Why “Luggage Class” Is Much Better Than First-Class

First Class Bus Thailand

First-Class Bus Passengers Above

Krabi, Thailand

Have you ever traveled luggage-class before? It’s like a billion times more awesome than first-class! These are just some of the reasons why.

First-class. The envy of all travelers everywhere. It’s how the rich get from point A to point B with complementary alcohol, ample legroom, legendary service, and plenty of privacy.

But hold on, there’s a new class in town.

I’m sure you all know someone who’s traveled first-class before. Maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to experience it for yourself. Yet how many people do you know who travel in luggage-class?

Yup. Waaaaay more exclusive.

Luggage Compartment Travel

If you don’t already know, long distance bus travel in Thailand can be very comfortable in first-class. The seats are big, have plenty of leg room, and often recline pretty far back.

A few snacks and drinks are handed out over the course of the journey. VIP class buses also include personal LCD screens with movies & games.

Over the past few months I’ve traveled on quite a few of these buses. Sure they’ve been nice. But nothing mind-blowing.

Today I traveled in luggage-class for the first time. Underneath the bus, inside the luggage compartment full of bags.

I sincerely believe it’s the next best thing in luxury travel!

Luggage Class Bus Thailand

Luggage-Class Passengers Below

Private VIP Entrance

The very first thing I noticed after receiving my premiere luggage-class ticket was that we had a separate entrance from everyone else on the bus. While first-class passengers were forced to endure a grueling climb up a flight of stairs, us luggage-class folk only needed to duck into our private 4-foot tall padded & windowless door.

I felt special already!

Limited Distractions

Once settled onto a bench between 10 other people in the luggage compartment, the doors closed and we began moving. Only now did I truly begin to appreciate how extraordinary this journey would be.

Up in first-class there are all kinds of annoying distractions that get in the way of a comfortable bus ride. Things like movies, music, large windows, and light. Not so in luggage-class!

A single dim light bulb cast enough of a glow to allow me to stare at my own reflection on the stainless-steel wall 12 inches from my face. Soothing sounds of speeding bus tires over highway asphalt combined with the roar of a diesel engine.

No more watching in horror as the driver attempts to pass slow-moving vehicles while playing chicken with oncoming traffic.

Luggage-class allows your imagine to run wild about the risks he’s taking from under the bus in darkness.

Traveling in Luggage Compartment

Enjoying My Complimentary Sauna

Luxury Spa Treatments

What you may not know about luggage-class is that with the price of a ticket you also receive complimentary spa treatments. Everyone is sitting in a windowless reflective metal box. It’s a bit like a sauna in there — allowing your pores to sweat freely and purge your body of unhealthy toxins.

Free massages were included too. A 5 year old girl repeatedly poked me in the back for a majority of the trip, while a sleeping elderly man rubbed his bare feet on my hip.

Unrivaled Entertainment

Who needs to be entertained with pirated Hollywood movies dubbed in Thai without English subtitles? In luggage-class you’ll enjoy multiple forms of high-quality entertainment.

Like screaming babies. Or puking babies. Maybe a crazy man who talks to himself.

Of course if you’re lucky, like me, you’ll be able to experience all three during your 1.5 hour long trip. Boredom is never a problem when traveling in luggage-class!

Bus Luggage Compartment Thailand

Who Needs Movies? Babies are Entertaining.

Ultimate Exclusivity

Are you the type of person who only wants the best? Constantly trying to one-up your neighbor? Maybe first-class just isn’t as exclusive as it used to be.

  • Everyone has first-class. Only developing countries and Michigan have luggage-class.
  • Impress friends at parties with your tales of elegant overland excursions from underneath a bus.
  • Why gaze at the countryside when you can gaze at yourself in the dark? It’s totally ironic. You’ll be the hippest hipster around.

So get with the times and join the hottest, most exclusive luxury travel club on the planet. Arrive at your next destination in style with luggage-class! ★

Would you pay to travel in luggage-class?

Any Questions Or Comments?

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54 Comments

  1. Lol! Love it! We are currently doing Cambodia on a motorbike. Just today we were discussing taking our ‘young adult’ children on a tour through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam via train and buses. I have now decided to do it luggage class! That will teach them a thing or two about roughing it!

  2. I will agree with you on one point, you can’t see what’s happening, like the driver playing chicken with oncoming traffic. I was placed upstairs on the front seat for my last bus ride, 13 hours from Mukdahan to Pattaya, 13 hours of hell, I thought I was going to die on several occasions.

    First time I heard of luggage class though, and deepest respect to you for trying it. Something I certainly don’t mind experiencing second hand.

  3. Tears in my eyes…actual tears from laughing. Plus, don’t you LOVE how stuff like this is perfectly legal all over SE Asia? And can you imagine the uproar if something like this was allowed in the West? Just one more reason we need to chillax….maybe next up, luggage class on airplanes??

  4. At first I thought… No… Couldn’t be. But it was. Respect for taking that road less traveled (in the dark with babies).

    And no, I have never traveled luggage class. Apparently, based on your description, I have traveled first class, but only on a coach. In Taiwan it’s pretty cheap, and after a weekend in the south, comfy seats are appreciated.

    But this sounds like a journey that is also an adventure unto itself. As all good journeys should be. Thanks for the story. Not quite as good as your holy tattoo, though. That was terrifyingly awesome. Stay safe on those travels!

  5. Glad I met you in person a few days ago for many reasons, including hearing this story from you ‘live.’ Holy crap–it’s SO funny!

    Free massages, huh?

    Love the photos! And glad it wasn’t an overnight journey. That would have been too much, I think. :)

  6. Wow! I’ve never heard of luggage class before. It was very brave of you to travel down there, I’m not sure I could have handled a trip without windows.

  7. Very cool, that’s a new way to travel for sure. never heard of such bus “seats” or tickets. I imagine that if it was only 2-3 of you down there it could be quite comfortable and peaceful…maybe? But the crowded, lack of personal space issues make it a no-go for me.

  8. Kudos I had to travel to Kolkata in summers to attend a wedding and had the best sauna in the sleeper train car with our upper berths. I can really understand what you mean but I just love air and views too much to be luggage traveling

  9. To me, the most appealing aspect of luggage class travel has to be the lack of speakers. I wouldn’t even care if I had five people sitting on top of me as I sweated out every drop of moisture in my body, not having to listen to Thai pop music at a nightclub-level volume would make it all worth it.

  10. Ha, sounds like an adventure, for sure! I think the inability to see the sketchy driving maneuvers made by the driver would be the highlight in my book!!

  11. You’re hilarious and perhaps a little, dare I say… narcissistic with your full-on enjoyment of staring at yourself for all those hours – I can’t stop laughing.

  12. This is pee your pants HILARIOUS. Seriously.

    I think the best part of this article is when you refer to the fact that you don’t have to watch the drivers play chicken with oncoming traffic.

    TOTALLY true. Never would have thought of that.

    I had to drug myself (with legal substances, of course) into a comma to get through bus rides in Vietnam. Terrifying.

    We are currently in Eastern Europe — Next bus ride – I am going to inquire about Luggage Class tickets.

    BRILLIANT

  13. I have never seen such type buses running in our area. If it do, i would definitely share my feelings. However I have travel on roof for so many time even a long distance, it always awesome but face becomes so ugly….

    1. I think it was the same for all of us getting on from that small town. $80 baht for a 1.5 hour ride. Didn’t realize I was buying a “luggage class” seat until the luggage guy pointed for me to get inside! Most of the passengers bought their tickets in Bangkok.

  14. Haha, brilliant post Matthew. I was wondering at the title what could you possible be talking about :)

    This is what travelling is all about – experiences like that bus journey.

  15. well some say I have traveled far and wide. but i have not been in the luggage on a bus. (and its two years today since i arrived in Thailand).
    yes entertaining. but i agree with other comments, on the roof is the best seat.
    some of us just need to see where we are going and have fresh air in the face. maybe thats why we also like push biking too.
    the other form of transport i have not experience is hitch hiking a lift in a car transporter, and sitting in one of the cars on top. “one day, a travellers day”

    in the early days of trains back here in NZ we would ride in the cargo carriage. now that was comfort.

  16. I have yet to travel in such luxury although once I flew in a chartered aircraft and prior to taking off they asked for 4 people that wanted to be moved into first class. I readily accepted and then found out we had to load all the luggage first. Still, I got into first class.

  17. Seriously, in all my years of travel, I’ve never been in Luggage Class…I never thought I could afford it! Now that I know what I’ve been missing out on, I’ll be sure to save my baht and book that ticket next time I’m in Thailand.

    The closest we’ve gotten to Luggage Class was on the roof of a chicken bus in Indonesia….watch out for low hanging branches :(

    Cheers for the hilarious post!

  18. I definitely think I’d get sick if I rode in luggage-class. I love your humorous and positive take on the situation, though.

  19. This post is HILARIOUS! I LOVE the way you were able to describe SO many unique aspects of this experience. Each paragraph contained a new surprise, and I chuckled all the way through it! And…I’m glad you made it to your destination!

  20. OMG- I didn’t know they actually sold tickets for those seats. Hysterical post. Way to be a trooper and literally ride that one out. I remember I was on an overnight bus from BKK to the ferry for Koh Tao and I had a non-reclining seat down below, which was wonky and so for the entire ride, I had to balance on one butt cheek to keep from spilling into my neighbor. I thought that was a nightmare. But you take the prize.

  21. Uhhh, I am so claustrophobic that just reading this got me anxious! Was the door locked and you had to wait for someone to open it in order to get out? Freakyyyyy. Note to self: No luggage-class travel for me! Good on you for finding the positives in the situation though. :P

  22. Matt
    I’m all in! I agree fully with random travel experiences are best. I still tell people about lieing down under the bikes on a train in europe. Awesome funny memories and free ride…lol. cheers

  23. This post was Hilarious. but what I loved most was the photograph of you enjoying your complimentary sauna. You can really see the love of the adventure in your eyes and the childlike glee felt when taking the road less traveled. I envied you the second I read ‘Luggage Class’ in the title, but your writing really transported me there and made me yearn for more.

    I think people forget that the most memorable experiences we have are the strangest and the unplanned. We might mention the pristine cleanness of a hotel room or the comfort of an air conditioned coach, but never with the same passion I read in this post. Thank you for sharing this, it made my day.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Rick! I did seem to be the only one enjoying my time under that bus…

      Definitely one of my favorite aspects of travel — completely random & unusual moments like this one. :)

  24. No, I haven’t, but I’ve ridden on the roof of a few. No way I could do that, I’d be the one vomiting, it must make you so car, or bus, sick. You’re a brave man! How much money did it save you?