First Class?

Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:32 AM
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First Class?

I'm considering using miles to fly 1st class to the Caribbean and was wondering if most people fly for half the miles in coach or splurge for 1st at double the miles?

Also, does 1st class to the caribbean get you that much more than coach?
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Save the miles for a trip that short it is not worth it to waste the miles.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Haven't done it to the Caribbean. I have purchased a coach ticket and used my miles to upgrade to Hawaii (going in March). I recently flew first class to Las Vegas and it was so much better than coach - just much more relaxing to be able to board first and sit in wide, comfortable seats, while everyone else is being herded like cattle. It actually made the flight enjoyable.

I'm not sure what the mileage is for first class to the Caribbean - I don't think I would do it for the Bahamas but would consider it for, say, Aruba.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM
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First class flights to the Carribean (unless you are coming direct from Europe) are nothing special (no sleeper pods on these short non-Trans-Atlantic flights).

If you are buying the ticket, and can upgrade, that makes the experience at least enjoyable. But to spend double the miles, seems pointless for a 4 hour or less flight.

As tom42 mentioned, I would only consider it if I was flying quite a distance (i.e., from the West Coast to the Carribean, or to Aruba).
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 04:44 PM
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It all depends, yes its not a terribly long trip for most people but if you're coming from the West Coast sure 1st class upgrades are worth it. I'm East Coast and upgrade on occasion, I have alot of miles and just sometime simply use them. 1st class domestic US or Caribbean, pretty much same thing as same type of aircraft 737, 757, A300, etc. is not near what even business class is overseas on a 777, 747, 767, A340 in terms of conform and services.
Also bear in mind many flights particularly if you use AA, a major carrier to the Caribbean, connect with American Eagle flights...there is no 1st class on those type of aircraft they are all one class planes (ATR, turboprops). And yet another consideration, I've taken flights (also AA) where I've had to fly through both Miami and San Juan, 1st class is nice for more connections than you want...eases that travel inconvience with better service, priority boarding and the rest of the perks. I will add miles aren't quite double, its 35,000 roundtrip for a coach FF ticket, its 15,000 each way for the upgrade. Also you don't necessarily have to upgrade both ways....with upgrade its not a roundtrip thing if you have something like nasty connections or other circumstances you might want to just upgrade for the outbound or the return portion of the trip.
Best of luck and happy travels.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:20 PM
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I have to say that I have loved first class the few times I was lucky enough to fly it! Once was an east to west coast trip and that was well worth it. The other was a free upgrade from Cancun to the east coast. That was nice too. Other than that, we are usually trying to get four tickets, and tend to be cheap about it, and all fly coach free. If you are planning to fly again relatively soon, weigh the trips. For example the east/west coast type trip would be more worth it. A trip to Europe. But if you are taking a trip and won't be traveling as much, than go for it and enjoy!
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:22 PM
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Let me start by thanking those that already replied.

I am guilty of the "not enough info" posting mistake so let me clarify....

1. My miles are on Delta and a coach ticket requires 30,000 miles and first class requires 60,000 miles.

2. I live in Southern California and would use the miles to celebrate the 1st anniversary of my wedding to my beautiful wife (we want a tropical location).

3. Thinking about going to St. Thomas or St. John because there are plenty of flights.

4. Thought about Hawaii but that requires 35,000 coach and 75,000 first class (I only have about 125,000).

My wife HATES to fly. I am hoping that the "extras" provided in the front of the plane will help mitigate some of her fears and stress. I have flown first class to Europe and know that the upgrade is worth the miles, but I have no idea what the differences are between 1st and coach on Delta or Air Jamaica to the Caribbean.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Oh fly first class!!!!! She will love it. It is soooo much nicer and you have a long flight. I have never flown delta or Air Jamaica first class so I can't tell you about service. It will be a wonderful experience and it is much more relaxing.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:33 PM
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Thats not a bad idea for nervous flyers to distract them with the perks of 1st class....however just don't mention that typically 1st class heads in to the ground first! Ok bad joke. I'm least familiar with Delta as I am with United and American, my most frequent domestic carriers....though is a wash for total 1st class ticket redemption its 50,000 miles whoever you fly. You're better deal is with Delta to go coach for 30,000. Don't discount going to some other better places in the Caribbean using Air Jamaica, a Delta partner. While I think St. John is a great choice but you'll need to fly into St. Thomas then transfer by ferry, not a problem but I would not go to St. Thomas, too busy for my tastes however you might like it, read up on it.
So recommendations for based on your flight restrictions (Delta) I'd seriously look at St. John, Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia and Bonaire. Of those 4 they very greatly, St. John and St. Lucia are mountainous and lush, Turks & Caicos (Provo) and Bonaire are flat and dry. Provo you'll find the most enormous stretch of beach and most beautiful water you'll ever find and I've been around the world quite a bit. Bonaire is just simply superior diving and snorkeling, over 50 spectactular sites but there's really not beaches, one doesn't go to Bonaire for beaches.

So it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want more culture outside the US the pick from St. John and St. Lucia would be St. Lucia though St. John has some fantastic beaches and excellent snorkelling.

Hard picks, hope this helps.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:22 AM
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We're using Delta miles for first class tkts to Nassau. We're traveling from AZ and it's a day of travel for us; and we have lots of miles and DL has lots of financial problems. So we'd rather use the miles instead of "hoarding" them.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:56 AM
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It sounds like upgrading would be good for your situation. Just wanted to add one caveat, however. I just returned from a trip to the Caribbean on Delta and was surprised to see they had eliminated first class seating on the 737 we were flying. To make sure you get your full value, ascertain whether or not first/business class seating is available for you for your entire trip, not just a portion of it. Have a great time, and hope your wife gets over her fear of flying!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Considering that you're traveling from the west coast, your wife hates flying and it's a special occasion, I would go ahead and 'splurge' for first class tickets. You'll find that FC on Caribbean routes is the same as domestic FC, so it's not going to be as nice as transatlantic service. But it will be much more comfortable than economy.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Do it ! ! ! Treat her like a queen. Life's too short ! ! !

Have a wonderful time. Wish I was down in the Caribbean right now. Blizzard time in NYC.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 04:05 PM
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That is why I came to Fodors...Blizard and cold so thought, let's go see who is going where.
Only trip we have planned is a weekend in FL for V-day. I have the winter blues...lol
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