Think HBR

The many benefits of upgrading your airfare

business class
Adam Pearson
Escape Travel
When travelling by air, there can be a temptation to shop around for the cheapest airfare, particularly in today’s online world where an array of options are at your fingertips.
But remember, the cheapest option does not necessarily mean the best deal or best value and invariably does not provide the best experience.
With such a wide array of possibilities, a travel consultant can be a great ally in sifting through the available options and come up with a solution that will best suit your circumstances and provide real value.
One aspect that travellers sometimes do not properly evaluate is upgrading from economy class to business class or first class.
We all probably have some idea of the more visible advantages in terms of comfort when travelling, but upgrades provide a variety of advantages that are often overlooked.
Some of these advantages of upgrading include:
• A larger luggage allowance – usually 30 kg for business class and 40 kg for first class against around 20 kg for economy
• A dedicated check-in line at the airport which saves you having to line up with hundreds of economy class passengers
• Business and First Class passengers are usually entitled to an Express Pass through Customs
• Once through Customs you can enjoy your pre-flight time in a private airline lounge with complimentary food and beverage and quite often wi-fi internet service.
• At boarding time a special announcement is made in the lounge allowing you enough time to proceed to the gate where you join a dedicated First/Business Class boarding line.
• Once on board you are directed to your seat and typically greeted with a glass of orange juice, champagne or similar.
• Substantially more space- business class passengers could have up to three windows between each row of seats instead of one in economy class. You can sit down, stretch your legs out and not touch the seat in front.
• Your tray table is ‘set’ at meal times with a linen table cloth, real cutlery, plates and glassware. Dinner is a choice that is cooked individually and wines are selected from a premium wine list. Dining time is flexible.
• Your chair becomes a bed (depending on the airline), reclining to a flat surface.
• Some airlines actually make up your chair into a bed complete with pillow, sheets and blankets for you to sleep in provided pyjamas so not to crumple your clothes.
• Business Class passengers receive priority disembarkation and, if in transit, have a lounge to go to where complimentary food, beverages and shower/toilet facilities are available.
• On completion of your journey, your luggage comes out first - all First/Business Class luggage is tagged ‘Priority’.
• Some airlines offer a complimentary chauffeur service to or from the airport (within a certain radius)
• Most Business/First class fares offer bonus frequent flyer points – often double and sometimes triple that received when travelling economy class.
• And above all else, start your holiday and finish your holiday in much better shape.
So next time you are planning air travel, make sure you at least consider upgrading your flight for the wide range of benefits it provides and a much more enjoyable experience all round.
For further information on upgrades and other travel tips, contact Escape Travel on (02) 4959 8666 or email


Adam Pearson Adam Pearson
Born and bred in Newcastle, Adam Pearson and his father opened Harvey World Travel together 21 years ago, before rebranding to Escape Travel a few years ago. Mr Pearson and his wife Fiona took over the business in 2015 and operate from five Hunter offices. In the 29 years he has been in the travel industry Mr Pearson has helped thousands of Novocastrians take amazing holidays.