a glass of champagne on a table

We’re not complaining, we’re just saying’…

Flying business class is marvelous. Anyone lucky enough to slumber into one of the plush seats can attest that there’s nothing quite like it. While we realize it’s almost always better than the alternative (that’s coach, by the way) there are some airlines, some seats and some things that just make you wonder whether all the extra money, points or upgrades were worth it. And before you go there- we get it: there are real problems in the world, and these are none of them. Just a little light fun reading…

a glass of champagne on a tableThe Full Stuffing

There’s no better time to be hungry than before a grand business class journey. They’ll feed you in the lounge, on the plane, on the plane again, at breakfast on the plane once more, at the arrivals lounge- and maybe even let you pocket a snack for the cab. Basically, if you’re new to the whole business class thing: pace yourself. There’s a lot of food on offer, and there’s only so much space to put it- much like your carry on.

The Disappearing Headphone Act

This is business class, not criminal class. We’re all for showcasing the newest and best noise cancelling headphones, but not when they disappear with 45 minutes left in flight! Many airlines that offer the newest and best headphones are very protective of their ear candy, and go to great lengths to make passengers feel as though they’re criminals, if they dare try to hang onto them all the way to landing.

a bed in a planeThe Unwatchable TV

Almost like clockwork, you finally find the film you’ve been looking for- you get hooked, the big moment is about to happen, and the cabin crew fold your screen back. WHO on earth decided it would be a good idea to design seats where the screen isn’t visible to the passenger for the first 20 minutes, and sometimes the last 40 minutes of flight. Oh, and half of them can’t be viewed when laying down! A first world tragedy you’ll have to see first hand to believe.

The Priority Pain

You know all of those people who pointlessly line up by the gate, ignoring the zones being called? Yes- each and every one of them despise you to the core. They know where you’re going, they know where you’re sitting and they are not happy that you don’t have to wait in line. The stares, simply painful. Since you don’t need to fight for overhead bin space, why not just board last?

a bed in a planeThe Hidden Closet

On a great business class flight, you’ll wonder where all the time went. Unfortunately, on a bad one, you’ll wonder where all the supposed space went. No lockers for your belongings, iPads, coats or egos to be found anywhere! Business travelers agree, storage space is a biggie, so look for the seats with the most storage space.

The Convertible Bed

Some business class seats are dizzying- and that’s not a compliment. Sit, stand, sit, recline. Many of the more antiquated business class (and unfortunately some new ones) require passengers to awake from their cozy recline position and get out of the seat, so that it may flip over into a bed. You try looking cool in your free pajamas in the middle of the ocean at 3am, just to sleep.

a close-up of a couple of suitcasesThe Expedited Nothing

Airlines love to write about their “fast track security” or “priority baggage handling”. Sadly, writing seems to be about as far as it goes. Fast track security is hardly ever fast, and priority bags always seem to be the ones last out, perhaps with a whack from a stray golf club or two, just for good measure.

The Eye Roll

While this is not an issue exclusive to business class, the universal gesture for annoyance is extra profound in front of the curtain. If you’re sitting in business class- you’d think you’ve paid for the pleasure to avoid the eye roll, but often, you’ve thought wrong. No issue may be small enough to avoid the ever noticeable engagement of the eye muscles.

a seat with a stack of towels on itThe Drink Projectile

Seriously, who designs these things? On certain airlines, the little tray where the kind cabin crew members place your lovely glasses of champagne could not be in a worse place. In fact, if we were designing a location which would perfectly projectile a glass of champagne to another seat, or just your own, we’d put it here. One particular airline comes to mind- it rhymes with sturgeon.

The Foot Squeeze

Laying flat is an amazing feeling, but feeling as if your feet have been tied together is not. If you’ve had the pleasure of flying business class, you may have been surprised on quite a few airlines to find that the area for your feet was perhaps in fact, meant for small children.

Have you experienced these on board any airlines? Call em out!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Ahah, I Loved this article (and can totally identify with those “problems”), although you can get priority boarding flying Y with status 😀 (funny too though)

  2. Sturgeon? You mean the airline that has a little fold out table behind your left shoulder, where they put your drink so that you can knock it over without even trying? The one with the fantastic lounge and great FA’s and a separate entrance at LHR?

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