Premium for the Masses – My Breeze Airways First Class Experience

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Breeze Airways First Class

Breeze Airways First Class

Ever since launch, I’ve been intrigued by Breeze Airways.  Any new domestic airline, even a low-cost one, can grab my attention for a bit.  And this one from David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways (and others), has brought something unique to the table.  First class on a budget airline?  Breeze is going for it, while simultaneously managing expectations along the way.  A first class seat and a few other perks are included in the “Nicest” fare on certain routes in exchange for a modest price increase from the standard economy “Nice” fare.  That was enough to break my 15 year streak of not paying for domestic airfare.  Here are the highlights from my Breeze Airways first class experience.

No Big Benefits Beyond In-Flight

It’s pretty much all about the flight when it comes to first class service.  Breeze doesn’t offer a customer service phone number for Nicest fare passengers.  (Actually, it seems they don’t offer a phone number for any customer.)  I found no airport perks before the flight for “Nicest” fare passengers.  Breeze’s check-in area may be the smallest of any airline at my departing airport.  There was no separate queue or area supporting Nicest fare passengers.

Rewards Accrual

Perhaps the only benefit worth attention beyond the flight involves rewards accrual in Breeze’s frequent flyer program, BreezePoints.  Nicest fare passengers accrue rewards at a higher rate than Nicer or Nice fare passengers.  I earned 6% back in BreezePoints based on my Nicest fare, compared to the 4% and 2% that Nicer and Nice fare passengers obtain.

Breeze Airways First Class Seat

It’s no surprise that the first class seat is superior to the economy version.  From the dimensions and comfort perspectives, the A220’s first class seat felt no different than a domestic first class seat on the legacy airlines.  First class is in a 2-2 layout, compared to economy squeezing in 2-3.  Breeze’s first class seat holds its own on the functionality front, offering a handy laptop storage area along the left seat side, large tray table (stowed within the center armrest), and cell phone holder and coat hanger on the forward seat back.

My only complaint is a huge bar supporting the forward seat in the footwell.  It’s smack dab in the middle of the foot space.  This may not bother some passengers, but it was tremendously annoying to this foot-crossing enthusiast.  Looking around the first class seat cabin, I found this same bar at all aisle seats.  Those looking for more foot space should pick a window seat.

Solid Service

The flight held three attendants, one predominantly focused on the first class seat cabin.  I noticed that all attendants were actively helpful to passengers during boarding.  The attendants were in good spirits throughout the flight and quick to offer assistance when requested.  The first class attendant was very generous during the beverage and snacks service.  Let’s get into that now.

Beverages and Snacks

Similar to other budget carriers, Breeze sells a variety of beverages and snacks.  It seems that Breeze offers identical products to first class passengers at no additional cost.  And they do so quite generously.  I ordered a rum and Diet Coke, and the attendant returned with more Bacardi than I needed.  She came by with a basket of snacks, and we could grab whatever we wanted, as much as we wanted.  It was comical seeing how often the attendant had to return to the galley to refill her basket, as many first class passengers were taking full advantage (including this writer).

The flight was scheduled to last over five hours, and Breeze advertised a “premium snack” online for flights of that length.  It’s not readily apparent what’s special about the offering.  The variety included snack boxes, Pringles, Chex Mix, M&M’s, and a few other sweet or salty items.

These services came at two periods during the flight.  Beverage and snack service began about 15 minutes after takeoff, and the attendant came around with ice water a few hours later.

Breeze Airways First Class

Breeze Airways First Class – Conclusion

My next Breeze flight is a much shorter one in standard economy to Providence, RI in a few weeks.  Will I ever fly Breeze Airways first class again?  Most likely, if the price is right.  I paid a $130 premium for a Nicest fare compared to the cheapest Nice ticket.  For a five-hour flight, I had no problem paying that bit extra.  In this regard, Breeze is clearly on to something.  The 36-seat first class cabin only had two empty seats, while economy was about half-occupied.  Breeze has already won my loyalty in that they provide unique non-stop options from my local airport.  A taste of first class at a very reasonable price will underscore my loyalty.  Keep it up, Breeze!  I look forward to where you go next.

Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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