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Better Than First Class? Flying P.S. On United Airlines

Flying within the U.S. you simply cannot do any better than true lay flat beds with duvets, pillows and noise reducing headphones, and that’s exactly what you get on every p.s. flight.
Flying within the U.S. you simply cannot do any better than true lay flat beds with duvets, pillows and noise reducing headphones, and that’s exactly what you get on every p.s. flight.

By Larry Olmsted

“First Class” always sounds sexy, but when it comes to flying, it’s a vague and uncertain term.

Back in the Golden Age of air travel, First meant hand carved beef tenderloin, free flowing champagne and passengers who wore ties. This kind of First Class flying still exists to a degree – minus most of the ties – but only on international flights and then only on the best airlines. Most frequent fliers are far more likely to spend time in “First” on domestic flights, which is generally a very poor imitation of the real thing and a considerable cut below the popular business/first hybrids or even plain business class on most international flights. These days, pretty much any airline still offering three classes with First on trans-oceanic or other long haul international flights has lay flat beds instead of conventional seats, and this is now also true for most business class configurations. But bed seats are almost never found in domestic First Class, which is stuck in the days of a slightly wider, regular seat.

One notable exception to this rule is United’s p.s. class – which stands for “premium service.”

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Award-winning travel journalist Larry Olmsted is a Contributing Editor to US Airways Magazine and Cigar Aficionado Magazine and “The Great Life” columnist for Forbes.com.
Award-winning travel journalist Larry Olmsted is a Contributing Editor to US Airways Magazine and Cigar Aficionado Magazine and “The Great Life” columnist for Forbes.com.
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