What is the Difference Between First Class and Business Class

The main difference between first class and business class is that services and the travel experience provided by first class are more luxurious than that of business class.

On most domestic flights, first class and business class are the same. In international airlines, this may differ. Some flights may or may not have first-class. If there do have first class, then they provide a luxurious travel experience for you, which is better than business class.

However, in general, both these provide a luxury travel experience with good food served on fine china and crystal, bar services, wifi, a wide range of entertainment, amenity kits, wide seats, and more legroom. Both types of passengers have separate lounges at the airports, so they do not have to wait near busy departure gates, plus they get the chance to board the plane first.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is First Class 
     – Definition, Features, Amenities 
2. What is Business Class
     – Definition, Features, Amenities 
3. Difference Between First Class and Business Class
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Business Class, First Class

Difference Between First Class and Business Class - Comparison Summary

What is First Class

First class is a luxury type of seating on a plane. First class has more comfort, space, and service than other seats on the plane. It also has amenities varying from private suites to onboard showers. Normally, travelling in first class means getting a comfortable travel experience and delicious meals.

Some airlines do not have first class, and the airlines that do have first class may not offer it on every aircraft or every flight. First-class international tickets may cost from $5000 upwards, even tens of thousands of dollars. Some of the airlines that provide the best first-class services are Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and Emirates.

First Class vs Business Class

Facilities and Amenities Enjoyed by First Class Passengers

First class passengers board the plane and deplane first and sit at the front of the plane. They do not have to wait in long queues to board the plane; instead, they are escorted to the departure gates by a cart through the terminal. First-class passengers also have a considerably easy time getting through security. Moreover, first-class lounges in the airport are quieter with fewer crowds, plus they have more personalized services. They also provide a restaurant-style dine-in experience instead of a buffet.

First class passengers get wider seats, a blanket, a pillow, extra legroom, more privacy, amenity kits, and better, fancier food and beverage services that include champagne and caviar. Sometimes first class passengers get a private car service to the airport, a private lounge at the terminal, a lie-flat seat, or a private compartment with a sitting area and a bed. The lie-flat seat reclines to 180 degrees, and if it is a suite, there are curtains or privacy walls around the lie-flat seat, including more space. Most airlines provide pyjamas for first class passengers, and Emirates A380 offers shower suites with Bvlgari amenities. But all these depend on the airline, and the services may slightly differ.

The first class has rows with only four seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Since there are fewer seats, flight attendants pay more attention to each individual in the first class. Usually, the food is served by them upon request rather than at a set time. There are tables set with plates for each individual without presenting all the food items in a set tray.

What is Business Class

Business class is above economy class with better amenities, service, and seating on a plane. The facilities and the comfort offered here are almost similar to that of first class.

Before boarding the plane, business class passengers do not have to wait but can pass the economy class passengers to a priority desk and then go to a priority security line. Business class passengers also get the chance to board the flight before economy class.  

Compare First Class and Business Class - What's the difference?

Inside the plane, there are wider, plush seats and lie-flat beds, duvet blankets, soft pillows, and designer toiletries. There is a variety of good food such as multi-course menus and multiple snacks as well as champagne. Passengers also have many entertainment options on enlarged screens.

Normally the price of the tickets in business class is five to ten times more than an economy class ticket. They may be from $3000 upwards. Some of the airlines that provide the best business class services are Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Nippon Airways.

Difference Between First Class and Business Class


First class is the highest class of luxury seating on a plane, while business class is a class of seating above economy class, with better amenities, service, and seating on a plane.

Food and Beverages

First class offers fine dining, fancy food, full gourmet meals, appetizers, snacks, fine wines, whiskey, cocktails, and champagne, whereas business class offers light dining and bar services. Business class sometimes offers full meal service, but not always.


Moreover, first-class offers spa services, private rooms, maximum privacy, showers, more legroom, widest seats, amenity kits, pyjamas, slippers,  dedicated flight attendants, lie-flat seats, luxury bedding, fine china, and crystal. Business class also offers shared loungers, wider seats, extra legroom, partial privacy, amenity kits, lie-falts seats, fine china, and crystal.

Number of Seats

First-class tends to have fewer seats than business class.

Ticket Price

In addition, first-class tickets are more expensive than business class.


Only some airlines have first-class seats, but all airlines have business-class seats.


The main difference between first class and business class is that first class tends to provide more services and a more luxurious travel experience than business class. However, first class is only available on some international airlines. Business class is above economy class and provides better amenities, service, and seating on a plane. It is available on all airlines, and the services here are almost similar to first class.


1. “First class.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Business class.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “First Class on Air France A380 F-HPJC (4942508727)” By Andy Mitchell from Glasgow, UK – First Class on Air France A380 F-HPJC (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia 
2. “Bamboo Airways Business Class cabin on a Boeing 787-9” By A320neoceo at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia 

About the Author: Gerandielle

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