1st class to Italy...worth it?

Mar 25th, 2007, 02:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
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1st class to Italy...worth it?

We'll be traveling to Italy in May from Los Angeles..and so far we have couch seats.
We fly on Luthansa (sp?) and now my husband and I are thinking of upgrading to business or first.
Is it worth it? I don't think we have enough miles or credit card points to use unfortunately...but with this long flight, neither one of us wants to be crammed.
Any opinions? Is it worth the extra $$?
Thanks in advance,

Sammygrll is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Just returned from Italy. My husband said next time we are flying first class. He thought it would be worth it. They had reclining seats and lots of space (Air France/Delta), not to mention their own bathroom and better food. We were semi cramped. Had the bulk head seats going over and what a pain, can't stretch out, little tiny trays.
JAGM is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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If you have the means, of course it is worth it. I fly from Los Angeles too and when I used to fly first and business it made a world of difference. Go for it.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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If you can afford the 4-5X higher fare then business class is definitely far better than coach. The biggest difference is the lie flat (although not fully horizantal seats, and no elbows or hips from your neighbor in your space.

The food is ok, but nothing remarkable. I fly LH from JFK, and since it's a much shorter flight, and it departs late evening I always eat dinner before the flight and get as much sleep as I can. To me sleep is more important than airplane food.

Lufthansa has been upgrading their business class seats - check www.lufthansa.com to see if the LAX to Germany route you are on is with the new seats. If you can sleep on a plane you should be able to get 5-6hrs of sleep in business class, but it's not like sleeping in your own bed.

First class is usually another 2x higher. First class has truly flat bed seats, and very good food. Business class food still tastes like - well airplane food. First class usually does not.

J62 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Of course. If you can afford it, then I'd by all means do it. We used to always fly first class due to a family member working at the airline, and I can barely handle transatlantic flights in coach now because of being "spoiled".

It's a huuuuge difference. But, to us, having to pay the 2-3x higher fare isn't something we can justify - we'd rather take more trips and suffer a bit in the process.
nycgirl1 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Have you even looked at the price difference between Coach vs Business vs First on your flights? Look at those prices and then decide if it's worth it or not for YOU.
yk is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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If you are not interested in frequent flyer miles, there are a ton of discounters, etc... on the web. There are also places where FF miles are bought and sold. You can even find them on Ebay.

Business class usually is not that better than First class (in my opinion), particularly for the price. I used to love being in the bubble of a 747, where it seemed like there were only 20 people flying.

With newer planes, you still deal with the masses, but it's not quite the same.

If you can avoid coach, do so. The old argument about "it's only 10 hours" is old. If you can afford it, do it. Where you sit affects your trip attitude, both going and returning.

It also depends on what is offered on each airline, maybe Business class is better at Lufthansa, than First class on US Air, it's your choice.

I do still have my caviar opener from flying Air France Business class from SFO - CDG. Kinda tacky, but not something you'd get in coach.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Yeah, I heard Business Class on Lufthansa is not all that better than coach. But maybe LH is making improvements.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Is a Mercedes Benz S600 worth 4 times over a Camry? Is a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant worth over a simple no-name place? Is the Ritz-Carlton worth 4 times over the Hampton Inn?

No one can answer those questions, except there are people who fly coach, and there are people who fly business or first.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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BTW, there are airlines who offer "premium economy" - something between coach and business. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Air NewZealand offer those between LAX and London Heathrow. Next time, you can consider those.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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I have been stuck in coach, been upgraded and on my most recent trip over, I paid for it. I doubt I will pay for it again.

My advice would be for you to upgrade your hotel room or your restaurants before paying for this upgrade. If you are already paying for a topflight hotel, you should think about this. But you will pay thousands of dollars for 10 hours in a chair, being served food that is better than coach, but certainly not something you would aspire to on a night out, with more attentive service from the flight attendant. The seats are nice, but other than that, it's pretty standard.

Having said all that, I would upgrade on miles in a moment from coach. But I will spend my money on other extravagances on my next trip.
tn is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Essentially, premium economy (economy +) is mrely more leg room and is the same service as economy.

I forgot about telling folks about www.seatguru.com , which is helpful to find the better seats wherever you fly.

Even AA has upgraded their 'old' 767's in Business class this year.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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my 2 cents. Yes.
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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We flew first class a few years ago to Rome from Boston on Continental. It was amazing! The whole first class area was so spacious - each seat reclined to a bed and food and service was impeccable! An experience to remember!
Marianna is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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We flew business in Alitalia on Feb this year coming back in business Delta last week. It is worth it.
Alitalia was fantastic, even the seats look so elegant in a light grey, they serve delicious ITalian coffee and good food. Very good for an airliner but of course the best is the space, and they way ther treated us. Very nice. Delta also is very nice, however some one Alitalia was a tiny little bit ahead. On the contrary I have flow Air France to Paris but I was not as happy as I was with Alitalia.
Graziella5b is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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I prefer to invest my money in upgrade flights rather than upgrade hotels. I'm not even in the hotels long enough to care. Clean, central and safe is all I need. I just consider my flights part of my vacation. I get there clean and fresh and happy. Sometimes I hate getting off the plane!!!!
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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I've flown business and first class, as well as coach. It's always been a free upgrade for me.

Would I spend a few thousand dollars of my own own money for a larger chair?...for 10-12 hours?...No way. Especially if you just intend to sleep.

Jim_Tardio is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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I don't think it's worth the extra cost. Think about what else you could spend that extra money on in your trip. There are ways to get away from the squished feeling. Usually there is a space at the back of the plane where you can stretch and hang out for a bit. I also always get aisle so I can go for a walk as often as needed.

Good Luck


www.nomadwannabe.com (travel articles and tips)
pippy4tao is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 08:12 PM
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I love to travel, and I will put up with coach so I can afford to go more often. If it's going to prevent you from going on a great trip in the future, I wouldn't do it. I'm saving my FF miles for really long trips - like NY to Hawaii and NY to South Africa. I can handle the 7 hours to Europe.
christabir is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 09:15 PM
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From Los Angeles it is about 11 hours to Germany. Money might not be the determining factor, not wanting to be crammed seems to be the OP's factor, in which case business or first class is the answer.
SeaUrchin is offline  

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