Why It’s More Advantageous To Fly First Or Business Class In The Winter

by SharonKurheg

I won’t lie – flying in first or business class is always better than flying in economy. You’re one of the first to board and leave the plane. The seats are bigger. You have more legroom. The amenities are generally better. The food is better.

But that’s not all…

If you fly business or first class, you also get to bring more stuff with you before having physical limits set on you or having to pay for it.

Although most domestic airlines don’t have an upper weight limit for carry-on bags, some do, as do most international carriers. Most carriers allow that upper limit to be higher if you’re in business or first class.

And what about checked baggage? Almost all airlines allow you to check 2 bags for free if you’re flying first or business class (if you’re flying economy class, being able to check even 1 bag for free is a novelty these days) and for a lot of them, they can be upwards of 70 pounds (instead of 50 for economy class).

And why is that a good thing?

The clothing you wear in the winter is generally bigger, bulkier and heavier than the shorts and T-shirts you may pack in the summertime. So that higher weight limit is a big help when the stuff you’re wearing is of a higher weight.

Plus, if you’re going skiing, you might not have to pay for checking your skis if they’re your second checked bag. First or business class status usually allows you 2 free checked bags instead of 1, and that’s definitely good news. Check your airline (look up “sports equipment” on your airline’s website) for specifics.

Of course, this is very much a YMMV situation. If you’re paying cash for your ticket and are very price-conscious, there’s a significant cost difference between first/business class and economy. And it’s one that the charge over an overweight bag or even an extra checked bag won’t make up. But if you have the extra cash (or even points) available, it’s at least good to know there’s that option.

Feature Photo: Air Canada

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Vinny_Bayview November 15, 2023 - 12:40 pm

I would also add that flight times eastbound especially transcons or departing ex-Europe tend to be quite a bit longer due to headwinds compared to the summer months so additional space upfront is always nice.

Vinny_Bayview November 15, 2023 - 12:42 pm

I mean Westbound NOT eastbound – it’s been a day!

DC not in DC November 16, 2023 - 12:22 am

Good point about winter equipment and clothing. I am taking snowshoes and clothing to hike in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks this weekend, then heading to the East Coast, with all my luggage. Thankfully, my elite status with American, Alaska, and United allow me 3 checked bags but flying in First still helps with checkin and boarding.


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