When I have enough miles to cash in or can afford to upgrade, I like to fly Business Class. It’s way better than Economy or Coach, especially for cross-country and cross-ocean flights. That extra legroom, gourmet cuisine, Mimosas, champagne, enhanced private entertainment system and the other amenities really make a difference when you’re flying for five to ten hours.
Now, a few airlines are offering a relatively new fourth level of service from Coach, Business Class and First Class. Each has its own name for it. Here is a sampling:
• Virgin Atlantic offers Premium Economy: For around $400 more per round-trip to/from Europe, you get a shorter check-in line, on-demand TV, plus a wider seat complete with a footrest.
• United Airlines provides Economy Plus: For domestic flights within the US, you can enjoy an extra 6″ of legroom, a hot meal and a snack. The price? Just $24 more.
• Singapore Airlines touts Baggage Direct Service: At your home, it will pick up your luggage then drop off your boarding passes. At your airport, you can check in to the First Class line, even if you’re not seated there. It’s available in LAX now for only $30.
• American Airlines is the largest carrier in the world: Its Admirals Club offers you unlimited snacks, cocktails and access to PCs for $50 or 500 miles per day. Plus, its upgraded lounges in Dallas, Miami and JFK in NYC let you use spa showers, TVs and loaned computers.