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So Who's Flying First Class?
Old 08-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #1
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So Who's Flying First Class?

Recent news reports on all the changes in the airline industry made me wonder who those first-class passengers are. Are they all company executives on company dime? Kids of rich families? People with a few bucks to throw away and simply enjoy the comfort (or envious looks from other passengers)?

To me, first-class tickets are priced so high that I would never consider it. I would feel guilty even if someone else is paying for it. I am especially puzzled by teenagers in first-class cabins (and also a little worried that they will grow up spoiled, but who am I to say).
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:44 PM   #2
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I have never flown 1st class on my own dime. I have been bumped up to FC a couple of times and have flown that way on the company's dime a few times.

As I LBYM, FC is as big a waste of $ as I can imagine.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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W*rk will fly me first class on long flights. VPs always fly first class. One my friends put in 200000 miles in the last couple of years so they sometimes upgrade her to first or she uses the mileage to do the upgrade.

Out of my price range otherwise.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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I'd stand first.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:14 PM   #5
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"First class" conjures up the image of my uncle stepping off a plane, second or third off, carrying absolutely nothing.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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Not me. I wallow with the other peons in my little seat for 2 to 3 hrs. But Frontier is cool you get to watch TV and stuff for 5.99! Of course I tend to take red eyes and sleep the whole way. But when Im awake on the 2nd parts TV is really a great feature on a plane. Cant wait for the internet.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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The estimates I've seen suggest that ~80% of first class seats are obtained through upgrades due to frequent flyer status. So relatively few people are paying full fare for those seats. The ratio may be lower on long-haul international flights where corporate policies are more likely to allow for the purchase of business or first class tickets (if the flight is over X hours).
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Gulp. My husband and I routinely fly first class. My husband is 6'8" tall and long flights are painful for him in coach. I am a woman of "ahem" abundant proportions and fly first class for the same reason. We factor in the increase in price when we plan our trips. Best to get all the dirty laundry out there we also travel business class when taking the train....don't hate us.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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Gulp. My husband and I routinely fly first class. My husband is 6'8" tall and long flights are painful for him in coach. I am a woman of "ahem" abundant proportions and fly first class for the same reason. We factor in the increase in price when we plan our trips. Best to get all the dirty laundry out there we also travel business class when taking the train....don't hate us.
I applaud your paying for first class. It is probably the only reason that the toilets in steerage are still free.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:03 PM   #10
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I try with all my might to not fly if I can get there by land or sea. But we're thinking of a trip to Oz next year. Even though it's theoretically possible to get there by boat, I suspect we'll fly. And I fully intend to fly first class for that one. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I don't want to start the trip out with a couple dozen hours of misery. I've never flown first class before, and I hope it's worth it.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:05 PM   #11
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I applaud your paying for first class. It is probably the only reason that the toilets in steerage are still free.


Let's see:

"Mr. HFWR, here's a nice warm washcloth. Would you like to see the wine list? Can I get you a pillow?"

v.

"Peanuts? Bwahahahahaha..."

Hmmm...
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #12
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I applaud your paying for first class. It is probably the only reason that the toilets in steerage are still free.
Always happy to do my part.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:04 PM   #13
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I've been upgraded to FC a few times on domestic flights. It's nice: plenty of room, nicer snacks, and booze if you want it. But there's no way I'd actually pay the price they ask for it. $500 extra is a lot of beer and pizza, and I can enjoy it with people I know and like.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:09 PM   #14
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Gulp. My husband and I routinely fly first class. My husband is 6'8" tall and long flights are painful for him in coach. I am a woman of "ahem" abundant proportions and fly first class for the same reason. We factor in the increase in price when we plan our trips. Best to get all the dirty laundry out there we also travel business class when taking the train....don't hate us.
You have the funds. Whats to hate? Good for you
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #15
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I have never flown first class, but would if the flight lasted more than 4 hours. Besides, I've heard they don't serve bacon in first class...so... I don't think I've missed much.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:26 PM   #16
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I would love flying first class on transatlantic flights but I can't bring myself to pay $11,000 per person round trip on Swiss. It's about $900 per person in economy. If I had $11,000 to spend, I would rather take 12 round trips in economy (which is really not that bad) than just 1 trip in FC. It's a lot of extra money to pay for 8 hours of relative luxury! Plus when JFK is backed up for three hours, the FC passenger wait on the tarmac with everyone else. OK, they drink Champagne and eat petit fours while they wait, but still... Paying to travel in business class though could become an option in the future (when our NW is much much higher). It's a lot more affordable ($3400 round trip) than FC and it is a definite step up from economy.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:35 AM   #17
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The estimates I've seen suggest that ~80% of first class seats are obtained through upgrades due to frequent flyer status. So relatively few people are paying full fare for those seats. The ratio may be lower on long-haul international flights where corporate policies are more likely to allow for the purchase of business or first class tickets (if the flight is over X hours).
Probably even a higher percentage.... but you are right about international...

I do not know of any airline that will bump you to first class from coach if you are flying overseas.... or even business class from coach if they have it.... the airlines KNOW that the companies will pay their own dime so it does not happen...

I remember telling a platinum flying this and he thought I was nuts and would get his upgrade to London.... fortunately his assistant called and asked and was told what I had said... he would have really blown a gasket if she had booked him coach....


ME... I will not pay the price.... not worth it... I few on a number of upgrades being a Gold for a couple of years back when.... it just did not seem worth the price...

NOW, if they would maybe have it a 25% increase or so... I might think about it.... but not 100s....
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:27 AM   #18
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Personally, I would not fork out on my own to pay to travel FC. Incidentally, as I often travel on the job, on long haul flights, I get put on FC.. Otherwise, for short flights, since I am a frequent flyer, I can ask for upgrades if there are available slots. I guess for tall folks, we need and definitely can appreciate the extra legroom for our long legs.. Else we'll get pins and needles in our legs at the end of a long haul !

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Old 08-10-2008, 03:56 AM   #19
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I remember the President of one of the Internet companies that I worked for always demanding to fly first class. One of the (many) reasons the company went bankrupt.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:48 AM   #20
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Not me. But First class always seems to be full. I suspect a large portion of those seats are filled by frequent fliers that get upgrades on their standard tickets.

And of course Business travels (executives).
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