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View Poll Results: How thrifty are you with air travel? (see explanations below)
A. Too expensive to fly 4 1.63%
B. Fly, but cheap 42 17.07%
C. Fly coach 112 45.53%
D. Sometimes First class 65 26.42%
E. Always First class 18 7.32%
F. No long trips 5 2.03%
Voters: 246. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:Air Travel
Old 06-08-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
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Poll:Air Travel

More explanation of poll choices.

A. Too expensive: Avoid flying for vacations because air travel is just too expensive.

B. Fly, but cheap: Willing to fly for vacations, but really watch the fares. Might pick inconvenient date, times, routes just to get the best price.

C. Fly coach: Aren't as thrifty as B, but always fly coach.

D. Sometimes 1st Class: Some mixture of coach and 1st. Might use 1st when coach is full or the price differential is small or want to splurge.

E. Always 1st: If I could only afford coach, I'd stay home.

F. No long trips: Could afford to fly if we traveled long distances, but long distance travel isn't interesting/practical for us.

I didn't see an earlier poll on this, sorry if this is a duplicate.

We often have "this is what a comfortable middle class life costs" threads. I think that this air travel question may be one way of getting at what is "typical" around here. I didn't post in the Travel forum because I thought that might skew the results.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:47 PM   #2
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Sometimes First Class: domestic if the price difference is small, which it usually isn’t. A economy plus subscription is comfortable enough, and I often get bumped to first on some of the legs anyway.

International overnight different story - I really want business class for comfort and try to get it at around 2.5x of coach.

Our Europe trips are usually six weeks and cover multiple countries. We usually fly open jaw to/from US and trains or fly between countries.

I don’t consider our travel expenses to be comfortable middle class. Way higher I think.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:49 PM   #3
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We rarely travel by air, mostly because we don't like travel at all, and flying now is such a general PITA with crowds and all the waiting around. The last time either one of us flew commercially was a good 12 years ago or so when DW went with her sister and a couple of cousins to see another cousin in Idaho.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:51 PM   #4
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We search a number of sites for cheap flights, but the cost has to balance with duration; i.e. if the flight is cheap but the layover(s) is too long we'll go up the price ladder.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:16 PM   #5
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Domestic up to 3 hours go in Plus. Although the O'hare to Portland leg was very uncomfortable in Plus. You know why they call it the city of Broad Shoulders? Because that guy sat next to me. I was hunched forward the whole way. Get on board and I'm middle. Get to the seat and there's a couple that are both small. I'm like great!. Then....she gets upgraded to First. uh oh....then John Candy takes the aisle seat. We were 1 row back from First so could see the room & amenities the entire way

Longer than 3 hours try to go in First. International is Business Class, lay flat seats. Volvo spoiled us on our Overseas Delivery trip
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:22 PM   #6
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We only fly a few times a year and most always opt for first class. Maybe premium economy for some short fligts - maybe. Our retirement is reasonably frugal, but travel is where we bend the rules. Back in w0rking days, I was a road warrior and got used to being upgraded as a way of life. DW got used to it as well from companion travel. We like hotel suites, nicer rental cars, and the pointy end of the plane. On the flip side, we often cook our own meals in hotels, Airbnb's, etc. We seldom find restaurant dining to be a good value. We limit dining out to when cooking is not an option or we're both too tired to cook.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:31 PM   #7
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We fly coach. However, we used a boatload of miles to fly business class lay flat seats to Thailand for our honeymoon. It ruined me. First flight ever that my legs didn’t swell.

I see more first class in our future, I hope. I hope, I hope.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:41 PM   #8
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So far coach.
I nearly booked a First class 4.5 hour flight to BC for 25K points (which is cheap) and told DW, she didn't like spending all those points so we looked around.
By the hour later when I got back to the site, those were gone.

Now I know from looking a 1st class flight to Europe in points is approx 175K points for a flight 8.5 hrs.

Next time I see a 1st class for 25K points I'm booking it !!! Then I'll tell her.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:45 PM   #9
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When in Saudi, and my late wife was associated with Air France, we regularly flew First Class as part of the perks...great...but not with our money, we're LBYM to the core.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
We rarely travel by air, mostly because we don't like travel at all, and flying now is such a general PITA with crowds and all the waiting around. .
+100
Because of the above reasons, we detest air travel. Our last 2 trips were to Alaska and Hawaii, and we cruised both places on ships that left Los Angeles. The cost of airfare partially offsets the extra cost of the cruise
It is so much nicer to be pampered on a cruise.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:58 PM   #11
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Pretty much stopped flying domestically (if it is under 1500 miles each way, we ALWAYS drive, above that is case by case) altogether. I travelled a lot for work and got sick and tired of airports and airplanes...
For transatlantic, I now do Economy Plus (where I like the price to comfort ratio for Delta a lot more than AA). This is a major change for us - we used to be rock-bottom economy type travelers

Transpacific, business class is a MUST... or I'd rather stay home
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
We rarely travel by air, mostly because we don't like travel at all, and flying now is such a general PITA with crowds and all the waiting around. The last time either one of us flew commercially was a good 12 years ago or so when DW went with her sister and a couple of cousins to see another cousin in Idaho.
+1

I picked
Quote:
F. No long trips: Could afford to fly if we traveled long distances, but long distance travel isn't interesting/practical for us.
In my case, we don't like traveling and hardly ever leave New Orleans so there is no reason for us to fly. The last time we flew was to my DD's wedding in Oregon, two weeks before I retired back in 2009.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:04 PM   #13
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First class. Don't travel much, but when I do...
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:08 PM   #14
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Coach within US, business or 1st overseas...I'm too old to sit in coach for that long .


ETA: Coach is always 'enhanced' coach or whatever they call it. Haven't flown in a 'regular' coach seat in decades. We usually get exit row or bulkhead seats.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Red Badger View Post
We only fly a few times a year and most always opt for first class. Maybe premium economy for some short flights - maybe. Our retirement is reasonably frugal, but travel is where we bend the rules. Back in w0rking days, I was a road warrior and got used to being upgraded as a way of life. DW got used to it as well from companion travel. We like hotel suites, nicer rental cars, and the pointy end of the plane. On the flip side, we often cook our own meals in hotels, Airbnb's, etc. We seldom find restaurant dining to be a good value. We limit dining out to when cooking is not an option or we're both too tired to cook.
This is pretty much how I travel, other than the occasional guided tour or cruise where I want my hand held a little (India, Nepal) or the area is better seen from a small ship (Galapagos, Panama Canal).

I book the long hauls in Business Class but will endure Coach for flights of 4 hours or less. Since my home airport is Kansas City, nearly any distant trip within the continental US is broken up by a connection somewhere. Business Class can include perks such as lounge access, priority TSA lines, priority boarding and other niceties that make travel a little more civilized- depends on the airline and the route. AA, I've been finding the hard way, is getting very stingy with lounge access even in paid Business Class- international only and "international" does not include Canada or some destinations in Mexico.

I've used Airbnb only twice and definitely will again- SO nice to enjoy coffee in "my" kitchen and settle in with dinner from the grocery store at night.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:54 PM   #16
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Jumped from C to D a couple years ago. On one of my first times I upgraded, we sat on the ground for over an hour, before a 4 hour flight. Instead of getting increasingly cranky, I relaxed in my comfy seat and watched a movie, and had a couple of bourbons. That showed me how much it can be worth.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:12 PM   #17
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I usually have a few short consulting gigs each year in retirement where someone else pays the airfare for coach. I tack on a week or two of personal vacation to those flights which usually makes them cheaper than flying out on Monday and returning on Wednesday.

For my own vacations, I just use frequent flyer miles.

A cluster of people is not a crowd to me, but I used to live in NY. I find airports pleasant experiences, easy to navigate, and virtually no waiting. A few weeks ago I flew out of San Jose and mid-day I was THE ONLY PERSON in the TSA pre-check line, so it really wasn't a line. I felt pleasantly rushed simply because there was no waiting to go through security. Lots of people were stuck in the other line though. That has never happened to me before because normally a cadre of people have TSA pre-check, too.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:14 PM   #18
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Where is business class in the poll?
We fly business class to/from Europe.
"We are done with coach."
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:32 PM   #19
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I
A cluster of people is not a crowd to me, but I used to live in NY. I find airports pleasant experiences, easy to navigate, and virtually no waiting. A few weeks ago I flew out of San Jose and mid-day I was THE ONLY PERSON in the TSA pre-check line, so it really wasn't a line. I felt pleasantly rushed simply because there was no waiting to go through security. Lots of people were stuck in the other line though. That has never happened to me before because normally a cadre of people have TSA pre-check, too.
I think that was a great experience for you. But SJO is a minor airport in the scheme of things.
Picture FLL when 2 megaliners disgorge 10,000 passengers all wanting to catch a flight!
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #20
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Flying domestically I always do coach but I pick my seat . Flying internationally is economy plus or business class .
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