leaning on your neighbor. The last thing anyone wants is to have to fly with someone snoring on their shoulder.
While it’s no discouraged to talk to the other people flying with you, don’t be overly chatty. Some people take the opportunity to relax, read, or catch up on their favorite TV shows and don’t want to talk.
Others could be nervous flyers and may need to go through their own routines to ensure that they’re relaxed during the course of the trip.
Use any other rules of etiquette you’d use in real life. If you want to talk about politics, you need to be prepared for an opinion you don’t agree with. Otherwise, steer clear of topics that could start an uncomfortable conversation.
Traveling in First Class Is Fun and Exciting
If this is going to be your first time traveling in first class, you’re in for a treat. The experience is sure to be both relaxing and memorable. Leave yourself open to whatever your flight attendants have to offer and you’re sure to have a blast.
If you’re worried about your trip going smoothly, follow our guide to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.