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First Class vs Second Class on China High-speed Rail

First Class vs Second Class on China High-speed Rail

Written by FabioUpdated Mar. 23, 2023

With the continuous development of our society, transportation is becoming more and more convenient. It used to be a very inconvenient thing if we want to go on a long journey. However, now the high-speed train and plane can get us to wherever we want to go, especially plane. The speed of a plane is very fast, but it  has a very big disadvantage - the cost is relatively high.

Therefore, when people travel out, most people choose high-speed rail with cost-effective price. High-speed rail and plane are the same. They are also classified. There are usually business seats, first-class seats and second-class seats on high-speed rail and their fares are different. Ticket fare of second class seats is usually 20-40% lower than that of first class seats. So what are the differences between the first-class and second-class seats on a high-speed train, and why are the prices of them so different? 

1.First class seats are more spacious than second class seats

With 4 seats in a row (2+2), first class seats are more spacious and comfortable than second class seats. Second class seats have 5 seats in a row (3+2). There is not so much space between rows. The seat width of first class seats is about 47 centimeters while that of the second class seats is about 42 centimeters. However, even a second class seat will be wider than that of economical class seat on the plane.  For large or strong passengers, first class seats enable them to have large space, which is more comfortable.

2.The seat back of first class seats is more friendly

Both seat back of first class seats and second class seats can be reclined. The seat back of second class seats can be reclined about 45 degrees while the seat back of first class seats can be reclined about 60 degrees. It will be more comfortable if passengers can recline 60 degrees to have a rest.

3.First class carriages are quieter second class carriages

Obviously, first class carriages accommodate less passengers than that of second class carriages. With less crowded carriages, the first class carriages are relatively quieter. Moreover, passengers who hold standing tickets are also arranged in the second class carriages. Generally speaking, many family groups will take second class seats so it is usually noisy in the second class carriages.

4.The toilets in first class carriages are larger than those in second class carriages

Generally speaking, first class carriages are more spacious. Thus, the toilets of first class carriages are also relatively larger than that of second class carriages. Both toilets are equipped with necessary facilities(also for disabled).

5. The first class seats are equipped with more humanized foldable tables

Both first class and second class are equipped with foldable tables and their seats all can be changed the directions. You can choose facing towards the moving direction of train, or face to face of the rows in front/behind you. The foldable tables of second class seats are on the seat back of the front seats. Taking second class seat, you cannot use the foldable table when you face to face of your partners. The foldable tables of first class seats are in the right arms, which is more humanized design and enable you to continue using the foldable table though you’re facing your partners.

6.First class carriages offer more considerate service than the second class carriages

The service in first class carriages are better than that of second class carriages. It is inconvenient to use toilet or even hot water in second class carriages. Passengers sometimes have to wait for some time in rush hour. It is quite different in first class carriages and it isn’t as crowded as second class carriages. In first class carriages, high-speed train attendants sometimes offer free snacks and bottled water. Attendants will remind passengers when next stations is approaching.

7.First class seats are equipped with small pillow and footrest

A small pillow and footrest are equipped on first class seat, which is more comfortable when you sit on it. Your feet and neck would fee more relaxing.

You may find that most passengers in first class carriages are business people. Family groups usually don’t take first class seats. Now that you know the difference between first-class and second-class seats on high-speed trains, you may have an idea of the type of seats you want to choose.

You get what you pay for. Even if you take the same high-speed train for the same destinations, the more you pay for, the more you get. No matter it is first class seat or second class seat, as long as you can arrive at the destination safely. The choice depends on you~

For more information about seat classes on high-speed rail in China, please read this article: How to Choose Between Train Types and Seat Classes in China

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