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Travelling in Economy Class can be quite uncomfortable: lack of leg room, modest catering and potentially intrusive neighbours in adjoining seats can spoil the pleasure of flying and make the journey to your holiday destination or business meeting an arduous one. Therefore, the desire quickly arises to escape the basic conditions in standard class and fly in greater comfort, either in Business Class, First Class or by private jet. But what are the differences, and thus the advantages, of the three travel options?

Business Class

Business Class can differ greatly, depending on the length of the route. On short-haul flights the difference between Business and Economy is very slight. The rows of seats often have the same dimensions as in Economy. However, individual seats are kept free – for example, the middle seat in a three-seat row. This creates a little more leg room and improves privacy. The catering is also slightly more sophisticated, and meals are usually served on china tableware.

Business ClassOn longer journeys, Business Class offers greater comfort in terms of seating. Seats are larger with more room between each row, plus the ability to adjust the seat to a lying position – many passengers appreciate this additional relaxing feature. The increased level of comfort is accompanied by a wider choice of meals. The food is usually freshly prepared and can be selected from a menu.

Other advantages of Business Class, regardless of route length, are noticeable in the aspects surrounding the flight: Business Class passengers are normally permitted to board the aircraft before the other passengers and also to leave the aircraft first upon landing. In addition, some major airlines provide lounges for their Business Class passengers, where they can wait till the aircraft is ready to board. Passengers on long-haul flights sometimes even benefit from a welcome lounge at the destination airport, where they can recover from the flight and freshen up with a shower.

These amenities are associated with extra costs – of course a Business Class flight is more expensive than an equivalent Economy Class ticket.

First Class

The greatest level of comfort on scheduled flights is offered in First Class, but it is only available on some long-haul routes. Only a few aircraft types, like the Airbus A380, have enough space for a First Class area, and some airlines deliberately do without it and prefer to offer more seats in the less luxurious categories. On short-haul flights and on more unusual long-haul routes there is usually no First Class. However, on the small number of First Class routes, passengers can expect high levels of comfort and excellent service.

Airbus A380First Class represents a superior service to Business Class in several ways: the comfortable seats have even more legroom and can be converted into a bed. There is also an increased degree of privacy. In-flight dining can either be a high-quality buffet or exclusive à la carte meals and drinks. The on-board entertainment programme distinguishes itself from other travel classes by having larger screens. Before and after the flight, First Class offers further refinements compared to Business Class: more exclusive lounges and higher priority boarding.

Naturally, the exclusivity of First Class comes at a price; a ticket far exceeds the cost of flying in Business Class. In addition, please note that the First Class service differs greatly from airline to airline in terms of price and comfort. Therefore, when thinking of flying First Class, it is advisable to check the exact details of services and prices with the airline.

Private jet

For all the luxury that Business or First Class scheduled flights offer, passengers on a private jet have the advantage of not being tied to the normal operations and procedures of scheduled airlines. On scheduled flights, the airline dictates the routes and departure times and check-in must also take place to the timescale set by the airline. In particular, airlines cannot react flexibly to short notice delays or changes of plan. The aircraft does not wait, even for First Class passengers, but takes off on time. A short notice change to the booking can lead to a delay of several hours or even a full day.

Cabin of a private jetFor many passengers, flexibility is therefore the greatest advantage of a private jet. In addition to the major hubs, numerous smaller airports are available for take-off and landing. Thus, the distance from the passengers' location to the departure airport and from the destination airport to the final destination is much shorter, and time-consuming airport transfers on the ground are also minimised.

Private jet passengers also benefit from greater flexibility in terms of time: the departure time can be adapted to the requirements of the passengers and often it can be changed at short notice. Since check-in takes place at the less busy General Aviation Terminal and is only necessary shortly before take-off, passengers also save a great deal of time on this aspect. Business customers can respond quickly if a meeting takes longer than planned; and if holiday makers are stuck in traffic on their way to the airport, or their train journey is delayed, the private jet will still be waiting for them.

On board the private jet, passengers can expect personal service from their specially allocated flight attendant. Catering can also be designed according to individual requirements, so the passengers do not need to select dishes from a limited menu but can request meals according to their tastes. Another important point is the extra privacy. After all, the only passengers on board the private jet are the party that have booked the aircraft. There are no strangers on board whose behaviour could be an annoyance for their fellow travellers.

Of course, a private jet also offers truly comfortable seats that meet all the requirements of Business and First Class passengers. Additional amenities include separate working and sleeping areas, a lounge, or a bathroom with a shower, depending on the type of aircraft. Often, however, such luxurious extras are not even requested. Instead, holiday makers and business travellers tend to prefer small planes that offer flexibility, privacy and comfort without exaggerated luxury.


For short-haul flights, a private jet offers far greater convenience than a flight in Business Class. Flexibility and comfort are far superior to Business Class and the service is much more personal. Compared to First Class (if it is even available on the desired route) the private jet can also compete with the best First Class offerings on increased flexibility and great amenities.

A price comparison between hiring a private jet and ticket prices for the better First Class services offered by scheduled airlines is quite difficult: of course, hiring a private jet for one individual is almost always more expensive than a corresponding ticket for a scheduled flight. However, there is no charge for additional passengers as long as a larger aircraft does not have to be provided. Thus, for groups, a private flight can also be a cost-effective option.

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