I Spent an Extra $41 to Fly First Class on Breeze Airways — Here's How It Went

Here's what to expect when flying first class on an airline dedicated to saving you time and money.

Over the past decade, I've jammed myself (and my luggage!) into free airport shuttles, slept on my friends' partially deflated air mattresses, and woken up in the wee hours of the morning to catch a flight — all in an effort to save a few bucks. Each time, I convinced myself of the same routine lies — like how I'd get so much work done on the flight or I'd manage to sleep the whole way.

Spoiler alert: I did not work on the plane. And I definitely did not sleep on the plane. 

I was at a crossroads. I knew it was time to open myself up to more comfortable experiences, but I wasn't ready to open up my wallet. That's when I discovered the first-class seats on Breeze Airways.

Breeze Airways, recently named one of the best domestic airlines in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure readers, is a low-budget carrier. It has three classes of seats dubbed "Nice," "Nicer," and "Nicest." Nice is akin to economy class, Nicest is the carrier's first class, and Nicer falls somewhere in between. No matter the class, the carrier doesn't charge fees for flight changes or cancellations.

While searching for a flight from San Francisco to my hometown airport in Richmond, Virginia, I did some quick math. A one-way coach ticket with Breeze cost $119. The cheapest seat reservation was $10, a carry-on was another $35, and my first checked bag was an additional $39. It rounded out to $203 for a one-way flight after all was said and done. In comparison, a first class ticket — including a reserved seat, a carry-on item, and two pieces of checked luggage — cost $244.

A premium seat for just $41 more on a direct flight was an offer even I couldn't refuse.

I knew Breeze Airways' first class would be a different experience than a larger carrier's first or business class. But I also had nothing to compare it to. For me, it wasn't about ranking my first-class seat against other airlines. Instead, it was about learning if the upgrade was worth it. Here's how it went.

Passenger seats of a Breeze Airways airplane at Tampa International Airport

Matt May/Getty Images

Boarding and Deboarding

I used to always be jealous of the folks who had first-class tickets and priority boarding. But having experienced "priority boarding" with Breeze firsthand as a solo traveler, I can confidently say, you're not missing out on much. The dad jokes are right: "Everyone's going to get a seat." (Of course, when traveling economy, the incentive of boarding first is often making sure there's enough cabin space.)

While other airlines offer a priority luggage service with their first-class seats — this means your luggage will be taken off the plane first — this isn't the case with Breeze Airways. So, while you save time getting off the plane, you still might spend a while waiting to pick up your luggage. 


The larger seats on Breeze Airways are worth the extra $41 alone. These seats are roomy at 20.5 inches wide and 39 inches deep and have plenty of leg-room. In comparison, the standard seats on the flight are 18 inches wide and 30 inches deep. At 5 feet 5 inches, my feet didn't touch the ground from my seat, so taller passengers would fare well in the carrier's first class seats. 

Each seat also comes with its own AC power outlet and USB C port in the center console — so no need to awkwardly fumble by your neighbor's feet — for all of your charging needs. While Breeze does not offer in-flight entertainment, each seat in the first class section of all other flights includes a mount to hold your phone, tablet, or e-reader for your entertainment needs.

In-flight Refreshments

Passengers in most sections of Breeze Airways need to pay for food and beverage separately. While cups of water are complimentary, sodas and bottled water are $3.50, alcoholic beverages are $9, and individual snacks (like nut mixes and Pringles) are $4.50.

Those in the first-class section on my cross-country flight were offered both full-sized snacks and alcoholic drinks. (According to the carrier's website, first-class passengers on flights shorter than four hours are given a light snack and one drink choice from their menu.)

If you are flying across the country, know that meal services are not included on Breeze Airways as they might be on other first-class flights. Breeze Airways does offer snack boxes for purchase: The $8.50 box includes dried cranberries, a cheese spread, a flatbread, a brownie crisp, and almonds.

As for me, I was perfectly happy with my peanut M&M's and bloody mary mix. (I now realize it's a horrifying combination. Just know, I saved the M&M's for later.)

The first class seat back and in flight snacks and drinks on a Breeze Airways flight

Lauren Burwell

Working on Breeze Airways 

On most flights, I ambitiously stash my laptop in my bag under the seat in front of me with the intention of working. But between the cramped seats, people shuffling through the aisles, and trying to balance my laptop on the itty-bitty seat trays, planes have never been my preferred work environment. More often than not, my laptop stays stashed under the seat in front of me.

That said, my laptop did make an appearance during my Breeze Airways flight, and I got a decent amount of work done. The dedicated power outlet, larger tray table, and roomier seats made for a better work environment. The only caveat: Be sure to download everything you need before hopping on the plane since Breeze Airways doesn't have in-flight Wi-Fi ... yet. (As of last month, the airline fitted its first plane with in-flight Wi-Fi.)

I'd also recommend packing noise-canceling headphones if you're planning to hunker down and get work done. The first-class section is appealing to families with young children — it's a good deal for parents with young kids and a lot of gear — so it can get noisy.

Other Things to Know

Breeze has a limited flight schedule compared to larger carriers — some routes only fly two or three days of the week — so if you're looking to fly on a specific day, it might not be the airline for you.

If you or your travel companions are the types to arrive at the airport six hours early to "settle in," it may be a good idea to relax those plans when flying Breeze. When I arrived at 10:15 a.m. for my 12:30 p.m. flight, I couldn't check in. Instead of being greeted by a staff member, I was greeted by a sign saying the check-in desk didn't open until 10:30 a.m.

Being a budget airline, Breeze Airways does not have any lounges that travelers may expect to access with a first-class ticket from a major airline. However, depending on your departing airport, you may be able to access other lounges through your credit card provider or by paying for access at specific lounges.  

Is the Breeze Airways first class worth it?

I used to be one to scoff at the idea of paying money just for a bigger seat. But considering that I was actually able to work on the plane and wake up the next day refreshed, I'm much more willing to shell out for a better seat in the future.

Although Breeze's first class understandably lacks some of the amenities of other carriers, the ability to fly across the country to a smaller, regional airport without a layover in a comfier seat was well worth the money — and the large-sized peanut M&M's didn't hurt either.  

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