Flying in Comfort

Old Oct 24th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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Flying in Comfort

I travel for a living and spending 8-10 hours in coach from the East Coast is not something I'm looking forward to. On the other hand, neither is forking over $7k for 2 1st class tickets.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on how to fly in comfort without spending the entire budget on airfare?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 24th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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yk
 
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1) Go for Business Class instead of First Class.
2) Use frequent flier miles for the Business class seats
3) Buy economy seats but use FF miles to upgrade from economy to Business (a bit tricky though, as it depends on which airline, and most airlines only allow economy seats bought in certain fare class to upgrade, plus a hefty upgrade fee)
4) Have someone else pay for you seats.
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Old Oct 24th, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Travel on Wednesday.

Take a daytime flight if you can find one.

Book aisle seats for everybody in your party -- or at least for yourself.

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Old Oct 24th, 2008, 09:36 PM
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Book BA premium economy!
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Check on www.seatguru.com for the seating chart for each plane and find out which are the most comfortable seats.
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 04:05 AM
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Hi MarkC5,

If you don't mind flying into Paris, look into L'Avion, the discount all-business class airline. Round-trip bc at $1400.

Have fun!

s
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 07:05 AM
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I've flown both BA and Virgin Atlantic premium economy--I prefer the latter in terms of comfort, seat size and quality of food.

I flew Virgin Upper Class often for work--it's fantastic and very occasionally there are deals. Upper Class is a cross between business and first class, leaning more toward first, particularly with its fully horizontal beds and excellent service.

Those days (for me) are gone but Virgin premium economy is very comfortable.
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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We flew Virgin PE, and it was much better than regular economy. The fares for the seats varied wildly, by the day, hour, and even on an instant repeat search. It was frustrating.

Virgin PE seats are listed as 21' seat width, BA as 18.5.

http://www.seatguru.com/charts/premium_economy.php
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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We flew l'Avion last month, and vowed never to fly coach again. Instead of $7k, it costs $1479 (if your travel dates are flexible).

The only thing we really hated was the schedule: the afternoon westbound flight* arrives too late to connect with anything that would get us back to Arizona, so we had to spend a night at the (very pleasant, I must say) JFK Marriott. We met a fellow from Maine who had the same problem.

I wrote a few things about l'Avion early in October, but I can't find the thread. Maybe it will surface soon.

* The morning departure wasn't available the week of our return.
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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I wish I could get to Europe in only 8-10 hours. I've been flying from L.A. to Europe, almost annually, for more than 30 years and in economy class 99% of the time.

If I could get to Europe, in such a short amount of time, then I'd definitely take a night flight...not that I sleep on planes...but at least others do so it's QUIET...no excessively, loud and chatty folks and/or crying/screaming kids. So, after the meal is finished, and everything is cleared away, then the lights are turned off.

I take the non-stop, night flight from L.A. to Bangkok...17 and a half hours...and survive it in economy class...and that's the short flight. Smiles. Happy Travels!
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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Depdning on where you're flying from and to, also check out CO's BusinessFirst and DL's BusinessElite. They're a cross of business and first and have seen fare sales at times of under $2K to certain cities. We've taken CO's BF a couple of times and it's a really nice product.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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If there is a 3-seat option in coach, try booking the window and aisle. Nobody likes to sit in the middle, especially between two strangers, and probably will not book that seats unless there is a lack of other options. Not that it's great, but two people sharing three seats allows you to stretch out allowing for slightly more comfort.

I take Ambien and sleep...the uncomfortness isn't as noticable then!

Tracy
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Hi M,

>I travel for a living...<

People give you money just to travel? That is fantastic.

Aisle seats.
You get to stretch one leg, at least.

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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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I understand and can only comment that booking in "premium economy" can sometimes backfire.

A couple of years ago we took the day flight on British from Dulles to Heathrow.

We got cheap regular economy seats.

Day we flew, the premium economy section was completely full and economy was almost empty...so I got a LOT of seats to lie on as we flew over.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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If you can take the daytime flight to London(such as AA from NYC) it is great. It seems like you "miss" a day but as you can go to sleep when you arrive and then be fresh the next day. Work or read on the flight too with no one bothering you. If AA and you get one of the two seats on the side, either aisle or window, it at least seems less crowded even if the entire flight is full. I am a good sleeper on a flight and a small person but I have to say I much prefer that daytime flight if going to London. Even if going beyond you can stay at airport hotel and go on to your destination early the next day.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Fly nonstop. They may not be your cheapest flights, but if you live in a major city on the East Coast, they shouldn't cost that much more. That should cut a couple hours off, as it does not take 10 hrs to fly to France from the East Coast, so I assume you are making connections. I always will pay a premium for nonstop flights to Europe as I detest flying so much--at least those long flights in coach.

If you travel for a living, don't have have a bazillion FF miles, though, which you can use to upgrade? I have flown first once due to some guy switching seats as he wanted my coach seat (go figure, but his fiance was in coach), and it wasn't uncomfortable at all, that's the way to go.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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From Phoenix, stopping in NYC is always better for us than an 11 hour flight. The fact that l'Avion only flies from EWR to ORY is gravy.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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MarkC5 - Never again will I ever travel "coach" simply because we have linked credit cards to FF miles and use every opportunity to add to them.
Admittedly we run a large business which allows us purchases in volume using our Credit Cards, but if everyone just paid their telephone & Ultility Bills with Credit cards you would be surprised how quickly the FF miles accumulate!
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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I'm just relatively careful about who I fly, on which airplanes, and in which class of service.

For instance, as a SkyTeam elite, I know that I can book the exit rows on the Northwest A330s. And given their 90-day seat assignment window, if I am booking at 90+ days, it only takes a quick note on the calendar to ensure I snag them. I would never pay for premium economy if I can get an exit row on the Northwest A330. Ditto for the upper deck exit row on an Air France 747.

I also do what I can to ensure I reach an elite level that gives me lounge access. I can live with the 8-10 hour flight if I can be comfortable while at the airport and during any layovers.

I tend to save my miles for long trips, where I might spend 12+ hours on a plane. I view East Coast to Europe jaunts as mileage earning opportunities, rather than mileage burning opportunities.
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