First Class vs. Business Class: Evaluating Value For Money

Let’s revisit the time-honoured First Class vs. Business Class debate. Those who that call airport lounges their 2nd home often wrestle between whether to book first-class or business-class fares.  While the most apparent differences, lie with the price (with First-Class being the more expensive of the two), as well as the comfort of the seats, and level of service; no specific standards exist within the airline industry as a whole.  Therefore, it’s imperative to understand whether you’re receiving enough value to justify the elevated price of a first-class fare.

Here’s our evaluation:

Domestic vs. Regional

There is a significant difference between domestic and regional first-class and international first.  For short-haul flights, passengers generally won’t see a tremendous distinction between first and business as the flight duration isn’t long enough, or the aircraft is not large enough to allow for many variations.  In addition, many airlines use older aircraft to service domestic and regional routes.  This translates to first and business class having very similar seating, privacy, TV sizes, menus and thus far less value for money on first-class fares.

International Business Class

Competition for passengers and new technology has created significant improvements in international business class.  Far exceeding the offerings of domestic first class, passengers can relax in luxurious seats that fully convert to lie-flat beds.  On the latest Boeing 777 aircraft, a staggered 2-4-2 pod-like configuration allows for enhanced privacy and uninterrupted work or rest.  Travellers will also have access to on-demand entertainment on larger TV screens as well as gourmet a la carte menus.  Boasting beautifully crafted dishes that incorporate culinary creations from around the world, meals are served by attentive staff and paired with a selection of fine wines.  Lastly, those flying with major airlines can make use of a network of business-class lounges around the globe.  With the combination of both incredible onboard and airport service, international business class travel offers great value for money.

International First Class

The ultimate in travel luxury, the first-class experience begins with access to exclusive first-only lounges at major international airports.  From showers to spa treatments, passengers can wait to board their flight in a haven of tranquillity.  Once onboard, personal suites in generous configurations create totally private spaces.  With beautiful extra-wide seats that transform into soft beds, long-haul flights provide all the luxuries of home.  Watch on-demand videos from personalized wide-screen televisions or dine on made to order cuisine, prepared in a state of the art galley.  While some airlines are opting for hybrid first/business classes, many are investing substantially to maintain their first-class product.  The demand for it remains on major European and Asian routes where there is still a market segment willing to pay for first-class fare prices.

The Last Word

As for the ultimate question: Is first-class worth it?   Our market experts suggest that it often depends on the airline.  Generally, those with in-demand first-class fares such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa have created enough of a distinction between their business and first product through additional luxury and higher levels of personalized service so that high prices intersect with value.

How to Incorporate a Holiday into your Next Business Trip

If you have ever felt like you spend more time in the air than on the ground, it might be time to add a little fun to your next business trip.  Whether it is a day trip out in the city, an added leg to your journey or bringing along a spouse or friend, there’s a lot of great ways to get more than quality work out of your travel.

Bring a Partner

Travelling for business can be a lonely affair.  With impersonal airports and hotel rooms, the warmth of home certainly lacks at times.  Consider inviting your significant other, or a friend to come along on your next trip.  Even if you have to entertain clients, have meetings, or work in the evenings, you’d be surprised at how much better your trip can be when you experience it with a companion. While you’re working they can book a tour, explore the city, or indulge in a fun activity.  Best of all, when you’ve got some spare time, you can go have some fun together.

Extend your Stay

Arriving a few days before or staying a few days after your trip, can enable you to explore the city you’re working in.  So often, travellers leave directly after business is wrapped up and miss an opportunity to see incredible new places inexpensively.  Book in some “days off” and explore the city.  Experience incredible sights and amazing local cuisine, or try something you’ve always wanted to do.

Add a Holiday

Even if the place you’re travelling to for work isn’t very exciting, adding a holiday to somewhere interesting close by can add significant value.  Book a regional flight, take a train, or hire a car and travel to a point of interest.  With the major travel time already out of the way, this is a fantastic way to enjoy an extra holiday.

How to save money while traveling for business in 2020

Save on your business travel in 2020

Business traveling comes with budgets. Budgets come with restrictions and limits. At Worldgo, we recognize that this is especially critical for early-stage operations, or business’ with considerable recurring travel needs. We created an off-the-cuff list of guidelines to help you get the most, for the least.

Here are some great ways to save money while travelling for business in 2020.

Dine out using the 10-15-25 rule

Unless you’re taking clients and stakeholders out to dinner, business travelers should aim to follow the ’10-15-25′ rule for dining out. The simple rule applies $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner, and if you can find a hotel with breakfast included, you will free up a more to spend on the other 2 remaining meals or tighten up your budget. There are very few places, Scandinavia being a possible exception, where this rule can’t be followed with relative ease. To stretch things further, look for Happy Hour discounts, or book accommodations with kitchens and trade dining-out for eating-in – which is generally a healthier option to begin with. Another great option, and increasingly interesting choice, is choosing food trucks. Cities like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver are known for the quality and quantity of their food truck vendors.

Choose free activities

Parks, beaches, mountains, and quirky urban adventures are often free of admission and a great opportunity to get out, explore, and save a few dollars in the process. They are a great place to get your nature fix and see how locals enjoying their lives.

Use your credit card and loyalty points

You have a legion of points that have been quietly accumulating behind the scenes. It’s time to take stock of what those points can do. Credit cards can offer incredible rewards programs, such as travel air miles, gas, and restaurant options. If you don’t have a credit card with travel perks, it’s worth looking at a change.

Are you a AAA or CAA member?

Membership really can have its rewards. May hotels in North America recognize the American and/or Canadian Automobile Association membership. It’s not uncommon to save 10% off published rates for being a member. Saving 10% off 5 nights in New York could cover a year’s worth of membership costs.

Use cell phone apps to save on calls

There is Wi-Fi just about everyone; and smartphone apps like WhatsApp, which is huge in South America, Asia, and Europe, help travellers stay connected for free. Viber is another option for those looking to stay out of Facebook’s reach (they own WhatsApp).

Make sure you have the right cell-phone plan

If you don’t have the flexibility to get to wi-fi every time you need to make a call, at least reach out to your mobile provider and get them to recommend the best plan for your needs. You could pay $10/month in an updated subscription plan but save hundreds every time you go away.

Groupon still matters

Yes, it had its moment in the sun, but it hasn’t set yet, either. Groupon (Getaways) has a tonne of hotel deals and restaurant options. They may not meet your needs and there are certain restrictions about the number of nights, and seasonal availability, but its worth a look. It could save you 30-40% off the rack rate.

These are some simple ways to save while travelling for business, but it all starts with awareness and desire to save. Reach out to us today, and we’ll help you take this to the next level.

A handy guide to picking the right seats

Poor seats are the bain of a frequent traveler’s existence, especially those where access to Business and 1st class seats fall outside an organization’s approved travel policy. For the cost-conscious traveler, having to make the most out of economy class is the only option. One can, however, make the most of it, especially when we choose our seats properly, but what ‘properly’ looks like, can be different for everyone.

So, Worldgo has created a go-to list just for you:

Are you bringing carry-ons on board?

If you are traveling with awkward carry-ons that you make sure you choose a seat towards the rear of the airplane, this way you ensure you get the first choice of the overhead storage compartments.

Are looking to sleep?

Pick a window seat on the left-side of the aircraft. The middle of the craft generally means you won’t be bothered washrooms and people stretching their legs, plus the windows tend to be off-centered allowing you a better place to lay your head.

Nervous passenger? Choose seats in the rear of the plane.

Do you have flight anxiety?

Popular Mechanics states that passengers in the rear of the plane are 40% more likely to survive a crash than those in the front. If you are really concerned, make sure to choose an aisle seat for quicker faster deplaning.

Are you looking for extra legroom?

Choose Exit row seats. On some flights, you can have an extra 4-7 inches of legroom. Don’t confuse Bulkhead with Exit Row, they make look promising, you will lose storage space and that could cut into your leg-room.

Feeling Sick? Choose seats located over the wing.

Are you feeling under the weather?

The smoothest ride is always found with seats over the wings, and the bigger the plane the smaller the bounce. If you are prone to motion sickness or had a big night after closing the deal of the year, this is where you want to be.

Are looking for space away from kids?

If you are looking for as much quiet as possible we recommend 2 things. Firstly, get yourself a good pair of noise calling headphones and then choose seats as far away from the bulkheads as possible. Bulkheads are where families are often put, or select because they travel with more gear and tend to be closer to washrooms.

Are you looking to avoid engine noise?

Choose seats as close to the cockpit as possible and get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones. They really are a great investment for frequent travelers.

Are you looking for a quick exit after a long flight?

Ever noticed that airplanes almost always depart on the left side? It goes without saying that choosing an aisle seat up front, on the left, will get you out the door as fast as possible.

Are you looking to be close to the washrooms?

Choose bulkheads and/or aisle seats and ensure that running to the washroom is as fast possible.

Although you may not have the budget to fly 1st or Business Class you can still choose seats that give you the best flight possible. At Worldgo, we get to know your preferences and can help you make the most of your time in the sky!

The best gifts for business travellers in 2020

It’s here again – another year of what to get for the impossible-to-buy-for business person in your life. For 2020, we’ve put together a sure-fire list to help make your life a little easier. From bags to pillows, and smartphone cases to socks, here are our picks for what to buy the business traveler in your life.

Best Travel Luggage

Best Travel Luggage: Got a long-haul trip coming up? This four-wheel Trade Large hard shell luggage offers extended trip volume. Quality construction and a minimal aesthetic are complemented by custom Herschel Supply finishes. It comes in 9 different styles. Buy from $260.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag: Don’t let the ‘Messenger Bag for Men’ limit your interest, this is a unisex item, and solves just as many business problems for women as it does men. The price is right, and the best part is the thoughtful padded bottom and reinforced leather corners. There are 3 styles to choose from and there is a 1-year warranty on the bag. Buy from $57.Travel Pillow for Business Travellers

Best Travel Pillow: If you are an ‘I just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep’ type on a flight than this is the pillow for you. It’s maybe a little bulkier than one would want on a short-haul flight, but if you are crossing oceans overnight, this is the one to buy.

Best Travel Umbrella: Hershel Supply Co. isn’t just one of our favourite clients they also make the best compact umbrella in the game. Protip: When in Iceland, using an umbrella tells the locals you are a visitor. Why? Notoriously heavy winds. Buy from $27.

Best iPhone case: The Catalyst case offers protection from a 3-metre drop, and has found a way to keep sleek and minimalist at the same time. It doesn’t interfere with wireless charging, and if you order directly from Catalyst they will give you a 12month manufacturer’s warranty. Buy from $60.

Best Google Pixel case:  Caseology is an award-winning designer for smartphone cases and they are great value in comparison to other brands. Sleek, thin and crash absorbent. Everything you want in a smartphone case for business travelers. Buy from $15.

Compression Socks: These compression socks are woven with copper fibers that work to benefit circulation and limit bacteria growth. They prevent lactic acid production and keep your feet dry. Buy from $19.

Feel-Good purchase: This is no ordinary backpack. Developed by a senior designer at The North Face, it is loaded with high-end features like durable ballistic nylon and tons of organizational pockets. What makes this backpack feel-good is the women who make it — graduates of St. Monica’s Tailoring School in Gulu, Uganda.  These women were captured as children by the warlord Joseph Kony and forced to become child soldiers in his rebel army. When they ultimately came out of captivity, often bearing the children of their captors, more than 2,000 of them were taken in by a Ugandan nun named Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (CNN Hero, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”). Recognizing it was too late to give them a full education, Sister Rosemary formed the Tailoring School to train them in practical skills to support themselves and their children. This backpack is part of their legacy. Buy from $109 on Kickstarter.