I should start off by saying that I’m writing this while currently sitting in business class for a 15.5 hour trip across the world. Which is kind of a spoiler alert, because it answers the question right away.
Is business class worth it? That would be a resounding YES from me (she says while sipping sparkling water with lemon in her slippers and fluffy blanket).
This post will cover why flying business class is worth it, how to afford a business class ticket, and when you should splurge for business class when you’re traveling.
Is Flying Business Class Really Worth It?
You already know my answer for if business class is worth it is a big fat YES. Because it is!
However, I also fully understand that it’s not cheap….like at all. Meaning it will add a few thousand extra dollars to an already expensive trip, which can feel damn near impossible for many of us.
I get it. I was a backpacker for a decade. And as a yoga teacher, I found it easy enough to curl up into some pretzely position in a middle seat- especially if that middle seat was cheap.
But here’s the thing, it’s not that I didn’t want to fly business class, I just assumed that I couldn’t. Sure, it wasn’t in my price range at all back then, and being married with two incomes instead of one definitely helps with splurges like this- but it was more than that.
I needed to break through the belief that I couldn’t fly business, and just actually prioritize a little differently to just do it.
Why Fly Business Class
We’ve all had those moments walking onto a plane when we pass through the front section with wide eyes, just wondering what it would be like to take a long ass flight horizontal instead of all scrunched up.
In that case, we know exactly why someone would choose to fly business class. I mean, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? I’m still going to spell it out for you anyways.
First and foremost is comfort. Whether you’re on a plane that just allows extra leg room in priority, or on a long international trip with full blown letdown suites- your comfort level is undoubtedly enhanced when you’re flying in business class.
I don’t know about you, but as I’ve aged- my body’s needs have changed from that middle seat girlie, to needing more stretching and space. Heck, I’m only 5’3” and I still feel cramped in economy. I can’t imagine how someone like my 6 foot dad would feel.
Enhance The Overall Trip
Here’s the thing, your trip starts with the travel it takes to get there. Your trip starts on the freaking drive to the airport. Which means it’s well underway by the time you’re actually on the plane.
Buying a business class ticket is a way to enhance your overall trip. Remember, you can always shuffle the budget around to stay in comfortable places that aren’t over-the-top expensive if you choose comfort on your flight, instead.
Incentive For Future Earnings
Sometimes when you spoil yourself- whether that’s with a pricey plane ticket, or something else altogether- that lavish experience will incentivize you to maintain that level of comfort.
Let me be very clear in saying I don’t think you should go into debt to get a crazy priced ticket to incentivize you. That’s living above your means, which leads to a whole other downward spiral that’s another post for another day. What I’m saying is, if it’s within your means and budget, then go for it. This will encourage you to at the least maintain your current earnings, but perhaps even inspire you to work harder and earn more.
How very capitalist of me, I know.
How To Afford A Business Class Ticket
The elephant in the room is this: how the hell do I actually afford a business class ticket? Like I said, we all know why flying business class is great and worth it, but how do we actually get there?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
We are a big points family over here. We use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, as we’ve found it provides the best perks based on our family’s needs. One of these perks is all about the points earnings and travel.
This means we put everything we can on our credit card, so we can earn as many points as possible. Also, we use the Chase travel portal to book flights, hotels, and rental cars to earn even more.
Loyalty With One Airline
Beyond the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, one of the best ways to get closer to a first class ticket is to build loyalty with one airline. Oftentimes if you sign up for their credit card while on a flight with them, you’ll get all these signing bonuses that really make it worth your while.
Choose an airline that you already use a lot. Make sure they have flight paths that work with your needs. The more loyalty you gain with one airline, the more perks you receive. You’re also more likely to get those spontaneous upgrades, which are always fun too 🙂
Above all else, you need to save- because let’s be real, these tickets are pricey. And points might not cut it.
The thing with savings is that you need to be diligent. Every single month, every single paycheck- put away 20%. At least. You have to make it a priority in order for it to actually happen. Only you can do that.
This one is for all my honeymooners out there- use that honeyfund, baby! Unless you absolutely need to register for gifts, because you just bought a new house, I’d strongly suggest setting up a honeyfund as a portal through which your guests can donate a monetary gift.
Trust me when I say your wedding guests will be stoked to help send you on your honeymoon in first class. Check out the general cost of flights beforehand, and set that as a goal so they know.
When Should You Splurge For Business Class
It would be easy to say you should splurge for first class all the time. But, we all know this isn’t something that can be an all the time kinda thing…for most of us, anyways.
While permanent business class is the freaking GOAL, let’s just start with the first time, and build up from there, shall we?
One of the most common reasons for someone to fly business class for the first time is for their honeymoon. I get it, I’m doing that now. Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime event, which definitely deserves the royal treatment.
Other special occasions might include a babymoon, birthday, anniversary, or a special work trip. You decide what feels like that splurge moment for you, and go for it!
I suppose we all have different definitions of what a “long flight” actually is. For me, I’d say it’s anything over 10 hours straight. I’m talking about those flights from the US to Australia, Asia, or Africa. Those are the ones where it’s nice to splurge on an upgrade of some sort so you have more comfort on the long trek over. Flying in business class is definitely worth it!
Injuries or physical limitations are a great reason to opt for an upgraded flight ticket. Especially if you’re injured on a long flight. You don’t want to do more harm than good on the trip, after all.
Can we all just agree that economy seats seem to be getting smaller?! Truly, how is this possible? As I said before, I’m a pretty small person, and I even feel cramped. So, if you’re living in a larger body, you’d undoubtedly feel more comfortable with more space.
This can also apply to all my pregnant mamas out there who want a little more wiggle room, and a chance to put up those swollen feet.
Traveling With Pets
Last but certainly not least, it’s best to go for business class if you’re traveling with a pet or service animal. Especially if said animal is too big to go in a carrier. When you have an animal in a carrier, they can easily fit at your feet in any seat. But, take it from someone who travels with her 50 lb dog regularly, she definitely prefers priority seating.
This is also helpful for animals, because there’s only one person next to them, instead of being cramped in a row of 3. This allows them more space to get comfy (well, as comfy as possible), and less stress for you about their comfort levels.
There you have it, my friends. Have I convinced you yet?
If not, and you need more financial advice, check out my interview with my lovely wife for savings inspo and tips.
You’ve got this. Have the best flight!