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Redneck wants to fly first class and needs help!

Redneck wants to fly first class and needs help!

Jun 18th, 2010, 12:02 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 28
Redneck wants to fly first class and needs help!

My husband and I are flying from Tallahassee (TLH) to Costa Rica (SJO) on Thanksgiving day and returning Dec 3. This will be our first commercial airline flight (we have flown in small planes quite a bit). Since it is our first flight, and we're celebrating an anniversary, we would like to fly first (or business) class.

I am overwhelmed at booking online...so many choices! Plus, most of the sites don't have a choice for first class. I do realize that the plane we take for the first part of our trip (Tally to Miami or Atlanta) will be a small plane and will only have coach/economy.

I guess my question is what is the best way to get a seat/s in first/business class? Book online, call the airline, or book a coach ticket and try and upgrade at the airport? And if I try to upgrade, should it be done at the Tally airport, or Miami/Atlanta?

thanks!
blackcat256 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 12:21 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
Not sure what tools you are using but you might consider

1. www.kayak.com. It is a search engine for multiple airlines. On the same page where you choose destination, date, etc. you can choose what class of flight. The result will tell you what airlines fly that route and what price is a business or first class ticket. You might try first just the Atlanta/San Jose or Miami/San Jose part and then work backwards to determine which airlines also fly between Tally and Atlanta or Miami. You can't book on kayak but then you can go to either the airline website directly or to a site like www.expedia.com or www.orbitz.com to book the tickets. Prices change quickly so don't be surprised if you don't then find exactly what you saw on kayak. Also, if you don't find the options you are looking for by choosing Tally to SJO try using the "multi-city" feature on kayak and put in each segment separately

2. search also on a site like www.expedia.com or www.orbitz.com or www.travelocity.com. Those are online travel agencies that do bookings directly. They might put you on an itinerary on multiple airlines to get you the best value.

Good luck and have fun planning!
laurie_ann is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,803
I wish I flew biz class enough to be an expert, but I do fly biz class as often as I can so I know a little. I don't know about every airline but both American and United airlines have an option to book a biz/first class seat on their websites. U have to click "advanced search" on UA and "more options" on AA when you are on their booking page and it will have a drop down that allows u to book a biz/first class seat. If you plan to pay for a seat you can book it online. Are u using miles or planning to pay? Their are options if you plan to pay and then try to upgrade with miles.

I know that UA will often offer an upgrade from coach when you check in online, but only if there are vacant seats available. If happens to me lately on almost all the UA flights I go on. But no guarantees.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
On many websites to get anything other than cheapest economy class you do have to first select a button that gets you more details. On www.expedia.com it is "additional search options" which then lets you choose class of flying.
laurie_ann is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:13 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
this is one of those rare cases (loisco was the other one) where if oyu are truly uncomfortalbe with all the online choices oyu ,might call a local travel agent. Sometimes agents have sales certificates that would allow you to upgrade from economy at the time of booking.

if oyu buy oonline oyu may have a lot more questions abotu layovers, multiple airlines etc that peopel here would hbe happy to anser but it will raise a lot of quersitons if you've never flown commercially before.

that said, a quick search on orbitz shows american has a one stop with the first leg in economy and the mia-sjo leg in business for 1000+ . Delta's one stop is business and first for 1300+. both for your dates.
mztery is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:58 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,056
$1041 on AA is the cheapest. You'll ride in a regional jet (all coach) to Miami then a 757 in business class to SJO; same on return. There are several departure/arrival options available.

Easily bookable on www.aa.com

Don't try to upgrade at the airport; on these flights at that time of year various elite members of the airline frequent flyer programs will have snapped up any available upgrade seats several days earlier.

For what it's worth, $1041 isn't too bad considering the cheapest all-coach seats for those days are $790.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jun 18th, 2010, 05:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
Unless you're flying trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific on certain airlines, First Class and Business Class are basically the same (just with different names) on U.S. airlines. (They may call a section First Class on domestic flights and the same seats will be called Business Class on an international flight.)
frogoutofwater is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 06:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 803
If you can, try to fly a widebody. The seats will be much better than those on a smaller plane.
andrews98682 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 07:42 AM
  #9  
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Join Date: May 2010
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Wow, thank you all for the help! I think I'm going to go with AA for $1041. Not much of a difference from the $790.
blackcat256 is offline  

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