“Domestic First Class after taking International Business Class = Huge Let Down”
Flight from San Diego to Washington, D.C.
- Round Trip
- Number of Stops:
- No stops
- Date of Flight:
- December 2010
- Seat Class:
My husband and I recently traveled from San Diego to Rome, Italy, via Washington D.C. (Dulles Airport) on United. We had first class seats for the domestic portion, and business class seats for the international leg. The difference was astounding, and not in a good way.
If you ever have to fly internationally, business class is the way to go. It's more expensive than economy, obviously, but not by as much as you might think, and the differences between business and first are not worth the extra cost there. The seats are like sitting in little pods with a private television and a bed - yes, a bed, because the seats lay fully flat so you can get decent sleep while in flight. The food was abundant and pretty good for airline food, flight attendants were attentive and responsive, and it made the long (8-10 hour) overseas flight much more comfortable.
Contrast that to the higher class of service, First Class, on the domestic legs of the trip. From San Diego to D.C. (and back again) we were in first, which had extremely uncomfortable seats. This came as a surprise - we didn't expect the caliber of seats we got on the international leg, but we certainly expected to be able to put our seats back in the reclining position without being in the laps of the people behind us. The only discernible difference I could tell in the seats in First vs. Economy was two per row instead of three, and they were slightly wider. Oh, and the headrest wings pulled out.
We had very little leg room sitting in bulkhead. The A/B seats had several extra inches of leg room because they extended under the closet, but the C/D seats were behind the galley. We had less leg room than the seats behind us. When we were trying to sleep, and the people behind us wanted to drink their wine, we could not recline while they had their tray tables up. There just wasn't enough room.
The food was okay, and the flight attendants and pilots were awesome. The things that matter most about a flight - a smooth ride and getting to your destination safely - were all great. Check-in through United's first/business line was quick and easy. It was just the seat comfort that really bit. We expect to be a lot more comfortable on a First Class flight than we were.