The Playbook For The Modern Man

Why Flying In Business Class Is Actually More Stressful Than Economy

Business Class is lusted after by all. But it comes with unexpected challenges.

From the endless Moët to the lusted-after seats, the sniff of a business class upgrade is enough to make the slovenly don dinner jackets and respectable businessmen fling themselves to their knees.

However, as I recently discovered on my debut business class flight, the piccolo lattes, chicken edamame salads and friendly flight attendants provide upgraded passengers with a host of new challenges to navigate.

You don’t have to feel sorry for us (I wouldn’t either) but you do have to believe us. Intrigued? Here’s why flying up the front of the plane is actually more mentally taxing than staying in Economy.

The Never-Ending Luxury Makes It Hard To Relax

Say what you will about Economy’s stale bread rolls; at least they don’t take up too much brain space. In Business, however, the complimentary champagne, sizzling appetisers and announcements of more sensual pleasures to come makes it difficult for business class rookies like myself to zone out like we would in Economy, for fear that if we shut our eyes for a second a plate of white truffles, Japanese Wagyu or golden nuggets might pass us by.

The Top-Notch Service Gives You Imposter Syndrome

You wouldn’t think that happy smiles, gleaming high heels and hot towels could ever be an inconvenience. But fly business class a few times and there are two reasons you may change your mind.


Firstly: the fact that these divine merchants of coffee and sandwiches have turned table-trundling into an art makes you feel guilty about chucking on your noise-cancelling headphones and listening to your ‘hectic’ playlist.


Secondly: in each of your interactions with the flight attendants, you feel a certain pressure to convince them you belong up this end of the plane. Cry me a river, sure, but this problem does not exist in Economy (even if it is self-inflicted).

Your Neighbours Will Always Find A Way To Annoy You

It’s not just business class newbies like myself that have problems: D’Marge editor Luc Wiesman has had a number of bizarre experiences in business class — from being kept awake for 15 hours by an Australian TV host attempting to break David Boone’s record for martinis across the pacific to having his seat stolen by another business class passenger.

Flying Business (Or First) Is An Invitation To Gluttony

As Adrian Wooldridge, political editor of the Economist once wrote, “upgrades are… an invitation to dangerous self-indulgence.”

As he admitted in 1843, he once “decided to go for the full six-course menu, which started with caviar and vodka and culminated via various Far Eastern detours with stilton and other cheese.”

“My fellow travellers arrived in South Africa fresh as daisies for their meetings. I arrived drunk, dishevelled and desperate to nap.”

You Have Paid More For Your Ticket, So Any Inconveniences Sting That Bit More

I used to complain about delays as an Economy passenger, but it hurts more if you have paid triple for your ticket. Also, as I once discovered on a Qantas A330, business class kids cry too.


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  • Aqua Circle

    Oh my dear Lord. I have been flying only Business Class and First Class for the past 15 years or so. Why don’t I ever feel all these BS as you have mentioned? Are you trying to make the economy fliers feel better or to tell yourself that you should stop flying the expensive and exclusive class?

  • Greg W Smith

    Was this meant to be satire, or is it just a crock? I don’t get to fly business class all that often, but I’d much rather be up the front of the plane than down the back!

  • Computer_Expert

    I usually fly American Airlines. The service has really gone to the dogs, for pre-flight drinks.

    The flight attendants are more interested in talking it up, during pre-flight, than providing service to those in First or Business. Not a way to run an airline!

  • onlineo

    Flew UK to Oz business class earlier this year. It was my first ever business class flight and it was my first time I have ever slept on a plane. It was brilliant. Ok so I only got about 3-4 hours on each plane, but with 2 planes each way that was much needed. I have flown this route 6 times previously in economy and business is way better. Sure I ate too much and drank too much but I would do that in economy any way, infact I have never done a long haul economy flight where I haven’t had free access to booze.

    Anyhow my wife had it right. On one of the flights she got on told the cabin crew she was having a sleep, not to disturb her or wake her, and that if she was awake then she would have breakfast an hour before landing.

  • AustinRob

    “You Have Paid More For Your Ticket, So Any Inconveniences Sting That Bit More”

    You may buy business/first seats for the free drinks. I just want to get off first and get on whenever I want without worrying about overhead bin space.

  • AustinRob

    based on headline: that’s crazy. back of the bus is way more stressful.

    Luxury makes it hard to relax: wth? It’s not like you’re in a 5 star restaurant. Get your scotch, eat your mediocre meal, turn on a movie and doze.

    Imposter syndrome: You might feel this way if you cheated your way into the cabin. But if you or your company paid for it, or you spent award points to get there, you belong there. You may feel inadequate but that has nothing to do with where you’re sitting

    annoying neighbors: sure, it’s an airplane and people suck. Nice thing? raise the divider. buh bye annoying neighbor.

    Invitation to gluttony: well, if you can’t go to a buffet without purging after, then maybe you don’t possess the self control needed to not eat everything they put in front of you. (including not getting more from the endless well of liquor)

    inconveniences sting more: this also is attitude. Once you’re through security, you’re self loading cargo. keep that attitude and the little inconveniences don’t matter. Not only that, but paying for a business class seat usually means customer service will take care of you sooner.

    Summary: author doesn’t like themselves, doesn’t feel worthy of business class, probably should spend the extra money on counseling rather than business class seats.

  • panameraman

    I’m sure,this article for author SO,fly economy it’s 70% off!

  • Jon

    This comment is more insightful than the article.

  • Alexander Favero

    You belong in economy, get out of my cabin you lowly peasant.

  • Mechanically Separated Chicken

    Ah, it must have been just awful for you!

  • HenryatZagan

    If you’re paid $30.00 per column inch you have to come up with something ‘different’ such as this drivel. Cathay – eat before blast off and a flat bed and Temazepam and it’s ‘What flight”‘

  • Ben Martinez

    I suspect a bit of both, heavy on the crock. I worked hard to afford business class and I am so stressed, I din’t want to get off the CP first class flight to celebrate my retirement. As the military leader said, “To the front”.

  • Ben Martinez

    Drivel…You have it right. CP is brilliant and your “checklist” is spot on.

  • Ben Martinez

    I avoid American flag carriers (AFC), and living overseas makes that easy. I remember my first flight from DEN to SFO back in the early 60s. What an event and what service! So much has changed in my country of birth since then, and air travel has certainly gone downhill for AFCs.

  • Falcon Ruan

    Your are either retarded or just saying to piss off ppl who fly business, or you are making yourself an excuse to not being able to fly business again.

  • Blaine

    Can definitely tell you’re a newbie. Some people are just not cut out for business class. Simple as that. Sounds like you’re not one of them. Sorry you didn’t enjoy your experience.

  • Iftekhar Islam

    I can see a lot of people have left some really rude comments about this article…..So I will try to be polite and not call this BS right off the back!!

    I have been flying a mix of economy and business flights for around 15 years and have never felt stressed out or anxious in Business (or First). I dread my economy flights and jump in excitement when I get to fly the much coveted business (J) or first (F). If this article is your opinion then thats fine, but if this is an objective document presenting people with facts, then this is what Trump would call “fake news”!!

  • Greg Scharlach

    This is the single stupidest travel related article ever written.

  • Ron Thomas

    What are you talking about…..go back to economy and stay there….jeez…all BS

  • Liz Sinclair

    It’s meant to be a funny article, chill out people and stop taking it so seriously!

  • tavirian

    Look life is all about priorities, what a business class passenger looks like is not part of the equation. I am just a humble cleaner of hotel rooms, but twice a year I use my hard earned cash to fly longhaul in Business Class. Of course I spend all year looking for those cheap flights, but something always pops up from CDG, Arn or Hel to the Far East. I have loved every minute of my last 15 years of turning left for less. .

  • Keith Van Der Poel

    What a load of rubbish that was.Business class is the life and I’m not going back behind the curtain.

  • Andy H

    What a lot of bs this guy is trying to tell people.. well it’s easy for you if you feel that way just find your uncomfortable cramped seat in economy and eat whatever they choose to serve on that flight. Queue up for everything from check-in, to security, to boarding, to where to place your hand luggage, to getting of and disembarking, to immigration, if on international flights, to picking up your bags as the last one from the carousel ….. what useless article this is……..


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