What do the letters of Economy Class mean

The different classes in flying

There are various names for the different classes in the aircraft. We speak of travel classes, transport classes, booking classes or just ticket classes. What is always meant is the same, namely which one Service and comfort You will receive on your flight.

There are mainly three different classes with the international names Economy Class, Business Class and First Class. Not all classes are offered on all flights, for example the luxurious First Class is only available on some long-haul flights.

In recent years, some sub-classes have established themselves in the most frequently booked economy class. One reads more and more frequently about Economy Light or Premium Economy, which offer a little less or a little more service.


Features of the travel classes on the plane

Economy class

Economy class is the standard Tourist classthat most air travelers travel with. In this travel class, the seats and the distance between the seats and the neighbors are the smallest. There is no general measure here, however, there are big differences between the airlines and even between the different types of aircraft of an airline.

As far as service is concerned, you have to distinguish between short and long-haul flights. One speaks of a long-haul flight from a flight time of approx. 3.5 hours. With the new, large aircraft, these can now take over 15 hours without a stopover.


Short haul:

  • often checked baggage only for a fee
  • regular check-in at the airport or online


Short haul, service on board:

  • usually no individual entertainment program, a short film may be shown
  • On-board magazine
  • no meals, mostly snacks and drinks (low-cost airlines often only against payment)
  • Sale of duty-free goods


Long haul:

  • Checked baggage included in the travel price
  • regular check-in at the airport or online


Service on board long-haul:

  • Entertainment program (films, music, possibly games), with many airlines now individually selectable on your own screen
  • On-board magazine, daily newspaper
  • Meal (s) according to the time of day, as well as drinks. Alcohol sometimes only for a fee
  • Sale of duty-free goods



Business Class and First Class

A travel class originally for Business travelers was planned so that they arrive rested and relaxed at their business appointments. There is more comfort at the airport and also in the aircraft itself, which is of course also used by tourists.


Service at the airport:

  • Use of the airlines' business lounges at the airport
  • separate check-in counters for faster check-in
  • preferred entry


Service on board:

  • larger seats and more legroom, partly reclining seats. First Class also has its own "compartments" with beds.
  • Flight accessories such as blankets, pillows, stockings, ear plugs and hygiene kits
  • larger range of magazines and entertainment programs, individual and larger screen
  • high quality menu, appealing dishes
  • larger and better selection of drinks
  • better and more individual service by the staff



First Class Suite at Emirates Airline, Photo by Pyonko Omeyama [CC BY 2.0]


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