Going First Class

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Maya1234
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Going First Class

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm

When I inherited several million dollars last year we decided that while we had no interest in a nicer home, fancy cars, expensive clothes, watches, handbags etc... we were only gonna to fly first class. The reactions when I have told people have been interesting often expressions of disbeief. Like from my co- workers who know my situation ( they worked on the estate I inherited from) and have as much money as I do. Many drive 80K cars and have pricy watches on their wrist or expensive handbags. But flying first class, that seems extraordinary. Or the guy at the airport who asked me how we " scored" upgrades for the whole family when he a high status with the airline guy couldn't. When I told him we were full pay his mouth dropped open. Even though there was a handbag on his wife's arm that cost well more than 10x what we paid for those tickets. So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?

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Pajamas
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Pajamas » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:12 pm

Maybe that handbag was fake? Or maybe it was because you were taking public transportation when you could obviously afford not to do so?

jebmke
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Re: Going First Class

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:16 pm

Why did you feel the urge to tell someone? I don't even tell people we're flying anywhere, period. Except my spouse - so she can pack a bag.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

ResearchMed
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Re: Going First Class

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:20 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
When I inherited several million dollars last year we decided that while we had no interest in a nicer home, fancy cars, expensive clothes, watches, handbags etc... we were only gonna to fly first class. The reactions when I have told people have been interesting often expressions of disbeief. Like from my co- workers who know my situation ( they worked on the estate I inherited from) and have as much money as I do. Many drive 80K cars and have pricy watches on their wrist or expensive handbags. But flying first class, that seems extraordinary. Or the guy at the airport who asked me how we " scored" upgrades for the whole family when he a high status with the airline guy couldn't. When I told him we were full pay his mouth dropped open. Even though there was a handbag on his wife's arm that cost well more than 10x what we paid for those tickets. So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
Why are you discussing "how" you got those tickets, especially with a stranger? And especially while traveling?

We travel F on long-haul now, with points. But we rarely tell most of our friends/colleagues (just a few who are very close, who will be more likely to be happy for us rather than envious/annoyed that we mentioned it).
We do it for *our* comfort, not for bragging rights.
(And ditto if we happen to use luxury accommodations along the way. What is to be gained by announcing it? Just like, why would someone announce purchasing some other pricey item? Yeah, there are various reasons, but for us, it's not anyone else's business. The few times someone comments on something "nice" I have, I smile, thank them, and then might mumble something about how much I enjoy it.)

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

123
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Re: Going First Class

Post by 123 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 pm

The only First Class thing we regularly buy is stamps.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

MikeZ
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Re: Going First Class

Post by MikeZ » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:29 pm

I've read that Amex Plat travel has good discounts for first class sometimes for over the phone bookings.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Going First Class

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:29 pm

You can't be that rich if you still have to fly commercial.

No, but seriously. I would fly first if I could afford it. I would probably dress like a street person, too, because that's what I do now that I'm retired. Or maybe street person with a really nice out-of-style sports coat.

You have learned that people want to spend money on different things. If I had lots I would spend a fair amount on comfortable travel. Although I'd still buy a nice new car now and then, and maybe fix up the kitchen.

daveydoo
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Re: Going First Class

Post by daveydoo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:30 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
I think because almost no one in First Class actually pays for First Class anymore. You're an endangered species. It's like going to Morton's without a corporate expense account or a coupon, etc. I don't think it's contempt -- I think it's genuine surprise. It's not just a "reward"; it's a commodity.

I agree with your reasoning. I've flown hundreds and hundreds of segments but never sat in First Class. An ill and elderly (and very frugal) relative flew First Class toward the end of her life -- the accommodations were simply worth the price of entry.

Ron
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Ron » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:37 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:29 pm
You can't be that rich if you still have to fly commercial.
How true :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

Maya1234
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:39 pm

As I said I told my co-workers because as we sat around and they discussed with me the dollar amont i would be receiving from my aunts estate ( they were doing the work) they asked me " so do you guys think you'll move? Or get a new car? And I told them nope but first class. Probably very few people are in a situation where their dearest friends are co-workers who by virtue of that job knew your financial situation but those are my circumstances.

As for the guy, he said something to me like " wow you must have huge status I'm ultra platinum diamond elite" (lol. Kidding but whatever it was some high status) and I was like nope we just paid for these babies.

flyingaway
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Re: Going First Class

Post by flyingaway » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:44 pm

For domestic flights of a few hours, I do not think it makes a huge difference for different classes of seats. You do get a free meal and some wine in first class. But I can get better meals and wine at an airport restaurant before or after the flight, for a fraction of the money.

However, for international flights of more than 8 hours, a business class seat is what I want, if I had a few millions of extra dollars. (I have no hope of any inheritance).

jebmke
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Re: Going First Class

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:49 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:39 pm
As for the guy, he said something to me like " wow you must have huge status I'm ultra platinum diamond elite" (lol. Kidding but whatever it was some high status) and I was like nope we just paid for these babies.
The best way to shut people like this down is to not treat a statement like a question. When their statements result in dead silence, they shut up and go on with their business.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:50 pm

DW and I are very frugal. However I have to fly lst class due to health issues, seat ergonomics, access, etc.
The reactions from others (even on the plane) is indeed quite interesting.

Perhaps it is human nature, for some (not all) to focus on socio-economic disparity rather than the positive things we all share in common. Some would rather bicker than converse. Others would rather find things more substantive and in common. And so forth.

Actionably:
As is said on the forum, "ignore the noise" -- applies to much more than investment finance.
And, per the Wiki on "Managing a Windfall", "Tell no one."

I recently read:
"What others think of you is not your business." Dr. Wayne Dyer.

munemaker
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Re: Going First Class

Post by munemaker » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:52 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
You are paying a lot to get a little.

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Taylor Larimore
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Jack Bogle flew coach class

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:54 pm

Bogleheads:

One of the first stories I heard about my hero, Jack Bogle, was that when he was working for Vanguard (which he founded) he always flew coach class. I had doubts about this until his secretary confirmed it.

Jack knew it would save money for his shareholders and set an example for his employees.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:57 pm

I used to always fly first class back in the early days of reward travel. As one of the first Gold Grand Pubah class members of US-Scare, I'd get upgrades even for 15 minute flights from Cleveland to Pittsburgh (true story). I can't remember any reactions from anyone except for that one time our whole family was flying to Aruba and were able to walk by the entire coach class waiting for security. I remember saying to my wife: "If there's a line, we're in the wrong place".

Ah, the days. These days, I am in "Nobody Class, and you better like it".
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Maya1234
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm

the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.

Jags4186
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:00 pm

Depending where you fly and your ability to take advantages of deals, it’s not all that more expensive to fly first class vs coach if you are flexible. There are regularly sub $2000 deals to fly business class/first class to Europe and many sub $1000 first class fares within the US. Non deal prices on coach are usually $900-$1200. So it’s not that much more.

Now of course if you’re buying 4x $5000 tickets then it’s awfully expensive.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Going First Class

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:00 pm

Flying coach - crowded, dirty, noisy, germ/disease covered, filthy bathrooms, etc. I'd absolutely pay for and fly First class every time if I had the budget to do so.

In the past I flew 2-3 times a month mostly for business for many years, being able to fly First class for a lot of that travel (mostly with points and upgrades) helped make the frequent flying a lot more tolerable. ...but I would not do it again for 10x what I was paid before retirement.

Long time ago I learned not to be impressed by the folks in the FC cabin - the vast majority of them were shmucks like me that had to be the airplane almost every week to earn a living.

theplayer11
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Re: Going First Class

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:04 pm

Flew first class on points to Europe and thought it was much overrated. Unless you are very tall or overweight, coach seats are fine. I was actually annoyed by the attendants coming around what seemed like every half hour. No..I don't need to eat or drink every few hours, I don't do it at home and don't need to on a plane.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Going First Class

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:12 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:04 pm
Flew first class on points to Europe and thought it was much overrated. Unless you are very tall or overweight, coach seats are fine. I was actually annoyed by the attendants coming around what seemed like every half hour. No..I don't need to eat or drink every few hours, I don't do it at home and don't need to on a plane.
I'm of average weight and height male and I think it is a night and day difference - especially on an overnight or overseas flight. I will have the seat in front of me jammed into my legs if the person in front of me decides to put it back - and/or have the guy next to me being shoulder-to-shoulder touching. And then there is the arm-rest battle with the person next to me. And while I'm average weight - oftentimes the person next to me is not and is literally spilling into my seat. With first class - plenty of leg room - own arm rest - more comfortable seat - not a guilty feeling if I want to recline - a glass of water anytime I want it - ....

OP: A lot of people are of the mindset that they will only take the first class seats when they can get upgraded for free or when they have enough points to get them for free. I have flown a family of 4 first class before just with free tickets due to enough points. Once you become used to getting something for free it becomes more difficult to pay for it which may be part of the attitude of people not believing someone would put down a lot of money to do so.

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GerryL
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Re: Going First Class

Post by GerryL » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:20 pm

It all depends on the value you put on something, doesn't it?
I am now able to afford to pay $100 for a nice blouse, but I would never spend that kind of money on clothing.
The other day I finally bit the bullet and paid almost $100 for a good seat at a musical I've been wanting to see.
I've been paying to upgrade to "comfort" seats for the past couple of years, and I'm getting close to opting for first/business class on international flights. (I got a deal on a flight to South America in biz class and may be persuaded to aim for it on future trips.)

I wear a Timex watch and carry a 5c iPhone with no plans to upgrade.

researcher
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Re: Going First Class

Post by researcher » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."

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gasman
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Re: Going First Class

Post by gasman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:53 pm

If you are tall or wide, full pay first class is well worth it for this tall and wide bogelhead who still drives a Camry and lives in a house that costs less than one year's salary.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Going First Class

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:08 pm

"People say" that no one pays full price for college, either, but some people do. Others get need based aid or merit aid, but many more pay full price than is commonly assumed.

Don't let it worry you. You can shop for bargains if you like, but if your priority is going at a certain time and date to a certain place and travelling in reasonable comfort, then pay for first class if you like. I have crossed my last ocean in coach. That's going to generate some interesting conversations with my spouse who does not come from a family of globetrotters, but we can afford it. It will take a lot of trips to spend as much as we spent for even a year of college.

As you travel more and pay for more expensive fares, you'll start earning upgrades, and then you can travel in the same seats but brag about how you are not paying for it.

SpaethCo
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Re: Going First Class

Post by SpaethCo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:16 pm

The biggest thing that I think most people overlook is time (and stress) saved at the airport flying first class - it's differentiated service from luggage check, through security, all the way to the plane.

- If you're checking bags, you can use the dedicated first class lines and skip often overcrowded regular bag check (also, baggage is included in first class fare)
- If pre-check lines are long, you can use the dedicated first class security lines
- If you're carrying on a bag, you're guaranteed there will be space for it
- No middle seat (no playing the "travel buddy" lottery with 3x3 seating configurations)

That said, I'm actually kinda glad most people don't find value in it -- it keeps the costs from getting too unreasonable.

invst65
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Re: Going First Class

Post by invst65 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:27 pm

I only envy first class passengers when it's a very long flight - like the 18 hour flight I took from JFK to Hong Kong a few years ago. About halfway through a flight like that I begin to envy those people who can lay down and sleep through it. Don't really care about the other perks but being able to lay down on a flight would make a world of difference.

What I'm getting in the habit of doing now that I'm retired and have more time is splitting long trips up into segments with a stopover in between. This can get expensive too but if you look for deals it's cheaper than flying first class and the last time I did it, the multi-segment trip actually came out cheaper than the full roundtrip ticket.

Bfwolf
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm

researcher wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."
I think you're the one missing the point. The OP never mentioned that he/she was bothered by the reactions of these people. Just surprised given what these people are willing to spend on material items. And curious what is it about first class that makes even pretty rich people feel like it's an over-the-top spend. There's absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question posed to him/her by his/her co-workers or the stranger at the airport.

To the OP, it's a good question, but I think the answer is that for lots of people, it just doesn't seem like good value to spend an extra $500 per person to sit in domestic first class for a few hours. I agree with those people. The benefits of International business class can be a lot more, especially on overnight flights, but the price difference is also usually a lot more, too. I've personally decided that there is value using POINTS to fly business class internationally (where it's usually about 2x points for biz class vs economy), but I'm not willing to spend $s for the same (where the price difference is usually 4x). Even when using points, I'll fly biz class TO Europe where it's an overnight flight and I need a lie-flat seat, but I'll still fly economy FROM Europe where it's just a regular daytime flight.

cutterinnj
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Re: Going First Class

Post by cutterinnj » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:33 pm

Never done a first class flight; don't quite understand it.
I can watch the Netflix shows I downloaded to my phone sitting semi-reclined almost as well as I can fully-reclined.
Would rather take the money and have a nice meal (or 10) later.

sambb
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Re: Going First Class

Post by sambb » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:35 pm

i dont understand why anyone cares either way. I love first class (international). Try emirates. Awesome. If i can afford it, why not.
On the other hand if you dont think it is valuable - thats great too. People spend on different things.

MrNewEngland
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Re: Going First Class

Post by MrNewEngland » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 pm

The only time I did first class was earlier this year when I flew to the Dominican Republic.

It was awesome and I would never fault anyone for doing it if it was the same as my flight to the DR. Everyone in first class had their own "pod" and there were free movies, booze, food... the seat reclined and your legs could stretch out almost to a laying down position.

Loved it so much I upgraded on the way back too... and that was a disappointment. The plane had the regular first class section and a little extra room was nice but I regretted the upgrade.

If it was always like the first flight I would do it every time.

dbr
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Re: Going First Class

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm
researcher wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."
I think you're the one missing the point. The OP never mentioned that he/she was bothered by the reactions of these people. Just surprised given what these people are willing to spend on material items. And curious what is it about first class that makes even pretty rich people feel like it's an over-the-top spend. There's absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question posed to him/her by his/her co-workers or the stranger at the airport.

To the OP, it's a good question, but I think the answer is that for lots of people, it just doesn't seem like good value to spend an extra $500 per person to sit in domestic first class for a few hours. I agree with those people. The benefits of International business class can be a lot more, especially on overnight flights, but the price difference is also usually a lot more, too. I've personally decided that there is value using POINTS to fly business class internationally (where it's usually about 2x points for biz class vs economy), but I'm not willing to spend $s for the same (where the price difference is usually 4x). Even when using points, I'll fly biz class TO Europe where it's an overnight flight and I need a lie-flat seat, but I'll still fly economy FROM Europe where it's just a regular daytime flight.
There are several criteria that work in different directions:

1. Not business/first is so awful any price and any machination of points, status, etc. is worth it.
2. Travel is inherently what it is and no distinction in classes of accommodation makes enough difference to worry about it.
3. As a point of dollar value the value of say $250 for hotels, meals, and activities not on an airplane is clearly large enough that no amenity on an airplane can be worth more than that.
4. Due to points and status I have so much more ability to fly business/first than I can ever use that it is insane not to do it.
5. Due to sheer wealth I have so much more ability to fly business/first than I can ever use that it is insane not to do it.
6. Even being able to travel at all is so nearly beyond my reach that only the least expensive accommodation is even conceivable.

123
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Re: Going First Class

Post by 123 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:44 pm

Back in the days before the internet when there were travel agents everywhere I remember one time I went to a travel agent to purchase a ticket for a plane reservation I had made over the phone. At the next desk an elderly woman was purchasing a ticket for her grandson to use to visit her during an upcoming school vacation. The travel agent asked the woman if she wanted to buy first class or coach. The woman said first class of course. The travel agent then quoted the fares and said something along the lines of "So the first class fare is $1,000 and the coach fare is $200 do you still want to buy first class". The woman replied "Well I always have flown first class but my husband always has bought the tickets. That's quite a difference in the price. I wonder do you think my grandson will be safe if he travels in coach?".
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Bfwolf
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:55 pm

dbr wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm
researcher wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."
I think you're the one missing the point. The OP never mentioned that he/she was bothered by the reactions of these people. Just surprised given what these people are willing to spend on material items. And curious what is it about first class that makes even pretty rich people feel like it's an over-the-top spend. There's absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question posed to him/her by his/her co-workers or the stranger at the airport.

To the OP, it's a good question, but I think the answer is that for lots of people, it just doesn't seem like good value to spend an extra $500 per person to sit in domestic first class for a few hours. I agree with those people. The benefits of International business class can be a lot more, especially on overnight flights, but the price difference is also usually a lot more, too. I've personally decided that there is value using POINTS to fly business class internationally (where it's usually about 2x points for biz class vs economy), but I'm not willing to spend $s for the same (where the price difference is usually 4x). Even when using points, I'll fly biz class TO Europe where it's an overnight flight and I need a lie-flat seat, but I'll still fly economy FROM Europe where it's just a regular daytime flight.
There are several criteria that work in different directions:

1. Not business/first is so awful any price and any machination of points, status, etc. is worth it.
2. Travel is inherently what it is and no distinction in classes of accommodation makes enough difference to worry about it.
3. As a point of dollar value the value of say $250 for hotels, meals, and activities not on an airplane is clearly large enough that no amenity on an airplane can be worth more than that.
4. Due to points and status I have so much more ability to fly business/first than I can ever use that it is insane not to do it.
5. Due to sheer wealth I have so much more ability to fly business/first than I can ever use that it is insane not to do it.
6. Even being able to travel at all is so nearly beyond my reach that only the least expensive accommodation is even conceivable.
I agree with all those. In the end, I think it comes down to:

1) I have such abundance, it would be insane not to fly first class (points 4 and 5)
2) I have so little, it would be insane to fly first class (point 6)
3) First class is good value for me personally (point 1)
4) First class is bad value for me personally (points 2 and 3)

Maya1234
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:56 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm
researcher wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."
I think you're the one missing the point. The OP never mentioned that he/she was bothered by the reactions of these people. Just surprised given what these people are willing to spend on material items. And curious what is it about first class that makes even pretty rich people feel like it's an over-the-top spend. There's absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question posed to him/her by his/her co-workers or the stranger at the airport.

To the OP, it's a good question, but I think the answer is that for lots of people, it just doesn't seem like good value to spend an extra $500 per person to sit in domestic first class for a few hours. I agree with those people. The benefits of International business class can be a lot more, especially on overnight flights, but the price difference is also usually a lot more, too. I've personally decided that there is value using POINTS to fly business class internationally (where it's usually about 2x points for biz class vs economy), but I'm not willing to spend $s for the same (where the price difference is usually 4x). Even when using points, I'll fly biz class TO Europe where it's an overnight flight and I need a lie-flat seat, but I'll still fly economy FROM Europe where it's just a regular daytime flight.
Thank you. That was exactly my point and my question. Not bothered by what these people think but find the reactions curious. I haven't had ( yet) to pay an extra $500 for first class. When I took my daughter to move to an apartment in Ny it was $ 260 more for First Class which included 2 suitcases checked of 70 lb each. Given that she was moving and we used the entire 70 lb's it was less than a hundred bucks over what I would have had to pay to get the same amount there. For a trip,to Seattle we paid 300 more which given that it a 4.5 hr flight I'm happy to pay.

And yes. My good friends and i talk about our spending plans. Just like boggle heads.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Going First Class

Post by BanquetBeer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:58 pm

Wow lots of strong opinions against talking to people.

I would guess most people would be surprised because when people travel they go for ~1 week and if you look at the upgrade cost (not shop for best FC price at beginning) it is usually a couple grand. Why spend a few grand for a week long flight to avoid the discomfort of coach?

Business class (same as first 90% of time) for long haul is in my goals as well but I don’t plan to be flying all the time. Get there and Travel slowly across until I reach another ocean I need to cross.

There are plenty of times I have looked and had an incredulous reaction to business class ticket price. Other times it’s a great deal. Flew business for Work many times where the ticket list price was $5k+

HornedToad
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Re: Going First Class

Post by HornedToad » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:06 pm

For me, all the value is a fully reclined seat so I can sleep. Therefore Business Class is the best option.

I'll definitely pay the upgrade in points for business but don't even bother to look at first class. I've done it twice and felt like I'd rather be in business class at the end of the day. Especially because when traveling with my I don't need solo seats, two next to each other is fine.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Artsdoctor » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:13 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
When I inherited several million dollars last year we decided that while we had no interest in a nicer home, fancy cars, expensive clothes, watches, handbags etc... we were only gonna to fly first class. The reactions when I have told people have been interesting often expressions of disbeief. Like from my co- workers who know my situation ( they worked on the estate I inherited from) and have as much money as I do. Many drive 80K cars and have pricy watches on their wrist or expensive handbags. But flying first class, that seems extraordinary. Or the guy at the airport who asked me how we " scored" upgrades for the whole family when he a high status with the airline guy couldn't. When I told him we were full pay his mouth dropped open. Even though there was a handbag on his wife's arm that cost well more than 10x what we paid for those tickets. So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
You raise some points which many people have written about. I'm not sure I can give you an answer but there are a few things that might be going on.

Air travel has become more difficult. The gates are chaotic, the seats are smaller, the tack-on fees are greater, and people (flying Economy) are just more miserable. When you have a class structure that is incredibly obvious for all to see, some people just resent it. On larger planes, and especially on international carriers, I've noticed that Business and First Class passengers board through completely separate doors and that interaction between classes is kept to an absolute minimum. Why is that? From what I'm reading, it's at least partially to decrease resentment which might be perceived as increasing customer satisfaction. Whether or not some of this class stuff is playing a role with your acquaintances, I can't say. But welcome to the world of not broadcasting your wealth.

If you haven't experienced it yet, you probably will also notice that some acquaintances may look down their noses at you for introducing your kids to First Class air travel. You can be seen as fostering self-entitlement and if you don't express your struggles which this concept, you're going to be feeding into the image of an ugly 0.1%-er rearing her children to be snobs.

Jealousy can bring out a lot of bad traits in people. You might ultimately find that it's just better keep your expenditures to yourself because there's really nothing at all to be gained by sharing.

lightheir
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Re: Going First Class

Post by lightheir » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:13 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
When I inherited several million dollars last year we decided that while we had no interest in a nicer home, fancy cars, expensive clothes, watches, handbags etc... we were only gonna to fly first class. The reactions when I have told people have been interesting often expressions of disbeief. Like from my co- workers who know my situation ( they worked on the estate I inherited from) and have as much money as I do. Many drive 80K cars and have pricy watches on their wrist or expensive handbags. But flying first class, that seems extraordinary. Or the guy at the airport who asked me how we " scored" upgrades for the whole family when he a high status with the airline guy couldn't. When I told him we were full pay his mouth dropped open. Even though there was a handbag on his wife's arm that cost well more than 10x what we paid for those tickets. So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
Jealousy. Don't worry about it.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1645
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:14 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:56 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm
researcher wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm
the " tell no one" doesnt work for me re the inheritance. I guess it's a very odd situation to have to tell your friends but I have worked with them for 30 years. There was no one else I would have trusted with the estate. They did a fantastic job. And most have more money than me. I'm a part time hourly petson. They are equity partners and bring in the big bucks plus several are also very successful private investors in the business deals we handle. We all really know each other's business by the nature of what we do. No secrets.
I think you are missing the point.

Just because your co-workers know about the inheritance doesn't mean you have to share your plans for it.
Why even bring up or tell anyone about your plans to fly first class?
If people ask what you are going to do with the money, just respond "I'm not sure. We're still thinking about it."
I think you're the one missing the point. The OP never mentioned that he/she was bothered by the reactions of these people. Just surprised given what these people are willing to spend on material items. And curious what is it about first class that makes even pretty rich people feel like it's an over-the-top spend. There's absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question posed to him/her by his/her co-workers or the stranger at the airport.

To the OP, it's a good question, but I think the answer is that for lots of people, it just doesn't seem like good value to spend an extra $500 per person to sit in domestic first class for a few hours. I agree with those people. The benefits of International business class can be a lot more, especially on overnight flights, but the price difference is also usually a lot more, too. I've personally decided that there is value using POINTS to fly business class internationally (where it's usually about 2x points for biz class vs economy), but I'm not willing to spend $s for the same (where the price difference is usually 4x). Even when using points, I'll fly biz class TO Europe where it's an overnight flight and I need a lie-flat seat, but I'll still fly economy FROM Europe where it's just a regular daytime flight.
Thank you. That was exactly my point and my question. Not bothered by what these people think but find the reactions curious. I haven't had ( yet) to pay an extra $500 for first class. When I took my daughter to move to an apartment in Ny it was $ 260 more for First Class which included 2 suitcases checked of 70 lb each. Given that she was moving and we used the entire 70 lb's it was less than a hundred bucks over what I would have had to pay to get the same amount there. For a trip,to Seattle we paid 300 more which given that it a 4.5 hr flight I'm happy to pay.

And yes. My good friends and i talk about our spending plans. Just like boggle heads.
You make a good point that first class prices have come down in recent years (I think) as the airlines try to put paying customers in those seats rather than have them exclusively used by frequent flyers with status getting upgrades. For me personally, though, the value is still not there. I never check luggage on domestic flights. I'm just over 6' so the 31" pitch on United/American is at the edge of my comfort level (30" would be uncomfortable), but it's totally fine for a few hours. I pretty much never drink on planes so there's no value in free booze to me.

If I were flying from Chicago to California and could get first class for $75 more than economy, I'd consider doing that. But the prices are never that cheap.

Ricecakes
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Re: Going First Class

Post by Ricecakes » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:26 pm

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
When I inherited several million dollars last year we decided that while we had no interest in a nicer home, fancy cars, expensive clothes, watches, handbags etc... we were only gonna to fly first class. The reactions when I have told people have been interesting often expressions of disbeief. Like from my co- workers who know my situation ( they worked on the estate I inherited from) and have as much money as I do. Many drive 80K cars and have pricy watches on their wrist or expensive handbags. But flying first class, that seems extraordinary. Or the guy at the airport who asked me how we " scored" upgrades for the whole family when he a high status with the airline guy couldn't. When I told him we were full pay his mouth dropped open. Even though there was a handbag on his wife's arm that cost well more than 10x what we paid for those tickets. So what is it about First Class that brings out these reactions?
It’s that it’s first class :-) Many folks seem to not have a budget for it or not want to spend money for it; prefer an upgrade to first class. The same folks have no issue rushing out to buy a $1000 iPhone X that will be planned obsolete in three years. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
Wife and I have decided if it’s a 3 hr or less flight, we will go coach. When we travel long haul - 15+ hours to Asia, we go business class. Also prefer to stay in high end hotels like Ritz Carlton or Shangri-La. There’s a value we place on the level or comfort and service that we feel is worth the price.
It’s your money, if you can afford it and are happy, I wouldn’t stress over what others think :-)

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snackdog
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Re: Going First Class

Post by snackdog » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:50 pm

Imagine a line in the arrivals area where all the people who rode coach can collect a fat wad of $100 bills for sitting a few feet behind you for a few hours.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Going First Class

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:10 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

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If you have a specific question, please ask directly and provide sufficient information for members to supply appropriate advice.
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