[Is it worth flying first class?]

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
McCharley
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:45 pm

[Is it worth flying first class?]

Post by McCharley »

Dear Bogleheads,

I spent the first 50 years of my life looking smugly at those fools in First Class that were paying 2-3x my ticket price for a few hours in a bigger seat. :greedy

And then I flew to San Francisco for my 50th birthday -- only a few hours, but first class. And I was like, hmmm. Nice. Not worth it. :beer

But then I took a 14 hour flight business class. With full layback seats, hot towels, silverware... Dang. :o

Do you folks splurge on air travel? It really seems like the most wasteful thing to spend extra on, but I've almost convinced myself that it's worth it. 8-)

[original off-topic (not personal) title "Never fly first class" replaced by admin alex]
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1908
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

I do not.
squirm
Posts: 3679
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by squirm »

It's a waste. I flew first class a few months ago with my wife for a 6 hour flight, only because the price difference was $300 total. It was our first time. That was three hundred dollars down the crapper, wasn't worth it at all. Plus there was a screaming baby next to us.
Last edited by squirm on Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
impala01
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:22 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by impala01 »

I f I ever get to do that I would enjoy it on a long trip.
Ferdinand2014
Posts: 2059
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
Last edited by Ferdinand2014 on Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1908
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Flying west is easy.
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 6021
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I have never purchased a domestic first class or an international business class fare, and I don't intend to do so. It simply isn't worth it.

However, before I retired, when I was an international road warrior for my employer, I often used 15,000 frequent flyer miles at a time to upgrade the economy fare purchased by my employer to international business. So I know what I'm missing.

And, yes, flying west is easy.
Last edited by UpperNwGuy on Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TPIR
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by TPIR »

There's a whole continuum of experiences called 'first class' and whether it's worth it depends on the experience vs price and your situation. The price can vary enormously for even the same route and experience depending on when and how you buy your ticket.

And there's a whole subculture about it because of all the variances and hidden pricing mechanisms.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 12314
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by ResearchMed »

McCharley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:02 pm Dear Bogleheads,

I spent the first 50 years of my life looking smugly at those fools in First Class that were paying 2-3x my ticket price for a few hours in a bigger seat. :greedy

And then I flew to San Francisco for my 50th birthday -- only a few hours, but first class. And I was like, hmmm. Nice. Not worth it. :beer

But then I took a 14 hour flight business class. With full layback seats, hot towels, silverware... Dang. :o

Do you folks splurge on air travel? It really seems like the most wasteful thing to spend extra on, but I've almost convinced myself that it's worth it. 8-)
We've found that using awards points/miles to fly F or J (business) on top international airlines is the very best (for us - YMMV!) by far.

We actually enjoy those flights, and the first time in F on Cathay Pacific, I would have gladly stayed on the plane and gone back and forth again. It was like totally unplugging (although WIFi was available) and relaxing. Now, their F beds are 33 inches wide, very similar to a regular twin bed. And Singapore Airlines provided two meals (dinner and lunch) that we would gladly have paid for at a restaurant. And the breakfast was fantastic, too.
Domestic F or J isn't the same at all, and J in Europe is often just coach seats with the middle seat empty. But those are short flights.
Our travel agent also assists with getting these awards flights for a small extra fee, and that is really worth it to us.

Now, when we were younger (we are mid-70s), we wouldn't have considered anything but coach. It simply wouldn't have occurred to us. But now, the longer flights (and not just the ultra long haul) have become physically painful, thanks to assorted aging issues. We simply would not fly the longer flights if we had to go coach.

Of course, now, we don't even leave the house, so all of this is moot for a while more, alas.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
bob60014
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Never fly first class

Post by bob60014 »

My Boglehead style of investing now allows me to indulge. On international and any domestic flight over 2 hours, it's a no-brainer, I'm in BC. Being retired, I've earned, and deserve, to do it. DW is much happier traveling too!
Last edited by bob60014 on Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
TomWambsgans
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:09 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by TomWambsgans »

I do, always, internationally. Once I got past 1 million miles (butt in seat, at age 35) I realized there was no going back to longhaul coach.

Domestically, I usually don't fly first class. The exception is work-related transcon flights. Those have to be first or I ain't goin'.
User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 30665
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Taylor Larimore »

McCharley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:02 pm Dear Bogleheads,

I spent the first 50 years of my life looking smugly at those fools in First Class that were paying 2-3x my ticket price for a few hours in a bigger seat. :greedy

And then I flew to San Francisco for my 50th birthday -- only a few hours, but first class. And I was like, hmmm. Nice. Not worth it. :beer

But then I took a 14 hour flight business class. With full layback seats, hot towels, silverware... Dang. :o

Do you folks splurge on air travel? It really seems like the most wasteful thing to spend extra on, but I've almost convinced myself that it's worth it. 8-)
McCharley:

It seems to me that the decision to fly coach or first class should primarily depend on each person's financial situation.

I believe it is usually foolish for a poor person to fly first-class, and equally foolish for a wealthy person to fly coach.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: “The greatest enemies of the stock investor are expenses and emotions.”
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
Normchad
Posts: 2940
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Normchad »

I rarely fly first class. I don’t have anything against it though.

For me, and it’s personal, there just isn’t any qualitative difference in how I feel after I arrive. I.e. First Class doesn’t make me feel awesome at the end of my 14 hour trips. So the marginal benefit, for me, just isn’t there. And I’m over 6 feet and 250 pounds, but carriage class just doesn’t bother me much extra.

However, I have flown private a few times, in a small plane that seats like 8 people. That was awesome. The plane itself isn’t great. But the great part is they fly to small local airports, so it’s a trivial drive to the airport. The pilot waits for you to show up, then you leave. And on the other end, the rental car is waiting in the tarmac, and the pilot drives you to wherever you are going. The convenience is amazing. I don’t know how much that costs though, it was a business trip for me. But that was super awesome!
mrjohnanderson007
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:23 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by mrjohnanderson007 »

Only if I got to the point in life that I could not possibly spend all my money fast enough. Say won the lottery, terminal cancer, or I was one of those people that make 500k a year.
User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by JoMoney »

It's totally worth it if you're traveling for business and someone else is paying for it :wink:
I used to work with people that managed to get upgrades to business class by working the rewards point systems. Even at a discount, the price was still higher than the value to me, but to each their own.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
NYC_Guy
Posts: 429
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:23 pm
Location: New York

Re: Never fly first class

Post by NYC_Guy »

I buy relatively inexpensive cars (sub $50k) but almost always fly business for long haul. I also hate spending $1000+ per night on hotel rooms while traveling - I look for for niche boutique values in hotels. But I’ll also drop $$$$ on 3 star mich restaurants and wine. My point is we all value things differently. Find what gives you pleasure and live within your means.
User avatar
Artful Dodger
Posts: 1234
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Artful Dodger »

I just look at the options and buy FC or Business if it is affordable and worth it to me. I’ve done a number of trips by upgrading with miles but this seems to be harder to do as they often won’t assign the FC or Business seats until boarding and they give preference to the more frequent flyers.

Most of the time when I make a fare comparison it’s just not worth it. We were looking at some flights to Italy recently. The main cabin fare was $650, with main cabin extra (at the front of coach with a few more inches of legroom) was $775. Business was $4500+. So for two people, we’d be paying another $7500. That’s as much as we’d be spending on the rest of the trip - hotels, dining, touring, etc. Granted, I’m going to have an uncomfortable flight, but most of the time I’m fine when I arrive. In business I might get an additional two hours of sleep. The return flight is almost always during the day, and I don’t mind it at all. I just read or watch movies.

Sometimes Economy Plus is an option. Slightly wider and longer seats. These were about twice or a little more than the coach fare.
Dottie57
Posts: 10293
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Dottie57 »

I am not a good traveler and hate flying. So yes, I would go first class on all but the shortest flights. It really is a nice experience.
RXfiles
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 1:23 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by RXfiles »

I normally go for the cheapest tickets and got a deal on some tickets on a flight on spirit airlines. Worst saving ever. I will gladly pay 2x as much to fly delta. It was on the way back from domican republic. Half the people were drunk and talking loudly the entire time.. Someone was so drunk they went to the bath room and vomiting for half the flight.

So first class might not be worth it but it's definetly worth it to not fly spirit. Delta makes spirit seem like first class.
Sage16
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:06 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Sage16 »

Now retired we always upgrade to premium from coach for any domestic or international flight. I will then look at the additional cost for a first class ticket vs the premium seat and decide. If the first class is a multiple then no way. After being frugal our entire working life, we had a cross country flight. I booked first class without telling my wife and when we went to board she complained to me about wasting the extra money when coach is fine. After the flight she was hooked. The flight was more comfortable and it didn't wear her out like 6 hours in a cramped coach seat does. The lay flat seats on overnight international flights are a world of difference nicer than coach and make starting a vacation and time change much easier.
Bogle on investing: Diversify, focus on low costs, invest for the long term. Don't speculate and don't be distracted by volatility.
Firemenot
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:48 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Firemenot »

All first class is not the same. Domestic first class is generally not even close to the comforts and features of international business class, let alone international first class.
Keenobserver
Posts: 817
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Keenobserver »

Flew from Dubai to NY business class flat bed. Got a solid sleep which sped up the trip and food was on a different level. If its a long trip and you have the funds, its totally worth it.
aj44
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 11:22 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by aj44 »

My company springs for Business class on International flights. I pay for extra legroom on all other flights.

Never actually flown first.
jello_nailer
Posts: 454
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by jello_nailer »

Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:12 pm I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
^ +1
That's my policy, for anything over 3 hours.
Unfortunately I have a 5 hour flight this Friday, the front is full and I didn't get a seat so I'm in Plus Economy. Maybe someone will be a no-show and they'll bump me. I'm on wait list.
User avatar
celia
Posts: 13235
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Never fly first class

Post by celia »

Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:12 pm I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
I rarely fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 6 hours to Hawaii or 10 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation since I often fall asleep before take off. No need to waste money while I sleep. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Saved every penny.


A long time ago I was traveling with 2 small kids when the first flight was running late and we had to run to the next transfer gate. When we arrived, everyone else was boarded and the only 3 seats left were in First Class. I begged them to let us trade with someone else, but there wasn’t time. It was horrid as I couldn’t sit between the kids as it was a 2-2-2 configuration. They were belted in together in the middle seats with their feet sticking straight ahead (hip to knee was about a foot deep for them. They grabbed the arm rests tightly and I told them we would all be ok.

When dining service started, they gave the kids sharp steak knives which I had removed quickly. They brought wine glasses which I also refused. (C’mon, can’t you see the little ones sitting there?). Finally, I told the flight attendant we had pre-ordered our meals. Were they on our flight? Our last name is …. . She came back a few minutes later with our hot dogs and chips and I felt better. But I didn’t sleep during that flight with 2 little ones in huge chairs with the possibilty of falling out of their chairs.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4388
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by adamthesmythe »

I would not spend frequent flier miles on first class within the US. I would spend them for business class for long international flights, and I would even throw in some extra cash.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 13943
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Sandtrap »

Never in the past to save money, but now, layback seats that can lay flat is a must, and other accommodations in first or business class, whichever is the highest on a flight, has become a medical necessity for me with no other options.
So, for me, it’s not a “splurge”.

Also with first or business class; use of the airport private lounge for waiting, no lines, no waiting, First boarding, although I usually get on first and get off last.

Fortunately, any of that is now affordable in retirement. Cost is secondary.

Thus, highly recommend moving one’s “number” far higher than one can imagine. You never know what your retirement needs will be and it won’t be on a spreadsheet or projection or FireCalc.

Dis laimer: everyone is different in many things, especially opinionions.
j🌺
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 9265
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by JoeRetire »

McCharley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:02 pmDo you folks splurge on air travel?
Sometimes.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
criticalmass
Posts: 2084
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by criticalmass »

McCharley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:02 pm Dear Bogleheads,

I spent the first 50 years of my life looking smugly at those fools in First Class that were paying 2-3x my ticket price for a few hours in a bigger seat. :greedy
Many of those folks in F weren't paying anything extra for it at all, so no need to be smug... I have flown F quite a bit, but never have paid, due to upgrades for frequent flyer status customers. Domestic F is nice for the leg room, hot breakfast for those days when you had to leave before the hotel breakfast opened, etc. But nothing super special, I rarely drink alcohol on a flight, so even that perk means nothing to me.

But international F is a whole other category. Can be worth every penny on 12, 14+ hour flights.

Upgrades, even domestic, are more rare now, due mergers, dilution of status, and packed flights full of people who have double titanium status or paid more.
tibbitts
Posts: 14836
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by tibbitts »

I never paid for an upgrade to first class; very occasionally I used to get upgraded without extra cost, but that was a couple of decades ago. It wouldn't have been worth paying for given the length of flights I've taken (except for one overnight flight that probably would have been too long regardless.) I haven't flown since the pandemic; I'm not sure whether flying will become practical again or not.
quantAndHold
Posts: 6344
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by quantAndHold »

To get lie flat seats? Yes. Worth every penny to get some sleep on the flight.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 6623
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by SmileyFace »

I have flown first class very often - especially try to do so on vacation. I, like many, have never paid for it.
User avatar
tooluser
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by tooluser »

I am a giant and require the larger space. I literally cannot fit in a coach seat. I budget in the cost for my personal flights. My company flies me in business or first class as necessary.
eric321
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:49 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by eric321 »

International business class is worth it if you are working on the trip and value your time highly. Flat bed to sleep. Arrive in a different timezone ready to have meetings, work and entertain clients. Return and catch up on work and recover from client entertainment.

Coach seats are tight if you have wide shoulders. It's also not a comfortable place to take out your laptop and work. You could have a few beers and try to fall asleep, or maybe watch a movie. Traveling with a significant other or you kids, coach becomes more bearable. You don't mind rubbing your shoulders with your spouse vs a random stranger. A kid doesn't take up the same space as an adult and you get more space.

I buy coach when I travel with the family. I buy/expense business when I travel for work.
daleddm
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:41 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by daleddm »

Firemenot wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:02 pm All first class is not the same. Domestic first class is generally not even close to the comforts and features of international business class, let alone international first class.
Indeed, what most think of as "first class" on international is likely to be business class, and first has been going away.

What hasn't really come up in the comments is how miserable domestic coach has become. Coach on the MD-80 was fine. Coach on a newer 737 or 319, etc., can be truly miserable - cramped beyond belief. So yes, sometimes even domestic first is worth it when the fare differences aren't obscene (they often are...). And exit row can be a nice middle ground. Or an empty plane. Funny that sometimes you'll take a short hop and have the entire back of the plane to yourself - can really spread out - and up in first every seat is taken.

Long haul bidness on Cathay or Singapore (sigh) ... so great.
Kiter
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:21 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Kiter »

I have gotten upgrades in the past with domestic travel. Nyc to California ,Nyc to Hawaii ,etc. Used miles for for international 1st on foreign carriers for a ATW trip to Asia . Thai cubicle with bed made up as I put on pj's ,Multi course meal ,choice of Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot .Asiana the same . Was over $10.000.00 in cash . Generally before covid with flights not always full I would fly with miles hobo 1st ..... 3 coach seats to lie down :D
Trader Joe
Posts: 2583
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Trader Joe »

McCharley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:02 pm Dear Bogleheads,

I spent the first 50 years of my life looking smugly at those fools in First Class that were paying 2-3x my ticket price for a few hours in a bigger seat. :greedy

And then I flew to San Francisco for my 50th birthday -- only a few hours, but first class. And I was like, hmmm. Nice. Not worth it. :beer

But then I took a 14 hour flight business class. With full layback seats, hot towels, silverware... Dang. :o

Do you folks splurge on air travel? It really seems like the most wasteful thing to spend extra on, but I've almost convinced myself that it's worth it. 8-)
I always fly first class - and I love it.

No going back to the back of the plane. Ever.
VanGogh
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:37 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by VanGogh »

I do. It's more comfortable, and I like deplaning first, especially if I have a connecting flight.
tim1999
Posts: 3942
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by tim1999 »

When I traveled a lot on the company dime, I played the frequent flyer game to get free upgrades wherever possible in both work and leisure travel. Getting off the plane first and free checked luggage was important to me. I also flew mostly on regional jets with first class (ERJ-175, CRJ-900, etc.) that would likely get you a seat by itself with no "neighbor", that was a major benefit/motivator to me. I don't drink much anymore but the free booze was nice too, nothing like some red wine at 8am just because it's free.

Now that I no longer travel on company business, and rarely fly for leisure, first class holds no value to me in my current economic status. Now if I won the powerball jackpot or something, then yes, I'd probably either pay for first class on longer flights or charter a jet on shorter flights.
Afty
Posts: 1761
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Afty »

I’ve flown lie-flat business class when traveling internationally for business. It’s (very) nice but hard to justify for the price. When traveling to Thailand a few years ago, business class tickets were $4k each vs. $1k for economy. For a family of 4 that’s a $12k difference. I’d rather have the $12k.
Ferdinand2014
Posts: 2059
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

celia wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:12 pm
Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:12 pm I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
I rarely fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 6 hours to Hawaii or 10 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation since I often fall asleep before take off. No need to waste money while I sleep. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Saved every penny.


A long time ago I was traveling with 2 small kids when the first flight was running late and we had to run to the next transfer gate. When we arrived, everyone else was boarded and the only 3 seats left were in First Class. I begged them to let us trade with someone else, but there wasn’t time. It was horrid as I couldn’t sit between the kids as it was a 2-2-2 configuration. They were belted in together in the middle seats with their feet sticking straight ahead (hip to knee was about a foot deep for them. They grabbed the arm rests tightly and I told them we would all be ok.

When dining service started, they gave the kids sharp steak knives which I had removed quickly. They brought wine glasses which I also refused. (C’mon, can’t you see the little ones sitting there?). Finally, I told the flight attendant we had pre-ordered our meals. Were they on our flight? Our last name is …. . She came back a few minutes later with our hot dogs and chips and I felt better. But I didn’t sleep during that flight with 2 little ones in huge chairs with the possibilty of falling out of their chairs.
Sounds horrible. I should clarify I do not pay to fly at all as I use miles which are free for me.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett
squirm
Posts: 3679
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by squirm »

My wife likes to lean on me to sleep, she can't do that in first class.
marc in merrimack
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Never fly first class

Post by marc in merrimack »

Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:21 pm
celia wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:12 pm
Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:12 pm I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
I rarely fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 6 hours to Hawaii or 10 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation since I often fall asleep before take off. No need to waste money while I sleep. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Saved every penny.


A long time ago I was traveling with 2 small kids when the first flight was running late and we had to run to the next transfer gate. When we arrived, everyone else was boarded and the only 3 seats left were in First Class. I begged them to let us trade with someone else, but there wasn’t time. It was horrid as I couldn’t sit between the kids as it was a 2-2-2 configuration. They were belted in together in the middle seats with their feet sticking straight ahead (hip to knee was about a foot deep for them. They grabbed the arm rests tightly and I told them we would all be ok.

When dining service started, they gave the kids sharp steak knives which I had removed quickly. They brought wine glasses which I also refused. (C’mon, can’t you see the little ones sitting there?). Finally, I told the flight attendant we had pre-ordered our meals. Were they on our flight? Our last name is …. . She came back a few minutes later with our hot dogs and chips and I felt better. But I didn’t sleep during that flight with 2 little ones in huge chairs with the possibilty of falling out of their chairs.
Sounds horrible. I should clarify I do not pay to fly at all as I use miles which are free for me.
Then what does “Worth every penny” mean in this context?
User avatar
gasman
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:13 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by gasman »

It is part of lifestyle creep. Better food, alcohol, nicer cars, first class seats, nicer hotels and restaurants, etc. etc.
As get older, the comfort is more important. I feel better rested particularly after a flight with a lie flat seat. Depending on the cost differential and duration of flight, I will pay up for it.
Ferdinand2014
Posts: 2059
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

marc in merrimack wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:29 pm
Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:21 pm
celia wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:12 pm
Ferdinand2014 wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:12 pm I always fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 10 hours to Hawaii or 6 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation. No need to waste a day recovering from stuffed in like a sardine. No stress or lines anywhere. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Worth every penny.
I rarely fly first class. I would never consider anything else. 6 hours to Hawaii or 10 hours to Europe and I am completely rested and ready to enjoy my vacation since I often fall asleep before take off. No need to waste money while I sleep. Plenty of onboard bag storage. Don't even check bags. Saved every penny.


A long time ago I was traveling with 2 small kids when the first flight was running late and we had to run to the next transfer gate. When we arrived, everyone else was boarded and the only 3 seats left were in First Class. I begged them to let us trade with someone else, but there wasn’t time. It was horrid as I couldn’t sit between the kids as it was a 2-2-2 configuration. They were belted in together in the middle seats with their feet sticking straight ahead (hip to knee was about a foot deep for them. They grabbed the arm rests tightly and I told them we would all be ok.

When dining service started, they gave the kids sharp steak knives which I had removed quickly. They brought wine glasses which I also refused. (C’mon, can’t you see the little ones sitting there?). Finally, I told the flight attendant we had pre-ordered our meals. Were they on our flight? Our last name is …. . She came back a few minutes later with our hot dogs and chips and I felt better. But I didn’t sleep during that flight with 2 little ones in huge chairs with the possibilty of falling out of their chairs.
Sounds horrible. I should clarify I do not pay to fly at all as I use miles which are free for me.
Then what does “Worth every penny” mean in this context?
I prefer to use my miles for first class instead of anything else.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett
Boglegirl81
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Boglegirl81 »

I’m petite so sitting in coach doesn’t really bother me that much, even in a middle seat. It would not be worth it to pay extra for first class. When I do international travel, I’m usually with my mom so we try to pick seats next to each other where it’s just the two of us (I can’t do 4 across!), and it’s pleasant enough. I’m also lucky that I can sleep very well sitting up. The worst seats are in the non-reclining exit row!
123
Posts: 7745
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by 123 »

I have flown first class twice by happenstance, both were on cross-country flights over 10 years ago. In one instance I was flying stand-by and I got the last seat on the flight, which happened to be in first class. The other time was on a flight that had only a few passengers, a flight attendant asked me if I would move up into the first class cabin to help "Balance the plane", I ended up as the only passenger in first class. I only recall that the food service was remarkedly better and the seats were roomier and nicer. First class tickets are just not something I want to spend my own money on. Flying back and forth for travel is just a necessary evil to me, I would rather spend my money at my destination instead of getting there.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Zdex
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:10 am

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Zdex »

Almost always fly first. 6' 2", reasonably fit, modern coach is hell. Part of that hell are the passengers. They are loud, sometimes drunk, and a very high chance they are unfit and thus their arms, shoulders, legs, and sometimes even stomach are spilling into your space, pressing against you for hours. I absolutely cannot stand it. I do not want these people touching me for three, four, five, six hours, pressing against me as they shift around in a seat that simply cannot contain them. It utterly infuriates me to no end to have their protoplasm pressing into mine, and really leaves me in a bad mood the entire time I'm jammed up against them.

Sorry/not sorry if this sounds unkind. I do blame the airlines, in part, for totally unrealistic coach seat spacing, and I think Congress should step in and increase the minimums. But just look around any airport; the traveling public today also is a major part of this problem, and it's getting worse.

Absolutely worth it to have my own seat and armrest, without someone else intruding into it for hours on end.
Erwin007
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:29 am
Location: Intermountain West

Re: Never fly first class

Post by Erwin007 »

As a general rule, we don’t fly first class. My wife and I did several years back for a Hawaii trip just her and I, and the difference was only like $400 round trip for both of us. It wasn’t lie flat, and I honestly didn’t know that beforehand, but I do think I slept a little better on the way home than I have in coach for the same trip with kids. I’m 6’2” and ~215 lbs and my knees always hit the seat in front of me when I’m in coach.

Depending on the length of the flight, I’ll buy economy plus or comfort plus for the extra leg room for longer flights when the family is flying—there are 5 of us so upgrades can get expensive. We recently flew first class on a 1.5+ hour flight from home to California for a vacation. The difference in tickets was only $60 per person, but we checked 3 bags, including my golf clubs, so that would have been $180 in baggage fees alone. For an extra $120 it was worth it to fly first class, even just so my kids can say they’ve done it once…
123
Posts: 7745
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Never fly first class

Post by 123 »

Zdex wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:01 pm ...modern coach is hell. Part of that hell are the passengers. They are loud, sometimes drunk, and a very high chance they are unfit and thus their arms, shoulders, legs, and sometimes even stomach are spilling into your space, pressing against you for hours. I absolutely cannot stand it...
I guess I'm unlikely to find you as a seatmate on any of my Southwest flights. Southwest Airlines flights can help you find religion, they give you a taste of hell. I've heard that Spirit and Allegiant can even make you more religious, but I've yet to experience those.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Post Reply