Business Class vs Economy Class
Business Class and Economy Class are used to refer the class of airtravel. You would have heard these while booking your air ticket. The major difference between the business class and the economy class is in the width and pitch of the seats, in other words the space available for each passenger to relax their body and move their legs.
Seat pitch is what refers to the space between each row from the seat anchor to anchor Economy class seat pitch in generally between 30 to 32 inches, if its economy plus or premium economy seat, which is in between economy and business class, you will get 38 inches seat pitch. There may be slight variation on this sizes from airline to airline, Singapore airlines offer 32 to 33 inches while Qatar and Thai airways offer a good 34 inches.
Whereas business class offers more comfort with the average seat pitch is in the range of 48 to 60 inches. Some airlines offer much more comfort. Some airlines like British Airway, Cathay Pacific, Ethiad, South African Airway, Unites Airlines and Virgin Atlantic offer bigger leg space, in the range of 70 to 80 inches. Emirate also offers better comfort for certain routes.
When it comes to seat width, the business class seats are wider by few inches than economy seats. The economy class seat widths are generally in the range of 17 to 19 inches whereas the business class seats are on average between 20 to 28 inches. The wider seats in the business class offers more space for the passenger.
The other major difference between business class and economy class is in the recline angle of the seats, economic seats can be reclined on an average between 100 to 115 degrees whereas business class seats can be reclined from 150 to flat.
Although first class is basically out of reach for many travelers, the business class is generally preferred by more travelers. It is important to note that business class seats are provided with few more amenities than the economy class seats such as Movie on Demand, swiveling TV screens, power for laptop and any amount of food and wine. Food is also served first to first class and business class passengers and they have more choices too. Few airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and British Airways on some routes offer its business class passengers with internet facility.
This only shows why the economy class seats are the less expensive on the plane. At the same time, this is possibly the reason why the economy class is more popular than even the first class for that matter. On the other hand the price of the business class seat is much lesser than the price of the first class seat.
The economy class has low number of toilet per passenger compared to business class, this is one of the noteworthy discomfort with the economy class. Also some airlines do not provide footrest in economy class.
It is important to note that not every airline offers many great deals for business class, there is not much of a difference between the business class and the economy class in some flights. As such, there is not much of a difference between their prices too. In fact the business class is just $50 more than the economy class seat.
It is interesting to note that in a typical Boeing 747 the number of business class seats is 79 whereas there are 265 seats in the economy class.
Not only inside the flight, even handling passengers at the airport differs, business class passengers have separate check in counters and no need to wait in long queues and they are also provided with special waiting lounges with food and drink.
|Seat Pitch||30 to 32 inches||48 to 60 inches|
|Seat Width||17 to 19 inches||20 to 28 inches|
|Recline||100 to 115 degrees||150 deg to flat|
|TV||5 to 7 inches||10 to 15 inches|
|Food||Standard menu with few choice||More choices|
|Other||The following vary depending on airlines:
- Movie on Demand
- Swiveling TV screen
- Power for laptop
- Choice of liquor and freely available
- internet (very few)