Difference Between Coach & First Class Amenities

First class seats offer more leg room.
First class seats offer more leg room. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

For those who've never flown first class, it is normal to be a bit curious about just what those at the front of the plane are experiencing. Some of the amenities, such as larger seats, are obvious, but what else do first class passengers have access to that those in coach do not?

Food and Drinks

Beverage service is offered on virtually all flights, and meals are featured on those over two hours in length. However, those in coach have to pay for anything beyond water, sodas and peanuts while first class customers enjoy the same wares, such as alcohol, free of charge. In addition, the meals are usually nicer, as they offer full course, fully customizable selections as opposed to the sandwich boxes that those in coach commonly get.


The price gap between first class and coach tickets is significant. The extra amenities add up to more than a mere $50-100. According to Credit Loan, the average price for a domestic first class ticket is $676. What's more, prices increase exponentially more than the coach tickets do, with a spike of 140 percent seen in recent years, as opposed to just 3.6 percent for economy class. According to Discount Travel Center, the average price for a coach ticket is $358.


In addition to enhanced meal service, first class passengers are treated to several extra, luxury oriented amenities. For starters, they get their own lavatory, which is much more accessible and is shared by far less people than those in coach. Other bells and whistles include free audio and visual aids for in-flight movies, cotton blankets and pillows, porcelain flatware and gourmet snacks.

Seating Order

First class passengers are allowed to board the plane before anyone else, sometimes even before the priority access customers. As anyone who's ever had to deal with overhead carry-on baggage can attest, this is significant since they have more room and time to place their luggage where it needs to go and get settled faster. Plus, first class often allows pre-flight meals and snacks while the remainder of the coach passengers board the plane.

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