Post # 1
We have a fantastic, luxurious honeymoon planned in the South Pacific. We’re using our airline miles to fly to the islands but have to get ourselves from NYC to LA. I’m debating whether or not 1st class is worth using all of our miles. Keep in mind, the flight from LA to the islands is around 10 hours and we’re flying economy class- no miles to wrangle on that leg of the trip. So, I’m just considering the flights that bookend the big 10 hr flight.
Option A: Use 50K miles total for both of us to fly economy class, non-stop from NY to LA. This option would allow us to have about 10-15K remaining miles to put toward future travel.
Option B: Use ALL of our 65K miles plus purchase remaining miles ($800) to buy enough miles to get us 1st class tickets on non-stop flights both ways.
Option C: Something in between. We can use about 1/2 of the same miles and fly 1st class, non-stop from NY to LA. And fly business class (plus one stop) on the way back.
I’ve always fantasized about flying 1st class. As we take the trip of a lifetime, I feel like maybe we should go for it. I also like the idea of feeling less stress and pampered right as we come down from all of the stressful wedding planning. And compared to the cost of a 1st class ticket ($2300) spending around $800 feels like a bargain! On the other hand, I’ve never flown 1st class or business class and I don’t know if it’s worth it – especially since we’ll be flying economy for the larger of the two legs of the flight. And on yet another hand, since we’re flying economy for 10 hrs it might be great to start and end with a 1st class flight. And, what’s the deal with business class? It seems like it might be a rip off and potentially disappointing!
Which option would you choose? (i’d love to hear your rationale if you vote- I’m driving myself crazy @ this!)
Just thought of another option to add to the poll, but can’t figure out how to edit the poll…
We could fly one leg of the NY to LA in economy and the other 1st class. If we did this would you suggest 1st class on the way to the honeymoon or at the end?
Post # 3
I would get the first class. My husband and I flew economy class to Australia and the flight out was good because it wasn’t booked so we each just snuck into our own row to lay down but the flight back was packed so I didn’t sleep the entire way because the one chair is uncomfortable.
Post # 4
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I would say go for it if it were a longer flight and if you wouldn’t have to spend any extra money on top of the miles, but as it is I’m not sure it would be worth it. But I might change my mind if you were flying at an uncomforable time like very early morning or late at night when you would want that extra comfort…
But then again, it is your honeymoon. If that isn’t an excuse to pamper yourself then what is?
Post # 5
I’d pick option C since we’re only talking about the shorter legs of the trip. If you were able to upgrade for the 10 hr flight, I’d say do it in a heartbeat. I’ve flown economy and business to China (business on an international flight is similar to First on a domestic) and the difference was HUGE. (Big, roomy, fully extendable reclining seats that almost lie flat for sleeping, meal service, more movies). But, I don’t think it’s SO much better on a shorter flight to warrant the $800 extra. So I’d say use your miles to do the combination upgrade of first/business and don’t spend any extra money. You’ll still get to enjoy first/business domestically without shelling out all the extra cash.
Post # 6
I don’t know what airline you are flying for the ‘bookend’ flights, but with Continental, if they have 1st class seats available when you check-in online 24 hours prior to departure, you can upgrade for a really reasonable price. We’ve been doing this for our past few flights and it’s only been around $50-$70 per person. I don’t know if other airlines do this too, but if you decide you want to save your miles for another trip, this would be something to look out for when you check in.
Post # 7
Julialimei – what is the difference between business class and 1st class on domestic flights?
Post # 8
I voted for B, just because I feel like in this case you probably want to be as comfortable and happy as possible. Plus, when else do you really have the excuse to blow all the miles 😛
Post # 9
@gammongirl: I have to say that I’m not entirely sure in general, but my experience has been that they are the same thing on domestic flights (at least on United short haul domestic flights).
When I’ve flown business class (which has always been on United Airlines for work travel), we fly a domestic leg (DC-Chicago) and an international leg (Chicago-China). We always book “business” not “first.” On the domestic leg, there are just two classes–economy and business/first. For the DC-Chicago flight, this just meant that we were up in the front section of the plane in that separated section of 4 or so rows. We had bigger/better seats and were served complimentary drinks/snacks.
On the Chicago-China leg, there were three classes: Economy, Business, and First. The business class seats on that leg were nicer than the business class seats domestically and reclined fully (with foot rests too) so that you could almost lie down. We also got comp meals and beverages and had personal tvs/movies. But on that flight, First was EVEN nicer and almost looked like individual cubicles for folks to spread out in.
Hope that helps some. I have the feeling that it varies by airline and by the type of plane they are using (which is prob related to the length of your flight).
Post # 10
I fly frequently from LA to Cleveland, (about 1.5 hrs less than NY), and really I don’t think first class makes that much of a difference. The food is better and the drinks are free, but I would not spend all of the miles on the difference. Do look into upgrading when you check in, then you can save more money/miles. I think either way you will be excited, so save the miles while you can!
Post # 11
Hmm, upgrading when we check in- I haven’t even thought of that option! It might stress me out to leave something like that to chance and the last minute. We’re taking American Airlines – does anyone know if they give that same upgrade option at check-in?
Post # 12
I got bumped up to first class on American for free (gold status) a few months ago, and while roomier and with better service, it wouldn’t be worth giving up a free trip at another time to me. I’m super tall (6’1″) so the extra room was nice, but seriously, it wasn’t worth missing out on another trip for miles. I love traveling too much for that!
Post # 13
First class, without question. This is the most important trip of your life, and you deserve the treatment you’ll get first class… particularly on such a long flight!
Post # 14
I’ve flown international business a few times. It’s nice, but it isn’t THAT big of a deal. I’d rather deal with the economy seats, then use my miles for another trip down the road.
Post # 15
I agree…domestic business is not super exciting, but international business is so much nicer.
Post # 16
im a fan of going as many places as possible.
use the miles for more trips for you guys.
then again, ive never taken anything other than economy class so what do i know.
well, i know that i want to travel as much as possible.