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Sitting Up Front: The First Class Experience on US Airways

May 13, 2010 at 9:17 AM | by | ()

Depending on the type of plane that you board, you either walk right past them all, or you are forced to turn the other way and never even see them. We're talking about the first class or business class seats. The back of the plane is where why find ourselves nine times out of ten, but we can always dream about the promised land. That's why we wanted to share what we know about flying in the front of the plane, and what it takes to get there. Check out what we found:

· How Much Does It Cost?
Despite some of our personal experiences with US Airways, the airline does in fact have some quality service options if you’re willing to shell out the additional cash. Heading out from their hub in Philadelphia to London costs around $3,800. If you would rather stick around in the lower 48, then heading from Charlotte to San Francisco costs around $1,600—which isn’t really that bad compared the options on some other airlines; however, this is still US Airways after all.

More room to stretch your legs after the break...

· Can I Go For Free?
Spending frequent flyer miles on a dream trip isn’t really like going for free, but it’s nice not to see any four digit numbers on the monthly credit card bill. The airline will be happy to send you to Hawaii in the front of the plane for as little as 70,000 miles per person roundtrip. If sunny destinations aren’t your thing, there are plenty of exotic locations in the Middle East to try out. From the United States, it will set you back at least 120,000 miles assuming there’s availability. Upgrades to the bigger seats are available, but a lot of it depends on your airline status and ticket type. A boost to the front of the plane en route to Europe can run 30,000 miles plus a $300 fee.

· How’s The Food And Drink?
Fans of peanuts and pretzels will be disappointed, because first class food and beverage goes above and beyond what you'll usually find in a crew cart. Expect full hot entrees along with a friendly flight attendant topping off that glass of wine throughout the flight. Leave the plastic in your wallet as everything is included with your price of admission to the first class cabin. Just ensure you’re booked for a trip longer than three and a half hours or else no food for you. Certain Airbus A330 aircraft with the Envoy Suite installed also boast an upgraded menu of items.

· Can I Lounge Around Before The Flight?
Like many of the other airlines that we’ve featured, US Airways opens the doors to many amenities that coach passengers never get to experience. If you pay for a First Class tickets, the airline will be pleased to welcome you into the US Airways Club. There’s even an Envoy Lounge at the Philadelphia International Airport for those passengers that get to board in Envoy Class. Expect the usual airline lounge amenities but with increased space, privacy, and fanciness.

· How Comfy Are Things In The Front?
The best seats are available if you’re able to score one of the updated Envoy Suites within the Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline is working to get these installed by 2012, but if you miss out on your own sleeper suite experience, the regular First Class seats are pretty nice too. Enjoy four-way headrests adjustments as well as lumbar support to prevent those episodes of DVT before they even begin. They’ll probably even toss you a blanket and pillow that don’t smell like farts. That alone is almost worth the cost of the ticket.

· Anything Special At The Airport?
First Class customers will have their own dedicated lanes at airports across the country, as long as US Airways has a somewhat dedicated presence there. That means you get to skip by all the casual travelers, and you won’t be subjected to any checked baggage fees (so long as you're not checking like 8 bags of rocks). Feel free to bring an empty suitcase just so you can fill it with awesome souvenir t-shirts for your friends and family.

If you sit up front more often than you sit in the back, be sure to let us know about tips, tricks, or amenities we might have missed in the comments below!

Related Stories:
· US AIrways - In The Air [Official Site]
· Mile High Drinking: The Five Best Airlines For Booze-Free Beverages [Jaunted]
· First Class Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo of a Delta airplane: Ack Ook]

[Photo of in-flight comfort: US Airways]

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