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Have you flown first or business class so often that you have become jaded or have forgotten what its like in coach?

Have you flown first or business class so often that you have become jaded or have forgotten what its like in coach?

Aug 5th, 2003, 02:43 AM
  #1  
cabicou
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Have you flown first or business class so often that you have become jaded or have forgotten what its like in coach?

I just asked a similar question at the end of a response regarding Virgin Airlines. I have been fortunate to have flown several times in first or business class in the past few years. You get spoiled awfully fast! Its the comfort level that makes it so hard to go back to coach. I am convinced that service and the quality of food has deteriorated in the past few years but the wide and comfy seats are still there!
I will be flying Virin Coach in a week so this experience could be a rude awakening for me!
 
Aug 5th, 2003, 04:57 AM
  #2  
 
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I've flown international first class a few times. It is so much better than domestic first.

Most recent trip was on Lufthansa first class with sleeper seats and 10 different kinds of wine.

When I have to pay..it's the back of the plane.

http://cms.lufthansa.com/fly/de/en/i...781029,00.html

Dick is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 09:17 AM
  #3  
 
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I would never fly coach on an international flight again; however, I do fly coach on short flights in the US which keeps me reminded of what it's like. No danger of becoming jaded.
RachelG is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 12:40 PM
  #4  
 
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Fortunately, I haven't become jaded or forgotten due to my domestic travel!! I get to remember domestic coach many, many times a month!! OTOH: it's been a pretty long time since I've had to fly Int'l coach, since I save my upgrades/miles, etc for premium class Int'l travel which is almost exclusively for leisure.

Some day I'm sure I'll have to go "back 'o the bus" to Europe/Asia, etc, but I certainly don't look forward to it!!

Best wishes, Dave
Dave is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 03:12 PM
  #5  
 
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My experience is exactly the opposite of Dave's. I almost never have to fly in coach within the U.S. and Canada, thanks to complimentary upgrades with my FF status. On international, the tickets I buy are too cheap to upgrade with miles. (Fortunately, I'm not very tall and that helps a lot!)

I agree that international first class is wayyyyyyy better than domestic and it's a real treat to luck into it on rare occasions.

Jaded? I don't think so!
Flyboy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 03:28 PM
  #6  
 
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I flew First and Business Class for around 20 years. These days though I only have that luxury from an Upgrade on all the miles I collected.

It depends a great deal on the airline you travel with.

There is no question that when you travel economy/coach the majority of airlines treat you as a total 3rd class person! Overall the treatment you get is totally different than say at a hotel or car rental, cruise ship etc. Even if you have a cheap hotel rate or stay in the most basic room, or rent the most compact vehicle, or take the chepest cabin on a ship, overall you still are treated with respect and decency, it appears to me though once you hold that 'Coach/Economy' boarding card in your hand you are made well aware you are 'not' important.

Having said that there are airlines that do treat everyone decently, among them I would rank Singapore Airlines at the very top, Malaysia Airlines, South Africa, Gulf Air, Eva Air, Cathay. I find European Airlines do not treat you the same. US domestic I won't comment on(!)

I would 'never' pay out of my own pocket for Business Class though, the difference I don't think is worth it at all.
The class I will pay for though is the 'Mid-class' and I wish more airlines would introduce it. It's a real money earner for them and it suits a large number of passengers who just want that extra room and little more comfort and check-in speed.
JamesA is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 05:37 PM
  #7  
 
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Flyboy - Maybe we can cut a deal!!!

Seriously though, its nice if you can upgrade your domestic segs with Op Ups, certs, etc,,,,but I just don't get enough of them from UA to use on domestic flights, so I end up using some for mid or transcon flights and the balance,,,,,c'est la vie!!

Cheap Int'l fares are very very nice as well!! Best wishes and Happy travels! Dave
Dave is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 01:14 AM
  #8  
 
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Yes, sometimes when I can't get an upgrade I get grumpy that I'm squashed in a tiny seat in back. And, to put it in perspective, I am a New Yorker who lives in Australia, so any trip home or to visit friends involves at least 21 hours of flying!

When I was working for a big company, the flights were always business class and for a few years after I quit my status ensured I never was in coach...but now that it's all over and it's on my dime... BUT...every single time I can't get the upgrade and am in coach, I remind myself that I am incredibly lucky to have the privelege of travelling, of seeing the world. So many people can only dream of going to Europe or Asia or Australia. And I always think, "tomorrow, I will be on the other side of the world" and I just wonder at what that means.

That seems to put it all in perspective for me!

Then again, doing the same thinking in Business Class works too!
PixieChick is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 03:55 AM
  #9  
 
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PixieChick:

"That seems to put it all in perspective for me!

Then again, doing the same thinking in Business Class works too!"

Ain't that the truth?!
Flyboy is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 04:37 AM
  #10  
 
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I agree. I have only flown business class once (from NYC to the West Indies on AA). I enjoyed it, but am always just thankful for the many opportunities I get to travel and see the world. Even if I'm stuck in the cargo area....ha.
Statia is offline  
Aug 11th, 2003, 09:00 PM
  #11  
 
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I rarely fly first class and it's already ruined me ! My last first class trip was a trans-U.S. flight between Boston and Seattle. What a treat ! For the flight back, the first class section was only about 1/4 full, making the trip all the more luxurious.

I swear, the next time I fly to Europe I'm upgrading to first class.

I'll never forget my first trip to Europe, an excruciating direct flight from St. Louis to London seated in a row that was only about 70% as deep as the other rows, so shallow that my knees were just an inch from the seat in front of me. I'm only 5'4" ! And although I had requested a window seat and I was next to the exterior of the plane, there was no window ! (The extra depth at the window would have been a big help.) The fellow who had the aisle seat was very large and spilled over into my space. I felt so completely and utterly claustrophobic, squashed in my little airplane prison on my first transatlantic flight, that I nearly had a panic attack. I ended up standing in the aisle for 2 hours straight to avoid going insane. The stewardesses snapped at me when I set a foot inside the kitchen area. (laughing)

When I found out I had that same type of seat for my a Euro trip the following year, I refused to take it and I insisted that I be changed to another seat. The stewardess initially pulled the "do as I say" routine, but I held fast. That row is only appropriate for a small child, and one who prefers to spend his/her time in a tiny closet ! What could the airline be thinking ???

I need a drink after this flashback !!

I don't know how any man who is average sized or larger can tolerate coach.


fussy_traveller is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 01:20 AM
  #12  
 
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What many of us forget to realise ( especially in a time when a large number of major carriers are suffering financially ) is that it all comes down to economics. if we went more room the plane has to carry less passengers and the fares go up.
So what do we want, cheaper fares or more space?
You do not however need to be an accountant to figure out the basic facts.
On a 767 with 200 in coach/economy if you loose 1 row that gives an extra 1.5 inches on legroom. That would cost about 3% extra on the fare. A $200 ticket would cost $206, a $500 ticket $ 515. No big deal. Increase the legroom 3 inches (wow! ) and that $500 fare would be $ 530.
On a 747 with say 320 in coach/economy if they took out 2 rows that would give an extra 2 inches of knee-room(pitch). Take out a 'colum' of seats and make it 9 across instead of 10 would give everyone and extra 2 inches width. Now that would make a huge difference. The fare would need to go up about 15%. But I'd gladly pay $575 instead of $500 to fly to Europe if it mean that comfort.

What the ailines like Virgin/BA/Eva Air have done is give some extra legroom and width in their 'Mid/de luxe Economy' cabin but the extra on BA or Virgin is a lot, only Eva seems to charge a fair price.

Maybe some airlinewill take the plunge and try it!
JamesA is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 03:59 PM
  #13  
 
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Having lived and travelled overseas for more than five decades (gads!!) - I can assure anyone reading this that coach 30 years ago was better than first class today on domestic runs. Overseas, I will not and have not flown in the back of the bus but once or twice and that was such an ordeal that I vowed never, ever to do so again unless there was an urgent and compelling reason to do so. The service and comfort in first class has been all over the place the last few years. Personally, what I want is a quiet spot with no talkers (you don't need a new best friend for a few hours, folks) where I can put my legs up and get some sleep. Food and drink are of little importance to me but the olden days of caviar and chilled vodka and fancy menus were kind of interesting. And the upstairs club bars were entertaining.
wpcx2 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 08:30 PM
  #14  
 
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More power to you, but I consider adding four digits to the cost of a ticket to be "an urgent and compelling reason".
Flyboy is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 11:39 PM
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For those who fly first or business who get their fares paid for them, great! I wish I had a job like that. But for those who actually fork out all that money from their own pockets- you are either very rich or insane!I bet most of those also stay in 5 star hotels, eat in the hotel at all times(steak being a favourite) and see very little of the country they are visiting!
Having said that, I wouldn't say no to a free upgrade!
fiona is offline  
Aug 13th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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For me, the flight and the hotel are not inconveniences that I need to suffer in order to get to my destination, but integral components of my entire travel experience which I try to make as pleasant as possible.

Flying first class or flying coach when the airplane is sparsely filled can be a very pleasant experience. I rarely have time to just sit and think, read, or listen to music. I love looking at the clouds and stars and cities and rural areas and seas/oceans from a 40k ft vantage point.

It's a real challenge trying to make a pleasant experience out of a coach seat on a sold out flight !

Regarding hotels, I personally seek out hotel rooms that are nicer than (or at least as nice as) my home. I'm not a wealthy person, but I just don't get a thrill saving money on a cheap hotel room. I get a thrill from a room that is beautifully furnished and well-stocked and has a great view. And no, I don't eat all of my meals in the room. Just breakfast.

Just like flying first class, top quality hotel rooms will ruin (spoil) you !


fussy_traveller is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 01:30 PM
  #17  
 
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Well, of course I fly coach. I don't think paying or upgrading is worth it...ever (well, maybe if i were terminally ill or won lotto).

Reasons:

1. I like window seats. Both 1st and Coach have the same view, unlike hotels.

2. Time: While you may save a little checking in and receiving bags (priority), the 1/2 hour potential time difference is not a big deal to me.

3. Club/Lounges: Actually, one of the better reasons to go First Class, especially if there's a delay. However, as many airports have better restaurants these days, spending $25 solves not only the lounge issue, but also the crappy coach food problem.

4. In flight service - really, who cares? Go to your local gourmet store and get food to go - for $30 pp you'll be eating better than anyone in first class. And, BTW, I don't drink on long flights. Headaches, hangovers and groginess aren't fun after a long voyage. I used to, however, when I was younger.

5. The seat itself - The only reason (aside from the feeling of superiority as coach passengers pass by) worth it. However, I have a fifty cent solution. XANAX and AMBIEN. That's right - zonk out on prescription drugs and sleep for 7-8 hours!!! I don't even mind the LAX-CDG flight anymore.

6. Solo vs. Family: If you're alone, upgrading/paying costs much less. Multiply by 2, 3, 4X and it really adds up.

It does feel special and is much nicer to travel upfront, however I view the flying portion of my trip as a necessary evil.

Now if we're talking G-V, then its another story :^)

Coachboy
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Aug 20th, 2003, 03:26 AM
  #18  
 
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I must admit to not being spoiled because so far I have managed not to every fly first or business class. I do not want ot be spoiled and then come crashing down to reality of my wallet. LOL

On a serious note, maybe it is because I have not ever experienced it, but I really do not see, other than the extra room, the reason behind spending so much extra money. I do not eat much when I am traveling anyway (via car or airplane) so food is not an issue and I have always found the flight staff to be very friendly. I do not require much attention and typically want to be left alone on my vacations anyway. I rather spend the extra money on other things.

Having said that, I am pretty particular about the place that I stay. It does not have to be the Ritz but it must be nice and extremely clean. Not saying that Motel 6's and Best Western's aren't clean, they just do not have what I want in a place to stay. On those rare trips I take with my husband when he is going to football clinics, I end up in some Best Western's at times but that is because most college towns are not exactly known for their swanky resorts.
beachdreams is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 11:47 AM
  #19  
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For a night flight to Europe I use miles to upgrade to business class since I find it is the only way I can comfortably sleep (even with Ambien or Sonata). For an 8-10 hour daytime flight, I will fly coach if I don't want to use the miles, especially on planes where we can get window/ aisle combo. Since I'm awake the whole flight I can survive with less room and I can get up and walk alot. That way I save my miles for when I really need them - for 15 hour flights to/from the Orient.
DMG is offline  
Sep 12th, 2003, 12:22 PM
  #20  
 
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Never have flown first class. I flew to the states this summer, it was my first long-haul flight. I'll never fly with Lufthansa again, it was cramped and packed, and I was sitting in the aisle. It was 2-4-2 seated. KLM was great in coach, space for the legs etc. But the flight from Amsterdam to Milano, was terrible. It was cramped, the service level was bad. Instead of giving out the snacks and drinks at the same time, first we were given the snack and then the drinks.
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