Post # 1
Putting the last few details on our honeymoon itinerary and am really unsure of what the “better” choice is!
Darling Husband and I have a 14-hour international flight and we’re booked in first class. It’s a USA-based carrier so it’s not as extravagant as an Asian-based carrier but still should be quite lovely. We have a 2-hour layover, during which we will clear customs/immigration and probably have a quick shower. We then have a 2-hour flight the rest of the way home. Our choices for that last leg:
-Domestic first class (USA-based airline) but land at the crappy, over-crowded airport that’s about a 45-minute drive home; our checked bags will probably take 15-20 minutes to come out on the belt. We’d need a friend to pick us up, a car service groupon to go on sale, or an $80 taxi ride (super shuttle isn’t an option; it’d only save us $40 or so on the ride and the thought of being the 4th drop-off after a long travel day makes me want to put a stick in my eye)
-Domestic coach, same airline, landing at the awesome and efficient airport 15 minutes from our house; our bags are always out in 5-10 minutes and the taxi fare is $25
The ticket cost is identical as we’re using miles and the international first class is how they set the cost. We do fly a lot and get upgraded a lot, so domestic first (which on a 2-hour flight is basically free drinks and snacks and a bigger chair) doesn’t have the “wow, must do” factor, but on the other hand, after a long posh flight in a chair that turns into a bed, being squished in 3 to a row doesn’t sound too awesome. Either flight gets us to our front door at mostly the same time (the flight to the good airport leaves about 30 minutes later), and the price of the longer cab ride annoys me just on general principals; we can definitely find budget for it.
What would you do, and why?
ETA: the flight to the “good” airport with the shorter drive has about 30-40 minute longer layover, so the actual on-the-front-doorstep time is pretty much the same either way.
Post # 3
After 14 hours I would just want to be home so the coach 2 hour ride and a short drive home is what I would do.
Post # 4
I’d go with the domestic coach and get home. You already are in FC for the majority/painful leg of the trip. I’d want to get home ASAP.
Post # 5
For just a 2 hour flight, I would go with coach and the more efficient airport. We live near a super efficient airport and it’s awesome. I HATE arriving at the overcrowded, inefficient airport.
Post # 6
It’s 2 hours. I’d much rather get my ass home quickly when I land.
Post # 7
It’s just 2 hours–definitely choose whatever will get you the hell away from the airport and your day of travel the fastest. Even though for a second I thought “def 1st class” but that’s because I’ve never flown first class and thought it would be bad ass! But, then again, I’m envisioning first class as looking like the plane in Sex and the City 2 (yes, I did see it, as much as I hate to admit it)
Post # 8
First class on a domestic flight is a joke. Time matters more to me than that slightly bigger still uncomfortable seat.
Post # 9
Well the thing is, because the flight to the “good” airport leaves ~30-40 minutes later and is blocked for a slightly long trip, we’ll walk through the front door at home at pretty much the same time either way. So we either have a longer drive, or a longer layover. That’s part of what makes it so hard to pick!
Post # 10
The airport is stressful as it is, knowingly going to the bad one just seems more stressful to me! Even if it is the same time home, the stress level in that time is lower.
Post # 11
Coach, definitely. For a two hour flight at the end of a very long day I don’t think coach versus first class will be a priority. Getting home as soon as possible, that will be your priority. If the drive is shorter go for coach considering neither of you will really be awake enough for a long distrance drive.
….flew first class on my way home from Russia, I slept through most of the perks.
Post # 12
So even if the times are the same, I would still pick the less hectic airport. Even if the less hectic airport meant a slightly longer layover, I absolutely hate worrying and dealing with the stress of an inefficient airport.
Post # 13
Definitey domestic coach for the 2 hours and get home quicker. I find that first class on a 2 hour or less flight within the USA or Canada isn’t that special. It’s your overseas flights that are really worth the upgrade! I try to always fly first class when I am crossing oceans and never fly first class if it’s a 4 hour or less flight.
Post # 14
Coach for all of the reasons that the posters above have mentioned.
Post # 15
So we either have a longer drive, or a longer layover I think that having the longer layover could be a help to you – by the time you clear customs, take showers, and grab a bite to eat, 2 hours may not be enough.
Post # 16
Ha! Do you live the DC area? That sounds like my options when I need to pick between BWI and DCA.
I agree with PPs that coach is the way to go. You may really want the extra half hour if you’ll need to go through customs and want to shower. You can relax a bit more and not feel the need to rush as much. And if your incoming flight is delayed at all, you’ll have a longer buffer.