Cabin Classes Explained

So whilst some airlines are branching out with their cabin class offerings, more often than not airlines offer 4 cabin classes! Now bar your budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air, airlines usually offer up economy, premium economy, business and first-class. There’s always going to be various subdivisions that even many devout frequent flyers can’t identify, but having some familiarity with the cabin class lingo can help next time you’re looking at flights!

Things to Know


Now economy has various different names such as coach (Americans we’re looking at you), standard, main cabin or ‘cattle class’, but in short, economy is the most basic class on an airline. It’s the most popular cabin class and also the most cost-effective, due to the lack of complimentary amenities and space!

Most seat pitches can vary from 28-34 inches and a seat width of 17-33 inches, so depending on whether it’s a short or long haul flight, it’s worth looking at the airline’s specs…we think your knees will thank you! Depending on the airline, economy offers up little complimentary amenities, a handful of airlines will offer free snacks and beverages.

Premium Economy

Premium economy can be called many different things, British Airways calls it ‘World Traveller Plus’ and Virgin Atlantic call it ‘Economy Delight’. It’s basically economy with added oomph (and cost)! Typically, you’ll get a wider seat with a greater pitch, larger entertainment screens, extra amenities, better food and a greater luggage allowance

Business Class

There’s a clear difference in economy and business-class offerings from the get-go! Business-class is becoming increasingly popular and due to uptake, some airlines have replaced first class with a higher quality business-class.

With a business-class seat you can expect some sort of executive airport lounge, extra luggage allowance, priority boarding and definitely a higher standard of seat! Seats are usually in an armchair style and lie fully flat, so if you’re on a long haul flight, business-class is a luxury worth paying for. If you’re lucky some airlines even provide pyjamas!

First Class

It’s the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the bee knees if you will, it’s first-class! You can’t get any better than first-class, which promises a luxurious experience that you’ll never forget! The experience of first-class varies depending on your choice of airline. So you could experience anything from an enclosed private luxury seat, to a full suite with Etihad’s ‘The Residence’ – a 3-room suite with a living room, bedroom and a private bathroom (with a shower)!

You can typically expect lounge access, a premium amenity kit, increased privacy, a fancy food and drink offering and often a large lie-flat bed! So if you want to land, looking refreshed and feeling like royalty, first-class is the best option for you!

So the bottom line is depending on whether you’re travelling short or long haul, a higher class might be better for you, but of course it always depends on availability, airline and budget!

Get in touch with our travel team on +44(0)1543 272 584  or drop us an email for more information at to see how we can help!