Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.
Airfare right now is as pricey as it's ever been — even economy can be ridiculous — and with ever-rising oil prices, it's probably never going to get any better. So when it comes to your wallet, flying business class is no joke. Even with a mileage upgrade, it is not cheap.
But. Oh, but.
On a recent flight from Munich to Chicago, my traveling companion — who is now the best human being I know — surprised me with an upgrade to business class. It was my first time in business class on a long-haul flight, so take this with a grain of salt as I've no point of comparison. And I realize a lot of what I experienced was standard-issue on biz class flights. But that's not the point; it was still the nicest flight I've ever taken. It was also some of the most pleasant nine hours I've ever had, period.
Because this is expensive and I feel like a monocle-wearing asshole for recommending it, allow me to explain what that ticket (United on a recently upgraded Boeing 777) got me. It is a long list.
Amazing food: Champagne, cocktails, wine, mimosas, all of it. An actual menu with appetizers and desserts. A hot fudge sundae. A gourmet snack table was laid out in the galley in case you had a mid-flight craving for a truffle (I had several such attacks).
Great service: Basically I had three butlers for nine hours. There was never a used napkin on my tray for more than two minutes. I slept through the period when they gave everyone a freshly baked cookie; later I politely asked an attendant if any cookies were left and he took one out and baked it for me.
Lovely accessories: Earplugs, eye pillow, comfy socks (which everyone wore the entire flight, walking around in them etc.), and Philosophy lip balm and hand creme. And you get to keep the bag, which is very handy for toiletries or whatever.
Peace and comfort: Very spacious seats (I was in a middle seat and didn't even feel like I had a neighbor but, to be fair, I'm petite; this dude was unimpressed) that extended to flat beds, fewer passengers (2-4-2 aisles) and more quiet, a place to store your magazines, reasonably sized pillows, a down blanket, noise canceling headphones, and enough space to get out of your seat without anyone having to get up and move out of the way. Because of that freedom, I honest-to-god have never peed on a flight as much as I did on this one. (Drawback to all that floor space: Not much room for storage. But it was a non-issue in our row.)
Entertainment etc.: A bigger personal video screen with a movie and television library far more expansive than what's offered on international economy seats; a ton of newspapers and magazines (I went with Vogue Deutschland), ample space to work on your laptop and have papers out at the same time. With the exception of a nap, I basically spent the entire flight eating and/or drinking, so that also kept me from getting bored.
In short, this flight was far better than my everyday life.
It was also far more costly; my upgrade from economy ran 20,000 miles plus an extra $450ish on United. Minus the miles factor (accrued through travel and credit card usage, in our case) and speaking in terms of cold hard cash, it came down to about $50/hour for a nine-hour flight. Looking at it that way, it was absolutely worth it — especially given some of the experiences I've had in economy. I imagine business class is even better on international airlines, which are generally more cushy than U.S. carriers.
If you have the miles, some extra cash, and a long-ass flight, upgrade to business class. Just once. Not even round-trip; the luxury experience is a waste if you're going on an overnight sleepytime flight. But otherwise, trying this is so, so very worth it.
Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.