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Do McKinsey Consultants Fly Business Class? Revealed

There’s a fair few perks that come with working at McKinsey. But is business class travel one of them?

After interviewing a few employees, I’ve discovered McKinsey consultants do fly business class, but it depends on: 

  • Strict or lenient policies and budgets of the clients and their projects
  • Preferences of the consultants to fly business class
  • Seniority or experience level at the firm 
  • Duration of the flight for work

To give you the details, I’ll answer, “Do McKinsey consultants fly business class when traveling for work” in some pretty serious details!

I’ll also discuss: 

  • Benefits of traveling business class for work at McKinsey
  • Traveling frequency at McKinsey
New York Skyline looking over Central Park

Do You Fly Business Class As A Consultant?

McKinsey & Company provides services to leading businesses, institutions, and government organizations. (Source)

Since the firm has clients worldwide, its consultants often travel from one city or country to another. So, as an aspiring individual pursuing a career at the firm, you might be wondering whether the consultants get any privileges when traveling for work. 

Well, McKinsey consultants do fly business class, particularly on longer international flights, to ensure they are well-rested and can focus on their work when they meet the clients. (Source)

However, there are some factors that may force you to travel in the economy or coach class as a consultant:

1. Policies and Budget of the Client

The decision of whether you might fly business class or not, depends on a few things, such as:

  • The company policies
  • The budget of the client
  • The nature of the project

Some projects or clients may have a strict budget limitation that requires you to fly economy, while others may allow you to travel luxuriously. 

2. Preferences of Consultants

Even if your client’s budget does not entitle you to fly business class, I’ve got some exciting news for you!

You’ll get a platinum status in almost every airline since you usually have so much air time while working at McKinsey. This means you can use your miles and upgrade to business class every time. 

3. Experience Level

Your position or seniority level as a consultant at McKinsey also affects your chances of flying business class while traveling for work. 

For instance, if you are working as an Associate Partner or Principal consultant, you can travel in business class for all your domestic and international flights.

So it seems that after 6-7 years of your service at McKinsey, you get eligible for more luxurious flights.

4. Duration 

The length or duration of flight is another big factor that decides the travel class.

The general rule of thumb is that if your flight is more than 3.5-5 hours, McKinsey will book business class for you.

However, this is affected by:

  • Travel for training or internal events
  • Lower frequency for travel between client location and home office
  • Business constraints 


The table below will show you the relation between the duration and travel class while working at McKinsey:

DurationTravel Class 
Short Flight or 1-3.5 hoursEconomy
Long Flights of 3.5 to 5 hoursUsually, business, but it depends on the circumstances
InternationalAlways business


Airport checking in area

Benefits of Traveling Business Class At Mckinsey

While you can travel business class while working as a McKinsey consultant, let me tell you some benefits you can enjoy during these flights.

1. Comfortable Seating

Business class seating is notably comfortable because they are wider and adjustable as per your preferences; even set them flat like a bed!

They also have more legroom, along with a headrest and footrest, to experience a more relaxed and restful flight, which helps you get proper sleep and meet the McKinsey client with more positive energy. (Source)

2. More Space To Work

Since you get more space in business class flights, you can even set up your mini office while traveling. Most importantly, the seating arrangement allows you to have more privacy and concentrate on your work without any distractions. (Source)

This way, you can present your slides, discuss your project, or share important documents with the seniors at McKinesy before the meeting with the client.

3. Better Amenities

As a McKinsey consultant, you have to travel from one place to another frequently and need proper meals during your flights to stay healthy. 

This is where business class travel comes in handy!

During these flights, you can enjoy a variety of meals and beverages and even choose from different menus that suit your tastebuds.  

There’s more! You are allowed to take more luggage with you without paying any extra fees or taxes. (Source)

4. Special Perks

While traveling in business class, you get some special perks, too! The airline staff gives you priority in:

  • Baggage handling
  • Check-in process
  • Security screening
  • Boarding on plane
  • Immigration process

You also get access to the VIP lounge, where you can work on your client’s project, access Wi-Fi, read a magazine, or enjoy other complimentary amenities. (Source)

Frequency of Travels At McKinsey

Although you get to fly business class while working at McKinsey, the frequency of travel can disrupt your whole routine. 

If you are an Associate, Manager, or BA, you are likely to fly 3 to 4 nights per week to the same clients you are working with. 

While in a more senior position like Partner or Principal, you have to travel to different clients each week for 3 to 4 days. In fact, you might have to commute for 2 weeks sometimes. (Source)

Here’s what a consultant at McKinsey has to say about traveling, “The work is fulfilling, and the people are highly intelligent and driven, to be sure, but the hours are long (16-hour days on the regular), and the work involves Monday-Thursday travel.” (Source)

Wrapping Up!

So, do McKinsey consultants fly business class? In this article, I’ve answered your question in detail, discussed the benefits of flying business class, and how many flights you can expect while working at the firm.

I hope these insights help you better understand the traveling policy for consultants at McKinsey. 

If you’re looking to see what other kinds of perks you may be able to look forward to if you get a job at McKinsey, then I found the following Youtube video really went into lots of depth about this:


  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.