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Am I the only one who thinks its a waste of miles to use them to upgrade?

Am I the only one who thinks its a waste of miles to use them to upgrade?

Feb 28th, 2008, 08:09 AM
  #1  
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Am I the only one who thinks its a waste of miles to use them to upgrade?

Maybe, if I had an infinite supply of miles I would use some to upgrade, but at least to me, I much prefer getting more free flights than a more comfortable flight. I don't find international coach that uncomfortable (and I have flown coach from the US to South Africa, Asia and NZ, to name some more distant places), and each section of the plane arrives at the same time.

I have a friend that only use his miles to upgrade domestic trips (mostly US to Florida), and I can't think of a bigger mileage waste.
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 08:17 AM
  #2  
 
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I wouldn't upgrade a domestic flight, but an international flight is another story.

My advice to you is, as long as you think coach is comfortable enough, never fly in an international business or First cabin. Once you do, you will not want to go back to coach,
travelgourmet is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 08:28 AM
  #3  
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I fly in international business all the time, but only when work is paying. I've been in first/business on most of the major carriers, including SQ, CX, BA, AF, Qantas, and I agree its more comfortable, but I would still prefer three free coach int'l tickets to two biz class (if that's how the ratio works).
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 08:44 AM
  #4  
 
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I have to agree with that comment. I once got a complementary upgrade to British Airways Business Class and I said to myself, I have to do th at again. And I did--using miles.

But if one figures the price difference between Economy and Business/First, it is a bigger bang for the buck.
wally34949 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 08:46 AM
  #5  
 
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I think it depends. I certainly do use my miles for upgrades if the flight is over about 6 hours. One of the reasons I love Delta is if you're flying within the US or to some parts of Latin America, they'll upgrade you automatically and not charge you. Unfortunately, not everyone does that - so that's what miles are for.... It's certainly a personal preferences...
Debi is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #6  
 
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"I agree its more comfortable, but I would still prefer three free coach int'l tickets to two biz class (if that's how the ratio works)."

You have much more will-power than me.
travelgourmet is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:35 AM
  #7  
 
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I don't know if I would call it a "waste" necessarily, but I would also rather get a free economy ticket than use my miles to upgrade.

I don't accumulate miles very quickly (I suppose I could accumulate them a lot faster if I charged everything and paid the balance off each month, but that's another matter).

I usually travel with my daughter, and flying to the East Coast or Europe costs me at least $1,000 per ticket (I live in Hawaii) - so I'll use miles to book my daughter on the free ticket, and use the other (paid) ticket for me to accumulate more miles. The money saved for the free ticket goes a long way towards other expenses on our trip.
chepar is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:37 AM
  #8  
 
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Different people have different needs, and different financial or time constraints. What seems to be wasteful for you is not wasteful for others. And vice versa.

Why do you care how others spend their miles?
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:43 AM
  #9  
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I'm just curious, that's all. As I wrote, I have a friend who uses his miles to upgrade, and I've never criticised him for doing so -- its his choice.

And I'm also curious because it may impact how many seats, and of what type, the airlines make available.

And, rkkwan, why do you care why I care -- isn't it enough that I do, and if you do not, kindly skip this thread.
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:45 AM
  #10  
 
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Thanks, I will.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 10:09 AM
  #11  
 
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You have much more will-power than me.

After I started flying intl J for work, I couldn't go back

I'm even worse than Debi. My cutoff is 3 hours.
Patty is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 11:24 AM
  #12  
 
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When you are 6'5" it is very hard to sit in econ. Even the isle seats, hard to get the emergency isle, even when checking in 24hrs ahead! Forget bulkhead! So we use our AA miles for anyhting over 5 hrs...

SD
SDtravelers is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 02:19 PM
  #13  
 
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Not everyone has the time off to take 3-4 trips a year. Glad you think it's a waste as it leaves more availability for those of us who loathe long flights in coach due to bad backs, etc.
Carrybean is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 02:24 PM
  #14  
 
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I'm with the OP. I'd rather fly more often in coach, even long distances, than less often in business or first. My "goal", if you can call it that, is to fly as often as possible, not necessarily as comfortably as possible (though comfort is nice when I can get it).

It helps that I'm only 5'4", so I don't have the legroom problems in coach that some of you taller guys do.

Ed
suranyi is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:16 PM
  #15  
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<<Not everyone has the time off to take 3-4 trips a year. Glad you think it's a waste as it leaves more availability for those of us who loathe long flights in coach due to bad backs, etc.>>

And vice versa, since those who are "wasting" miles for upgrades are not competing with me for a free seat (ps -- I did not mention that I had to take all the trips in one calendar year -- as long as you have some activity, miles do not expire).
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:44 PM
  #16  
 
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Reasons I usually use miles to upgrade rather than for free tickets:

(1) If I buy a cheap ticket and upgrade, I'm also earning more miles, and preserving my elite status with the airline, as well as the perks that come with it.

(2) Cost differential. At least for domestic flights, as an example, I can get a coach ticket that is $300 and upgrade, while I would be paying $1500 if I bought a first class ticket for the same flight. It is 25,000 miles for a free coach ticket, and 30,000 for a RT upgrade. So the value per mile would be 1.2 cents/mile for the coach ticket, but 4 cents/mile for the upgrade ($1500-$300). That said, I don't bother upgrading domestic flights under 4 hours - I just buy the coach ticket and earn more miles.

I only use my miles for free flights when it is for an international business class flight that would be prohibitively expensive and that I cannot upgrade (I'm unfortunately one of those people who tried international biz class and now find it exceedingly hard to go back). For example, my miles are with United, and I can only use them to upgrade on United flights, though I can book award flights on partner airlines. United does not fly to Nairobi. So for an upcoming trip, I booked two business class awards with my United miles flying Lufthansa and Swiss. Purchasing these tickets would have cost $15,000, and even in coach it would have been close to $4,000.
hlg22 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 11:03 PM
  #17  
 
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I frequently use miles to upgrade on international flights, but I'd never use them to upgrade on a domestic flight. I seldom redeem them for free domestic flights either, as I feel my miles are better spent on international upgrades.

I fly from Asia to the US and back a few times a year. On the past few trips, I've purchased the flights in coach, then upgraded to business using miles. For me, it's the best of both worlds - I get to fly business class AND I earn miles.

I also redeem miles for free international flights. In fact, I'm using 75,000 of them to fly from Singapore to Christchurch next week in business class.

Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 29th, 2008, 02:52 AM
  #18  
 
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We certainly can't affod Business Class, ( unless it's being paid for my business client ) but then again most of our flights are on Thai, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines etc all of which have very good Coach/Economy.

I use mileage from flying Economy/Coach to upgrade a few times to Business class simply because the amount of miles needed to upgrade from Economy/Coach to Business Class say on Thai or Singapore Airlines would only 'buy me' a short perhaps 1 hr or 1 hr 30 mins regional flights, and for that sort of short flight I can probably get a ticket for say $150, so if I can upgrade on an 8 hr flight for miles that would be worth nothing more than a short flight, then it's worth it.
JamesA is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 04:52 AM
  #19  
 
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If an airline (American) charges 60,000 miles for economy to Europe during summer and 90,000 for Business Class to Europe during summer, the difference is only 30,000 miles. A domestic award is 25,000, and often one can purchase a ticket for under $250. Economy on American is pretty bad, IMO.
wally34949 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:30 AM
  #20  
 
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If you get a whole row to yourself, or even an empty seat next to you, is there really that much advantage to business versus coach? If I luck out and get this, I have a much better flight, but of course it's hard to ensure.

My only business-class experiences have been on brief flights, so I have no idea about the true luxurious nature of the international business class experience.
WillTravel is offline  

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