Etiquette in first and business class is always a concern for newbies who haven’t flown in premium cabins before. But it’s also something every traveler should be mindful and considerate when traveling. One of the questions that came up recently was whether it’s OK to order seconds in first or business class. As usual, my answer is “it depends.”
In Business Class
I think it’s certainly fine to ask for seconds as long as you’re aware that in some situations, the crew may not be able to accommodate you. This is the case when business class cabins are packed and sometimes the crew even runs out of “first choice” items.
I would wait to ask for seconds once the whole cabin has been served. Especially if you’re asking for a second entree. The crew might be running low on food and asking for seconds when not everyone has been served is a little inconsiderate. Ordering a second snack or appetizer is probably fine in these situations. Again, just know that the crew may or may not be able to accommodate your request and don’t hassle them if that’s the case.
In First Class
In first class, there’s a little more flexibility. The cabin is smaller, less packed, and there’s generally more abundance. Depending on the airline you’re flying, the flight attendants are instructed to go above and beyond. So asking for seconds while flying, say, Etihad apartments, is probably not going to be a problem. The galley kitchen is well stocked and the crew is happy to take care of extra dining requests. Again, the key is to ask politely and be prepared for rejection in case the crew is out of options.
Ultimately, whether it’s OK to order seconds in first or business class depends on the situation. In first class, I think it’s almost always OK to order a second main course – especially if the first one was particularly inedible. I would definitely feel out the situation. If the cabin is packed and the flight crew has already announced that they’re running low on food, obviously it’s not appropriate to ask for a second main course. A second appetizer? That’s probably more likely to be available.
It Can’t Hurt to Ask
I think it’s always fine to make a request like this if you do it politely. The crew will do their best to take care of it and if they can’t, then no harm done. I know a lot of first-timers feel self-conscious traveling in premium cabins. Note that the flight crew is generally empowered to take care of passengers to a reasonable degree and they certainly will. In first class even more so. That being said, passengers should still be considerate and not put the flight crew in an awkward position if they’re very clearly running low on food. That’s definitely not the time to ask for an extra main meal, but a side dish or snack shouldn’t be a problem. As usual, be polite and gracious in your requests/handling of denials.
What are your thoughts on ordering seconds in first or business class?
[Image Source: Cathay Pacific]