First Class vs. Coach

If you are tall, have a fear of flying, hate drinking wine out of plastic, or simply want to be pampered, first class is worth the investment.

My sweet parents purchased my ticket to New York City as a Christmas gift, a chance to go see my brother for a week. This was my first time to fly in first, so I decided to do a little blog on the difference for anyone who might be curious.

To begin with, there is no fee for your first checked bag (otherwise $25). You receive priority check-in and sail down the aisle past the long lines, which is great if you are late for your flight.

Priority boarding is next, so there is no fight for a place to store your luggage. The seats are bigger, and there is more leg room. They reserved the front bathroom for first class guests only, so no waiting when the free drinks begin to hit you.

Almost as soon as you sit down, even before the plane is fully boarded, the flight attendant comes around to ask you what you want to drink. Everything is included, so don’t be shy about requesting champagne (if they have it), wine, liquor, or beer. I stuck with red wine, but the guy across the way asked for vodka, and it was promptly delivered. Before takeoff your beverages are served in plastic, but after the plane is in the air they serve out of glass.

My flights were too short to warrant a full meal, but the basket they brought around was loaded with bags of popcorn, chips, nuts, and other things. First class guests receive their snacks before the flight attendants begin to serve drinks to coach. If there is a full meal served, American Airlines has a premium menu for these guests.

As I was waiting to board the (delayed) return flight to Nashville, the attendants called me up to the counter to test my bag size. I was using my Tortuga backpack, and when they checked, it didn’t really fit in the test slot. They told me they were going to check the bag, and asked for my seat number. When they found that I was travelling in first, they told me to never mind, they were happy to let me carry the bag onboard. This was important to me because mom was already going to be waiting for over an hour to pick me up from the airport, and I didn’t want to delay even longer at the luggage carousel.

Of course, being in the front of the plane, you are the first to disembark- another time saver!

The experience was exceptional, and I strongly recommend first class. It absolutely adds an extra zing to your trip.




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