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Is Business Class on Thai domestic flights worth it?

It always comes up.  Should I book Business Class on my Thai domestic flights?  Most travelers visiting Thailand fly at least one or two flights to other parts of Thailand beyond Bangkok.  The price difference is usually not that much higher for a Business Class ticket.  But is it worth it?

The simple answer is no.  But this is only if you ask me if it’s worth it in a vacuum.  There are reasons why business class can be the right choice for you.  For the additional cost of the upgrade to business class, you get lounge access, priority check in and boarding, a larger luggage allowance, better in-flight food, and more legroom.  This sounds like a lot for the minimal cost increase but only if you think you need these added services.

Priority check-in for a domestic flight isn’t that significant as most domestic flights do not have huge planes with the potential of hundreds on line in front of you to check in.  Priority boarding is also not that significant because of the smaller plane size either.

I already wrote about two Thai domestic business class lounges, which are nice, but not the amazing experiences of large airport international business class lounges.  If you have a very long connection time, the lounge starts to make more sense though.

Larger luggage allowance shouldn’t be a factor for most, as most travelers to Thailand should be packing relatively light as the climate in Thailand is the same in all parts of the country, hot.  However there are exceptions such as travelers on trips longer than two to three weeks.  If you need the extra luggage allowance, then again it makes sense to book business class.

The seat is only a few inches wider and there is more legroom, although economy seats on this flight are not that tight to begin with.  The seat itself is not a huge improvement over economy.

Most domestic Thai flights are less than 1.5 hours, so the extra legroom isn’t a necessity.  If you are over 6’2”, then for you the legroom is a necessity.  The staff to passenger ratio is of course higher in business, but again with a flight so short, there aren’t that many services that you will require during the flight.  Food is a real hot meal in business but economy still gets a box lunch meal on the same flight.  Plus if you have access to any lounges in Thailand, there is usually plenty of food, usually better than on the plane.  So you shouldn’t be hungry on the plane, on a short flight.  And remember there is also no alcohol in business on domestic Thai flights.

In summary, business class is not necessary on short Thai domestic flights unless you need to the added benefits of either extra luggage allowance or a slightly wider seat or additional legroom, or have a long domestic layover with no alternative lounge options.

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