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Any One Ever Pay to Fly First Class to Europe?

Any One Ever Pay to Fly First Class to Europe?

Feb 7th, 2004, 10:00 AM
  #1  
mlc
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Any One Ever Pay to Fly First Class to Europe?

I would love to hear whether anyone has anyone ever splurged and flown First/Business Clss to Europe? It is our 20th anniversary this year, and we're flying to Ireland from the the west coast in May with one stop along the way. We have had some medical issues to deal with the last few months, and my wife was incredible through all of it. The total price for both tickets would be $5,000 ( I don't have frequent flyer miles or work for a business that would pay for it), whereas the regular coach fair would be &750 each. Sometimes while dreaming about this I think it is way too much, other times I think we've never traveled first class so it would be great to experience once, especially on a flight to Europe (we have flown to Europe many times in good old,regular coach with my legs sometimes aching). And yes I know, that is money that can be better spent in Ireland, but splurging on yourself occassionaly ain't so bad either. Thanks.
mlc is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Life's too short to worry about splurging. Do it and have fun. After health issues of our own we have first class reservations to fly this spring. Although we have frequent flyer miles for this, we are splurging mightyly on the hotels.

Buon viaggio
rocco is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:21 AM
  #3  
 
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Gosh, it is a tough choice. But one alternative could be to fly coach and then go to a spa once you arrive for a nice long massage/spa treatment?
JenniferW is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:22 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi mlc,

"Fly cheap, Sleep cheap, Eat well".

Imagine the food and wine you can have for $3500.



ira is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
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I've developed an odd take on this. If it's your 20th anniversary I'm guessing you're in your 40's. Though I can easily be wrong on this. If you splurge on first class when you're 45, what are you going to do when you're 55? 65?

Through business and personal flying miles I flew first class domestically dozens of times in the 90's. I upgraded to business class 5 or 6 times to Europe. Now first class is meaningless to me. I don't care if I fly that way or not. To Europe I figure it's a lot of miles and/or money to spend for an 8 hour flight during which 5 hours I'm asleep anyway.

I guess for me "familiarity breeds contempt". Now if I could just burn myself out on Europe so I didn't have to go anymore.
indytravel is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:26 AM
  #6  
 
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American Express offers a 2 for 1 in business class. Maybe look into it. Also, check the classified adds in the L.A. Times. Sometimes people are selling their points.
susant100 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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I have, and I must say there's no easy answer for you. I have to agree with Ira, and I like Jennifer's suggestion.

The service and additional leg room can be great. But, First/Business class does not mean "no young children allowed" and an unhappy baby can make for a very long flight for the entire cabin.

Good luck.
Rookie is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:52 AM
  #8  
 
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That's about $60 to $70 extra per flight-hour for each of you. Do what you want. Be sure to get the FF miles for the trip and check the airline's web page to see if they have bonus offers that you can register for. They frequently have mileage bonuses for paid first class, but you don't get the bonus unless you register. If you are using a foreign airline, then find out who their U.S. partner is and get your miles and bonuses through them.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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The $3500 could easily mean another nice trip to Europe.

It all depends on your financial situation and how you want to spend your money.

I think the worst thing (for me) would be to spend the money and then find the flight wasn't that great after all.

What if you used the extra money to get 5* hotels and 5* restaurants?
WillTravel is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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<<The $3500 could easily mean another nice trip to Europe.>>

My sentiments exactly.
Flyboy is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:31 AM
  #11  
 
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I've flown first class, but would never pay extra for it.

If it were me, I'd fly coach and stay longer, or take another trip, or spend the money on better lodging once there.

How about flying coach and staying in castles?
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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I have flown business and first class many times thanks to my employer -- and it beats coach hands down. But, having said that, I would never pay for a first-class ticket if I had to use my own money. If I did, I would stress about it the whole trip and be irritated if the attendant was rude (which can happen even in first class!) or if anything little went wrong and didn't go just as I had expected. I think if you have to ask if you should splurge, then that means money is of SOME concern, even if you are well-off, so I'd buy those coach tickets and then splurge when you arrive and buy a really nice momento, perhaps a painting, to always remind you of your fabulous vacation. The "sovenir" will last much longer than the flight to Europe. Hope this helps!!
Jenson is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:38 AM
  #13  
 
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The American Express 2 for 1 deal is great but I believe you have to be a Platinum member which has income requirements and carries a $350 annual fee.

Also, British Airways has free companion fare when you pay with a BA Visa Card:

Take a companion along for free when you purchase a full-fare round-trip transatlantic ticket to any British Airways destination in FIRST or Club WorldSM (business class) using your British Airways Visa® Signature credit card.

Simply purchase your ticket by December 31, 2004 and complete your travel by March 31, 2005. If you are not already a British Airways Visa cardmember, call toll-free 1-866-255-3428.

This might be worth checking into.
bettyk is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Have flown first class to europe many times (either busines travel or FF miles) and I always found it much more comfortable - but this depends a lot on which airline it is. Get exact info on equipment, configuration, services etc before even thinking about spending this much money. I have found the service to be wonderful (with 1 nut ball exception) and the food is actually edible vs the swill they serve in coach.

However, only you can decide if its worth the extra money - for me, I would pay for first class with real (my) money only if I won the Mega Millions.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Sounds wonderful to me*. I would certainly go for it** -- you only live once, may as well enjoy it***.


key:

* dependent on the carrier, mileage awarded, schedule/connections, personal finances

** reserving the option to travel bargain-fare coach if requirements of (*) are not satisfactorily met

*** not meaning to come off sounding hackneyed or trite

___

Seriously, 5G for 2 persons from the West coast sounds pretty good -- if that would make you both happy, jump on it and don't think twice about the decision.
KS452 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 12:42 PM
  #16  
 
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Whoa, $5000 for TWO Business or 1st Class tickets round trip west coast to Europe? That is dirt cheap! Every time I've checked on the price it's been a lot higher.

Like mrwunrfl, I always think of it per hour. The difference between $2500 and $750 per person is $1750. Over a 10 hour trip, that's about $175/hour. If I offered you $175 per hour to sit in coach instead of business, would you take it? (Kinda looks different that way, doesn't it?)
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 12:47 PM
  #17  
 
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I would double check those prices, because they seem a bit low. The first-class is about 3 times the cost of coach, while a multiple of five or six is not uncommon. You may have come across a bargain.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 12:48 PM
  #18  
 
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I have horrible sciatica and NEVER fly coach for a flight of more than 3 hrs long, but I always buy full fare coach and use miles for the upgrade.

This may not be an option for you, but, do you have a friend who has a lot of miles they are not using that could use some cash instead? I have a friend who absolutely hates to fly and is pretty much not into travel anyway. He has accrued over 350,000 miles on his AMEX. When we run short on miles, I call him up and we just negotiate a price. He dumps whatever miles I need into my airline account, and I mail him a check. Everybody wins!
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Feb 7th, 2004, 12:56 PM
  #19  
CalgirlSusan
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bugswife, if you used American Airlines, you wouldn't have to buy full fare coach. They let you use miles to upgrade even their cheapest coach fares.

mic, you don't specify which airline. What about a compromise for business rather than first class? On most major airlines the difference between coach and business is far greater than the difference between business and first.
 
Feb 7th, 2004, 01:03 PM
  #20  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hi mlc,

Have read the other posts, it occurs to me that you will have laid out $5000 for a first cl ticket, and will expect first class service and first cl companions.

You will be flying with people who are traveling on company business for free, or folks who are using FF miles for upgrades. They won't expect the same level of service and comfort.

I urge against it.

ira is offline  

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