Whats the diference between first & second class


Jan 6, 2006
I have a question. Maybe a silly one, but I really need to know.
- Where the second class passengers the same as the first class passengers? I mean did they eat with each other and did they chare the same promenade deck, or was first class still better? (Am I right that the first deck was for first class passengers and the second for second class passengers? or did the first class passengers had more decks? this is actualy my question.) :)


Jeremy Lee

Jun 12, 2003
>>I mean did they eat with each other and did they chare the same promenade deck, or was first class still better?<<

Nope, different classes ate separately and each class had their separate promenade deck.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
As Jermey said, the 2cnd cabin had their own facilities, cabins and public rooms which were destinctly seperate from 1st Class. 1st Class as a whole had more in the way of luxuries such as the pool, the sqash court, and also more ornate cabins. 2cnd Class was a bit more spartan, but not by much.

>>(Am I right that the first deck was for first class passengers and the second for second class passengers? or did the first class passengers had more decks? this is actualy my question.) :) <<

Not exactly. They had their own space spread out on several decks, but not quite a monopoly on any one. If you go to the Index Page and scroll to the bottom, you can see the genral plans here on ET where the class boundries are marked out.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
Basically, you got what you paid for. Very roughly, it cost about twice as much to travel 2nd class as 3rd Class, and twice as much as 2nd Class for the cheapest 1st Class tickets. For paying more you got more space, more and better facilities, better food and more 'hotel' staff per passenger.
Jan 5, 2001
Why there was much difference between first class and 2nd class.
First class : Squash, swimming pool, gym, turkish bath, restaurant, veranda, cafe parissien, library, a la carte, hairdresser, smoking room, reading room...
Second class : only smoking room, restaurant, library. The contrast for me was very big, the white star could have done a bar , a gym or a place for children, with 3rd class there weren't very difference in accomodation, only the library and rooms, and the prices of the tickets were more, more expensive in comparision with 3rd class.
May 3, 2005
ANTR gives the impression that classes didn't mix. Third class didn't associate with First and Second. Second Class didn't associate with First and Third. And First most definitely didn't associate with Second and Third .And they were all strictly segregated by class.
Jan 5, 2001
why there were so many differences between the services offered to the differences classes, specially between the first and the second class.
May 7, 2005
You can look at it this way. A big new ship is going to bring in big bucks. By advertising that 1st class on the Titanic was the most luxurious way to travel, the White Star Line is going to want to please it's passengers. With the advertising (example- 1911 Shipbuilder), the rich and wealthy are sure to come and sail for a week. And when the ship receives the passengers, how will they have room to enjoy the features if they are cramped. Try looking at the pages 12 - 15 in Discovery of the Titanic. It gives you a sense of the area that the 1st Class opulence. Please note though, that Titanic did have rather attractive features, but there were other shipping lines that possessed ships just as if not more luxurious than the White Star Line.

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
We tend to forget that most first class accommodation was in glorified dog boxes. Titanic could carry 905 first class passengers, nearly all in little cabins that would disgrace a second rate motel. We mostly see the 39 luxury suites, with their fancy woodwork. They were for a wealthy few.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>why there were so many differences between the services offered to the differences classes, specially between the first and the second class.<<

It just boils down to "You get what you pay for." and since First Cabin paid the premium rates, they got the premium service in return.

Third class had come a long way from what it started out as in the early sail and steam packets. In those days, they paid for bare passage and were treated little better then cargo. They even had to provide their own food and bedding for the voyage. By the turn of the century, things had changed for the better. 3rd Class had cabins/dorms, bedding, stewards, and food that was included in the price of the ticket. Some of this was forced by regulatory changes and some were offered by lines competing with others for the lucerative immigrant trade. Nevertheless, it was still largely a no-frills deal where the passengers were kept in reasonable comfort, but beyond that were left to their own devices.

Kyrila Scully

Apr 15, 2001
South Florida
Carl, you should understand that the class system of the Edwardian age was quite defined and certainly a different way of life than what our parents were used to. Yet, in a way, we're nearly returning to such a distinction of class in our time. I'm sure you may have heard the expression "know your place." It goes back to the days of the class system. You had the upper class, same as you do today which consists of your wealthy captains of industry and celebrity. Then there's the middle class who live comfortably and enjoy a few luxuries on occasion. Finally you have the poor - the lower class, who barely eck out a living for them and theirs. Back then, it was considered impossible for the classes to mix, although today that's not always the case, even though tabloids try to scandalize such events. A man of Astor's breeding and position was scandalized by his marriage to young Madeleine Force. Comparably was the marriage of Donald Trump to unknown model, Marla Maples. While the wealthy may come into contact with the poor through charitable work, it was largely the middle class who bore the brunt of such work. Certainly it was shocking and unheard of in those days for a person of low class to try to work his way up to the upper class, while today it's commonplace and acceptable, even admired.

I wish I could recommend some literature to help explain the difference in class systems then and now, but I hope my humble explanation gives you some understanding.



Nov 21, 2014
Edinboro, Pennsylvania US
Interesting enough, the cheapest first class ticket one could buy would be for 26 pounds. Many of the first class passengers traveling alone would have had to take second class if they were going on the voyage with their spouse for example. The same could be said for second class passengers. The standard price for two people traveling together in second class was about 26 pounds. If any of those people were traveling alone, they probably could have afforded the first class ticket.

Also, in the book Titanic The Ship Magnificent Volume 2 mentions that many first and second class passengers knew each other and that it wouldn't be uncommon for a luncheon or meeting to be arranged. This however, would not have been acceptable for any one from third class.

One final thing, the Sage family paid 69 pounds for all eleven family members. Say if only two were traveling, they could have gone first class. Shows that perhaps if some of these larger families on board were more cognizant of financial issues and having too many children that resulted in poverty.

Adam Went

Apr 28, 2003
Michael raised a really interesting point - second and even third class accommodation was a step up from what passengers would ordinarily have been used to. I'm not sure what the percentage of space for each class on board the ship would have been, but yes, unless you had a private promenade deck or something in first class, then it was more a case of just having luxurious cabins and stewards to wait hand and foot on you - along with a more prime position on the ship of course, and access to the finest dining areas which the second and third class passengers didn't have. Titanic was promoting luxury and opulence above all else. So really the only differences between second and first class would have been quality of rooms and access to the more glamorous parts of the ship.


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