Longed for later. Bad. Hedonistic. Awkward? Your first-class debut flight is something you will never forget. However, considering all the rules of etiquette (and your desire to make the most of it), flying in first class can be as stressful as it is exciting.
Fortunately for The Seriously Frivolous, first-class (international), nowadays, in almost all airlines, it promises all the luxury you can imagine, with cutting-edge services that compete to help you lose your virginity. first class – and all the first class flights that follow – experiences that alter the mind and run smoothly.
But at (up to) 20,000 pop, and with so many airlines now offering their first-class versions, you want to make sure you’re ready for your first-class experience, to get rid of all the worries that your cheerful driver look or butler in the air laugh at your barbaric business-class habits behind you.
While the various walk-through videos of the different airlines’ first-class offers provide advances, you are hardly trying everything in size, and – although it may be pleasing to the eye – nor are you learning about the first-class etiquette rules that many business class travelers are unaware.
Enter: this guide. Wanted from both supine and curved positions (insert keyboard emojis here), here are all the rules of etiquette you need to know before being unbeaten in first class.
So: avoid the grins of Old Money and have a damn fun on board whatever you like creme-de-la-sky, all with this guide.
Don’t brag about how beautiful it is
It could be a business class rite to take the “mandatory” champagne selfie or pass your boarding pass to all your followers, but when you fly in first class it is expected to be a little more subtle.
Sing your inner baseball cap wearing A-lister, not your flashy inner B-list influencer.
This point is doubly important at the airport, where not only other first-class passengers will judge you, but literally everyone at hand.
Oh, and if you’re going to brag, at least make it a humblebrag.
Don’t order everything on the menu
This is more for you than for your compatriots (given the private nature of most first-class suites, nobody will judge your food consumption except flight attendants), but if you feel the need to overdo your indulgence , then expect to hear the consequences when you land.
As Adrian Wooldridge, political editor of The Economist once wrote, “updates are … an invitation to dangerous self-indulgence.”
As he once admitted 1843 (The economists’ sister magazine), Cathay Pacific first-class tempted him once in “the entire six-course menu, which started with caviar and vodka and culminated with various Far Eastern detours with stilton and other cheeses.”
“My travel companions arrived in South Africa fresh as daisies for their meetings. I arrived drunk, disheveled and desperate for a nap. “
Remember: you paid to be pampered, not to be a jerk
Although most don’t need to remember this, there is always one person who seems to think that flying in first class is like indulging in a BDSM session.
However, even though you may have dropped a small fortune on your ticket, this does not give you the right to oppress the staff since unfortunately there are no code words (and no escapes) from your antics at 40,000 feet.
RELATED: The Most Embarrassing Habit of First Class Flyers, Revealed by an Industry Expert
Don’t commit annoying petty key crimes
Don’t: spend the whole flight tearing pages from a newspaper. Do not interrupt the wind (silently or otherwise). And please don’t bring your makeup bag to the bathroom and stay there for a full hour.
Don’t be stressed about the inconveniences
The rich also have children … and the rich children also cry. While you may be tempted to write a diatribe on the Internet claiming they are banned from premium classes, until then you just have to accept that rules are rules and that you will expose your lack of first-class experience by complaining.
Don’t indulge in illicit substances (or get too drunk) before your flight
In addition to being potentially dangerous (not to say illegal), it is also annoying. Even if you think you can control yourself, leaving a small chance of interrupting other people’s flight isn’t really cool either.
Always keep your shirt on
Keep your horses: you are not yet in that infinity pool.
Change your pajamas in the bathroom
While it may be (mainly) acceptable to engage in a mid-aisle yoga spot to wear business class pajamas, once in first class you can also make use of the more spacious bathrooms and change your privacy.
Don’t steal the whiskey
Again, this should really be obvious, but as the wave of last year’s first-class thefts revealed, it still needs to be said.
Not convinced? See The New Zealand Herald’s article: “Emirates hides expensive bar items to prevent first-class passengers from stealing them.”
Don’t punch anyone
Again, you wouldn’t expect this to be a common occurrence, but in July 2017, like Traveler Reportedly, a crazed first-class passenger had to be submissive after attempting to open the emergency exit door, punching a flight attendant in the process.
Don’t go crazy
This occurred after the 2015 nutgate, an incident involving an infuriated first-class woman after being served macadamia nut in a package instead of on a plate, attacking the crew members and demanding that the the plane was diverted to get rid of the “offensive” flight attendant.
Don’t pay flight attendants for sex
Again, a fairly rare event, but how The New York Post reported in 2017, it can happen. Talking to a former first-class flight attendant, The New York Post he suggested that First Class passengers were paying flight attendants for sex, with a crew member (presumably) who was making a lot of money as a highly sought after “dominatrix”.
Don’t take pictures incessantly
A couple is fine, but turning your suite into a recording / photography studio or live blog is annoying for everyone.