At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

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boglechu
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At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by boglechu » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am

I’m almost 40 now. I have $1 million mortgage at 3.4%. Student loans paid off. I make $500k a year. 140k in retirement plans. $110k taxable. $100k in cash/high yield money market.

I’ve flown first class international once 7 years ago when I was single using miles. Flew business class international with wife for honeymoon again using miles.

Now we have a baby.

My miles collected over the years will eventually run out.

I can afford to fly first/businesss but don’t think i’d Pay $5-15k/person anytime soon.

When did you fly your family in first/biz class with paid fair and what was your financial situation like?

dsmclone
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by dsmclone » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:11 am

Never in 40+ years. I can't imagine a point in my life financially where I would pay 3x the price for a 1st class ticket.

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TeamArgo
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by TeamArgo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:18 am

I am retired, and have never flown first class. My son, however, minds his miles and points and has gotten upgraded or a good price on first class twice. I doubt I ever will, since my flying is down to a flying trip only once a year or two.
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by THY4373 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:19 am

If you mean bought as in cold hard cash, I have never bought an international first class ticket yet though flown it many times on points. I have bought several business class tickets for cash when they have been cheap (less than $2k) and in one case used points to upgrade to first and I think I was 47 when I bought my first business class fare for cash. Was probably closer to 45 for first first class on points. I have purchased last minute cash upgrades for domestic first class but that doesn't really count as first class in book.

As an aside how does one get to 40 and making $500k a year and only have about $350k saved outside of house?
Last edited by THY4373 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

alfaspider
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:22 am

I don't think there's any specific age that is relevant so much as specific pricing and use cases. Ultimately, you have to decide what is worth it to YOU. For example:

For flights under 3 hours or so, I don't really think first is ever worth it unless someone else is paying or if you are an unusually big person. The seat difference isn't that big, and a glass of wine and mediocre airline food are hardly worth hundreds of dollars.

For overseas flights, it depends on your pain threshold and pricing. Business class tickets from U.S. to Europe can run nearly $10,000 during peak times from mainline airlines, or you can get bargain off-peak fares on secondary airlines for $2,000 or less. If you are talking pricing for a family of 3, I think most would be willing to endure a sleepless night for $30,000- even those making $500,000 a year. On the other hand, $6,000 may be worth it to you if it is the difference between a pleasant vacation and an ordeal.

With that said, I've never personally paid for a first/business class ticket. It's always been points/miles or employer paid.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:26 am

boglechu wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am
I’m almost 40 now... 140k in retirement plans. $110k taxable. $100k in cash/high yield money market...I can afford to fly first/businesss ...
You can “afford” to fly first class but only have 140k in retirement plans? Really??

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:29 am

boglechu wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am
I’m almost 40 now. I have $1 million mortgage at 3.4%. Student loans paid off. I make $500k a year. 140k in retirement plans. $110k taxable. $100k in cash/high yield money market.

I’ve flown first class international once 7 years ago when I was single using miles. Flew business class international with wife for honeymoon again using miles.

Now we have a baby.

My miles collected over the years will eventually run out.

I can afford to fly first/businesss but don’t think i’d Pay $5-15k/person anytime soon.

When did you fly your family in first/biz class with paid fair and what was your financial situation like?
As per other posters your rate of accumulation, given your annual income, seems very low. Particularly given that mortgage i.e. the money has not gone into paying down debt?

I would imagine that someone in your position would have 3-5x their annual income in assets by now? Depends very much on career track of course - some doctors probably are not earning until their early-mid 30s.

In a lot of professions it gets very hard to keep the high earning past 50. 50 is a real marker, even among partnerships. The partnership is already beginning to plan your exit. And your health, or your business, can both decline precipitately in your 50s. Thinking about structural changes in corporate law (the practice of), for example - clients no longer willing to pay the overhead. Or audit. Or consultancy -- partners in consulting firms in London do not, I suspect, make more than they did in the late 1990s.

Tech is another industry with an observable age bias. Don't know about medical but some specialties - surgery?

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:31 am

To clarify

- is it the case on US flights that there is no longer a First Class distinct from Business Class?

I have flown British Airways a few times Business Class and there was still a First Class which was separate. Other than the fact the BA beds are a couple of inches too short, I would not pay extra for FC over BC.

Premium Economy seems (sometimes) to be a reasonable upgrade for those 8-9 hour + flights, especially night flights.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by GCD » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:31 am

boglechu wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am
When did you fly your family in first/biz class with paid fair and what was your financial situation like?
I kinda sorta did when I was 36. It was my honeymoon and my wife and I flew 1st class to France using a combination of miles and cash.

Combined we were making around $280,000, no debt except mortgage, no kids, probably around $500,000 in tax deferred investments.

Have never flown bus/1st since. Flying is such a horrid experience that I will never fly again unless it is International business or 1st class. I wouldn't even fly 1st class domestic. I drove from VA to CA for my FIL's funeral.

My wife and I will be flying international business to Iceland for cash in June. But that's only $1,500 apiece on Icelandic Air.

Obviously I will have to fly for future trips overseas, but now that we are retired we plan to go for a month or more at a time. That makes the cost of international business more palatable.

You could always do what Kevin O'Leary (Shark Tank) does. He flys 1st class and makes his kids fly economy. He says they haven't earned 1st class.
Last edited by GCD on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Seasonal » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:31 am

boglechu wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am
I can afford to fly first/businesss but don’t think i’d Pay $5-15k/person anytime soon.
It's not that hard to find international lie-flat business for $2-3k.

As noted above, you might want to have more saved before splurging on first class airfare.
dsmclone wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:11 am
Never in 40+ years. I can't imagine a point in my life financially where I would pay 3x the price for a 1st class ticket.
International business or first can easily cost about 10x.

----

There are many threads on this general topic. As a random example, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252393

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:33 am

I started flying first class exclusively a couple of years ago. That's not to say that I won't fly coach if it's not available, but if I'm not sitting in first, it's not because I wasn't willing to pay. I'm early 40's, HHI about the same, but many times your net worth. For me, it has very little to do with the nicer seat and free food/drink, and everything to do with simply not having to deal with the sardine can of coach. Flying coach seems to bring out the absolute worst in people and now I simply choose not to be a part of it. If I can't stomach the price of the first class seats, we just won't go. I'm never pumped about having to pay the fares, but as soon as I'm on the plane and can hear all the nonsense going on in the back, I always realize that I've made the right decision. It's simply a quality of life issue for me and I'm willing to pay to upgrade that part of my life. Same goes for hotels/AirBNB's these days. The older I get, the more I'm willing to pay to upgrade these two items.

ETA: I'm considering Business/First one and the same since most have gone away from the first/business model.
Last edited by FlyAF on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by cashheavy18 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:36 am

First and only time to fly International First Class was using points about 5 years ago. Personally, I didn't think the premium was worth it over business class.

Our International business class strategy is one of the following:

- to look for paid deals (which over the years we've found for ~$2,300-$3,800 to Asia and ~2,400 to Europe). I use this site https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premium-fare-deals-740/.

-pay for economy tickets and use miles & dollars to upgrade to business class. This can range from 20,000-30,000 miles + up to $550 one way to upgrade. We've had about 80% success rate with this strategy.

Started traveling this way post 40.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Seasonal » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:38 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:31 am
To clarify

- is it the case on US flights that there is no longer a First Class distinct from Business Class?

I have flown British Airways a few times Business Class and there was still a First Class which was separate. Other than the fact the BA beds are a couple of inches too short, I would not pay extra for FC over BC.

Premium Economy seems (sometimes) to be a reasonable upgrade for those 8-9 hour + flights, especially night flights.
There are some longer US flights which have three classes with seats similar to international business and first. Most domestic US flights have two classes, with the first class seats being a bit wider and having a bit more recline than economy, but nowhere near international business/first seats.

Many airlines are eliminating first class, as lie flat business seats have become good enough. BA does not have a very good business class seat compared to the competition. They've announced a new product to be rolled out over time.

I wouldn't pay extra for F either, although on miles on a very long flight (e.g., NY-Japan) it can be worth it.
Last edited by Seasonal on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:39 am

dsmclone wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:11 am
Never in 40+ years. I can't imagine a point in my life financially where I would pay 3x the price for a 1st class ticket.
+1 I never have, and I almost certainly never will. I'm satisfied with the exit-row seats I usually get for being a Delta silver medallion. And when I don't--as on my trip with a school group to Spain and Morocco last summer--it's fine. From a value perspective, pricing on first class tickets seems absurd to me. But I don't begrudge the airlines whatever people will pay. They ultimately subsidize those of us in coach.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:44 am

Never have paid. At one point I was very senior on the Delta rewards list and often got upgraded to first class. Unfortunately, it was a route that got me free drinks and extra snacks.

Maybe once I got upgraded on a flight that had premium meal service.

I doubt I will ever pay for a first class ticket.
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:45 am

I never have, and I never will. I consider the high prices of domestic first class and international business class to be a poor use of my money. However, if the airline wants to upgrade me (which they never do any more now that I no longer have "status"), then I certainly won't turn them down.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Alf 101 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:47 am

Like many, still waiting, and unlikely to do so. I've never found flying that unpleasant. That isn't to say I find it pleasant, but it's manageable. I can read and sleep almost anywhere.

One correction though -- last year my wife and I visited Ecuador. We were online shopping for our flights, and either through some quirk or error, business class on the return flights were less expensive than coach. This was nice, but not really worth the premium for me.

I may be able to afford it, but feel I could spend my money better elsewhere.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by lazydavid » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 am

First time was a
DesertDiva wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:26 am
You can “afford” to fly first class but only have 140k in retirement plans? Really??
No kidding. We make considerably less than the OP, are 40/41 with $160k remaining on our mortgage at 2.5%, and a portfolio that is just shy of the two-comma mark, not including Credit Union accounts.

The first time we flew first was probably 8 years ago, we got offered an LFB upgrade on our flight to Orlando. Think it was $70/seat. For the next couple of years, we took those upgrades when we could, and then just started watching prices and buying discounted first/business, which we've done pretty much exclusively for the past 5 years or so. Typically costs us a bit less than double the deep discount coach fare. Since we're all tall, we would be paying the surcharge for Main Cabin Extra/Economy Plus/etc anyway, so between that and the free checked luggage the incremental cost starts to dwindle.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:05 am

To be honest, I will probably never fly 1st class. Coach isn't that bad. I would rather spend that money on an activity at the destination.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Watty » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:18 am

I look at choices like these in terms of the "opportunity cost"(Google this) of what you would have to give up to pay for this instead of looking at it in dollar terms.

By this I mean to look at what you would have to give up in order to pay for something. For example a teenager might have enough money to go to a movie or buy a pizza but not both. The opportunity cost of the movie is giving up the pizza. That is a easier choice to make a judgement on which you would rather have than trying to decide if seeing a movie is worth $12 or not.

You have a lot of debt and not much savings so if you choose to spend money on first class tickets that would mean that you would need to give up something significant in exchange to buy first class tickets for cash.

For me if I was going to spend thousands extra on a vacation I would much rather spend it on taking a longer vacation or dramatically upgrading the resort and activities.

If you have enough that you would not have to give up anything, other than leaving a smaller estate some day, then paying cash for a first class ticket might make more sense.

Just FYI, in addition to First class or Business class there is a third option that people often don't consider. That is to buy an additional coach seat to get the extra space. That will not get you extra knee room, better food, or things like seats that lay flat but for a couple buying a third seat could make a long flight much more pleasant. I have never paid extra for it but when I have gotten lucky and had an empty seat beside me that makes the flight so much better. Airlines have a procedure for people who cannot fit into one seat to buy two seats but as far as I know anyone could buy an additional seat if they wanted to.
Last edited by Watty on Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:22 am

Last year, my wife and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary with a trip to the Caribbean. On the particular flights we took, the difference between the "premium economy" seats and first class was only about two hundred dollars per person (I don't know why), so I booked it. That was the first and only time we've ever taken a flight in first-class.
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:25 am

Your income/savings/loan story makes me think you might be a doctor. My first class/business class seats for years were from being a Megacorp road warrior and getting points and upgrades. Still a pain in the neck to travel, but I had plenty of company and a better seat now and then was nice. One of the perks was racking up enough points to make some international vacation trips in business class, which was pretty nice.

Now that I'm retired and have points and savings, and FIRECalc and I-ORP and other software says everything is likely to be ok, I'm willing to spend more on travel. Just got back from my first trip for which I paid for business class with $$ instead of points.

If you are a physician you won't rack up all those road warrior trips, but you'll be out-earning most of us. As long as you come up with a plan to save a big chunk of your pay so you don't have to keep practicing into your 70s unless you want to, I don't see a problem with flying first class now and then. For shorter domestic trips I like Southwest, for longer domestic trips Premium Coach or whatever your airline calls it, and Business Class for international trips.

You make enough to have anything you want but not everything you want - the expensive house, the luxury/sporty cars, the exotic travel, fashionable wardrobe, fine dining, early-ish retirement (you are already too old to retire early), you can pick a couple of those but not all of them unless your income goes much higher for a few years.

At this point I can't see where dying with a few thousand more dollars will make me any happier or make much difference to my kids, so if I want to pay to sit at the front of the plane I have no regrets at all. You are still accumulating though, and have to decide what your accumulation rate is going to be and how long you want to be in the game.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by mak1277 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:26 am

First class, totally out of pocket, for our honeymoon at age 29. Absolutely worth it. Have flown first/business class on my own nickel many times since then and never regretted it for a second.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by FireProof » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:39 am

Nobody actually does - the sticker price is just there so the upgrades and miles seem more valuable.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Dave55 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:46 am

From about 1990-2010 I flew 1st class 95% of the time (mostly business travel), but never bought a first class ticket. (I was in my 30's when I started flying 1st class) I was a frequent flier and used upgrade coupons or was just bumped into 1st class due to my mileage status at the time. When 2010 rolled around and I retired and my business travel went to zero, I cut way back on travel and have flown coach whenever I travel now (which is not much).

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Last edited by Dave55 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by market timer » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:48 am

I'll pay for int'l biz class for myself or a companion if I'm flying on the company dime. If I'm traveling with my family of 4, we'll fly economy, potentially with a stopover half-way on long-haul flights. That's been my policy since my mid 30s, when I first hit $1M.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by bigtex » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:48 am

How much more does it cost to simply charter your own private jet vs. 3-4 first class tickets on a commercial airline?

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by lazydavid » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:51 am

bigtex wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:48 am
How much more does it cost to simply charter your own private jet vs. 3-4 first class tickets on a commercial airline?
About double. Last time I looked, you had to have 8 people going the same place to get the price in the same ballpark as flying F on a major carrier.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Horsefly » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:54 am

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:26 am
First class, totally out of pocket, for our honeymoon at age 29.
Ditto for me. Age 29 honeymoon flight from LA to Honolulu and back. Two years later (1989) we used miles to get first class LA/Tokyo round trip tix. Then nothing until last month, now age 61. Bought Polaris class tix to Australia, and used miles to upgrade to Polaris coming back.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:54 am

bigtex wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:48 am
How much more does it cost to simply charter your own private jet vs. 3-4 first class tickets on a commercial airline?
A charter would far exceed the commercial tix. When I was flying a single engine piston (far from a private jet) my out of pocket expenses would still equal 2 first class tix. That was without a paid crew, overhead or profit.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by jainn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:56 am

We fly about 7x/year (4 domestic / 3 international). We don't like economy or business class. We can't afford full or partial private jet ownership and fly on private jets (i.e. NetJets), so we pay cash (no miles/points), and buy first class on every flight that offers it. It's cheaper than flying on a private jet. When we had a plane change due to mechanical failure last month and chose standby Economy on the following flight, our youngest child said "I like that this plane has 3 seats next to each other, now I can sit next to mommy and daddy!" :happy We usually pair up, parent+kid, and oldest gets a window seat next to a stranger. On our return trip home, our youngest said upon boarding, "awwwww why doesn't this plane have 3 seats next to each other like the last one?" :wink: Very sweet child.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by livesoft » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:20 am

I've flown first class a few times, but I have never paid for it. I like economy just fine.
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Bob Sacamano » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:23 am

actually just bought one on my last flight. it was domestic first and a COMPLETE let down, but from a $ standpoint it made sense.

first comes with two checked bags included and i was going on a ski trip. the price difference was +$400 RT vs. coach tickets. the checked bags would have probably added another +$200 onto the coach ticket not to mention the free drinks and extra space.

it worked out for me. but i wouldn't rush to do it again on a domestic airline.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:40 am

I have never bought a first-class ticket. I've been upgraded to first class a few times. Once, and only once, I was given first-class tickets as a gift.
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by GCD » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:53 am

Here's some charter pricing as a reference: https://private-jet-charter-flight.com/ ... t-pricing/

You might get a better deal picking up an empty leg if your schedule allows: https://private-jet-charter-flight.com/ ... g-flights/

They apparently accept Bitcoin! https://private-jet-charter-flight.com/ ... h-bitcoin/

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by jayk238 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:54 am

I am 33 and am traveling business class in 2 days to paris.

Paid full price at 2500. Economy was 1100

Nonstop flight

I hate coach. I hate it so much i almost dont travel. If this takes care of that Im fine with it. The key is that i go to europe refreshed because the first few days after coach are misery. I hope this resolves it. I cant sleep in the coach seats.

I dont care about frugality to the point of suffering. Suffering for its sake is not sensible. Its just suffering. Im not saving now just to be miserable either.

255k. On track to save 80 this year.
Last edited by jayk238 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by JackoC » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:54 am

FireProof wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:39 am
Nobody actually does - the sticker price is just there so the upgrades and miles seem more valuable.
Was wondering what % of seats are actually sold at list price.

Also as a bunch of posts have mentioned, there are cases where there's First and Business and they are virtually the same for loads more in 1st, cases where there might be a real difference between B and 1st (like little cabin for you in 1st), and cases where there's only one class above Economy.

But I guess most people interpret it as 'pay out of pocket for anything that's not some form of Economy.' No, never have. We're not frugal in general by this forum's standards but that cost has never seemed to me worth it. Flying overseas is miserable for me, always was in Business paid by employer, a little worse in Economy paid by self since retiring, but not worth it to pay $1k's to be a little less miserable. A fairly abstract 'not worth it', rather than a question of affordability.

Also on flying private, where you're not just in a larger pen in the cattle transport system once on the plane but actually avoiding that system, the ratio depends on distance. I priced out (albeit quick pass on the internet) flying to Far East private and that's like $150k to charter the plane, again just a first pass of providers that give you a supposed real quote. For few hour hops domestically you can get closer to first class prices with private flying depending your exact comparison and party size but long distance on big bizjet it's a multiple of 1st class commercial even with 4 people.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:55 am

I'd fly my family first (or at least business) class if I were you, especially international. My wife and I used to do it before we had kids just because we could.

As others have questioned, are you a doc or something? Your savings are really low, but you can easily boost them up if you just haven't been saving for long. Also make sure you have proper insurance coverage in place.
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White Coat Investor
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:58 am

boglechu wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:05 am
I’m almost 40 now. I have $1 million mortgage at 3.4%. Student loans paid off. I make $500k a year. 140k in retirement plans. $110k taxable. $100k in cash/high yield money market.

I’ve flown first class international once 7 years ago when I was single using miles. Flew business class international with wife for honeymoon again using miles.

Now we have a baby.

My miles collected over the years will eventually run out.

I can afford to fly first/businesss but don’t think i’d Pay $5-15k/person anytime soon.

When did you fly your family in first/biz class with paid fair and what was your financial situation like?
I've been upgraded twice this year but never paid for it. There are quite a few things I'd buy before that I think. Maybe in a few more years.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:59 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:20 am
I've flown first class a few times, but I have never paid for it. I like economy just fine.
I've been bumped 3x. I hate flying period, first class made it marginally less annoying, but not enough to account for the cost disparity. Don't make as much as the OP, but our networth is several times higher (at a younger age) and it's not something we've ever even brought up. In fact, unless it is a really long trip (like 1500+ miles), we usually drive.

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bottlecap
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:59 am

Never. Never will.

I did once get bumped to first or business class on an international flight when I was 18. It was cool at the time, but Id never pay for it.

JT

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dm200
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:03 am

Never - and I made my first airplane flight about 55 years ago - Mohawk Airlines out of Rochester NY. Propeller two engine plane -not sure just what model, but it was the old-style plane where the front of the plane was higher than the back. We were scheduled to take an American Airlines jet (a Boeing 727 as I recall), but for some reason that flight was cancelled and we took the Mohawk propeller two engine plane.

I think (long time ago) I took one flight in first class for a short flight when the flight was overbooked and they put me in first class.

investingdad
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by investingdad » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:06 am

Straight purchase, never.

For work, I often upgrade on my own dime if it's not more than $200 each way.

If the flight is more than 2 hours and there's a meal, I'll buy the upgrade.

I started doing that 2 years ago, so 43.

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beyou
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by beyou » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:06 am

Hate flying period. While going first class might make it a better experience, not going to spend the $.
When I HAVE TO fly, I balance cheapest flight with most convenient time to travel.
When they make coach seats tolerable I'll fly more....not until then.
I live in a place with plenty to see and do, don't need to be put in a child size seat next to a fat person ever again.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:08 am

I paid first class when I was 55. I hate flying. I love avoiding the squished seats. I liked having “free” drinks, a less crowded bathroom.

No flights since them as I do not enjoy traveling that much.

If I ever get to Europe, I will buy better seats. Probably not first class, but something with better better seats.

apple44
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by apple44 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:12 am

I've flown first class from the U.S. to Japan and business class to different countries, but I didn't personally pay for any of it -- most of them were paid by the employer. Have to say, I enjoyed them far more than coach.

For me, it depends on how long the trip is and how much money more, so basically a cost-benefit analysis. If it's really far, like Australia and East Asia (10+ hours of flying), I'd consider it. I would spend an extra $500-$1000/person to get the comfort of business or first class. Flying coach for 10+ hours is brutal especially if you have a connection flight before or after that. But I think business class is enough upgrade for me; first class is nice but not necessarily worth the money.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by pdavi21 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:13 am

Age dead.
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quantAndHold
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:21 am

Once we had enough for FI, we started buying business class on long haul international flights. Arriving rested gives a full extra day to enjoy ourselves. We usually shop for the cheapest fare that has lie flat seats.

We’ve only bought actual first class when there were only two classes of service.

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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Luckywon » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:27 am

Age 49, paid about $9,000 for a pair of business class tickets to Europe. Earning similar salary to yours at the time, but with NW >25x expenses. Even then, and now, paying that kind of money is a bit of an existential struggle for me, but I have done it a few times since.

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Leif
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Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Post by Leif » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:35 am

I never bought a first class ticket. Since leg room is getting smaller I may do an economy plus type ticket next time for a bit more comfort.

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