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Old 09-08-2016, 04:14 PM   #21
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Thanks everybody ! Since it is a return flight I think Fuego makes the most sense . I will upgrade to Premium economy and stay another day in Barcelona . My budget could easily handle business class but after a lifetime of thrifty habits I have a hard time pulling the trigger on business class which is nuts since my daughter will inherit a crap load .
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:40 PM   #22
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Maybe your daughter will end up flying First everywhere.

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Old 09-08-2016, 04:53 PM   #23
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I've flown AA to/from Spain a number of times, mostly in business class. I think pretty much all their biz flights are lay-flat although of course you should still check. I mirror the comment of others that it's more important going to Europe from the US than coming back.

A third option would be to look into using AA miles to book an award (in either class). AA often has decent availability to/from BCN. You can often find credit card offers of 50K AA miles with $2-4K spend. 50K miles should be enough or close to enough for a one-way biz flight.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:22 PM   #24
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A third option would be to look into using AA miles to book an award (in either class). AA often has decent availability to/from BCN. You can often find credit card offers of 50K AA miles with $2-4K spend. 50K miles should be enough or close to enough for a one-way biz flight.

I have thought of that but I just opened a capital one Venture card and used my extra spending on that . I do have 55,000 miles but on Capital one that equals $550.00 which I can use towards flights.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:27 PM   #25
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Maybe your daughter will end up flying First everywhere.

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Oh well ! It will be her money then .Believe me I would love to book the business seats and maybe I will but after a lifetime of frugality it is hard to break the pattern .That is why I am asking for advice .
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:37 PM   #26
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Oh well ! It will be her money then .Believe me I would love to book the business seats and maybe I will but after a lifetime of frugality it is hard to break the pattern .That is why I am asking for advice .
I used to always tell my parents to fly first class and they rarely did. So I suppose I inherited more money when they died. I still wish they had traveled in the most comfort possible and flown first class more often though. Oh well.

I am sure your kids want you to be comfortable.

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Old 09-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #27
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Oh well ! It will be her money then .Believe me I would love to book the business seats and maybe I will but after a lifetime of frugality it is hard to break the pattern .That is why I am asking for advice .
Don't feel bad. We flew to Cancun on Sun Country, due to a combination of our park'n'fly hotel being really close to the airport and some snotty snow on the roads we were literally the first ones to check in.

The gal offered us 2 upgrades to first class for a hundred bucks a piece and I hesitated because I had paid 10 bucks a piece to reserve our seats in coach. She laughed out loud and said I usually have a line of people here by 515 AM trying to snag a day of upgrade. My DH said, just take it and quit thinking about it. So I know what you mean about breaking your spending patterns.

So if you really want to just take it and quit thinking about it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #28
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As you get older, being shoehorned in tourist class gets tougher, On our last 4 transatlantic flights we popped for Business Class. DW loved it because of the lay flat beds and the fact she could sleep on her side.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:13 PM   #29
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I flew Lufthansa premium economy earlier this year, and I think it is definitely worth it. Extra legroom and your own arm rests! It's what flying should always be like. Unless you're one of those lucky ducks who can sleep on planes. Otherwise, treat yourself to better food, service, comfortable seats, and bigger TV screens. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:01 PM   #30
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Warm nuts and mimosas before you even take off. For that price I would take it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:53 PM   #31
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If you're going to spend more, why not go with premium economy, take the $1200 you saved, live it up an extra day in Europe, and pocket part of the savings vs business class.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:19 PM   #32
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We tend to fly economy on short haul flights (up to around 5 hours) and either business or premium economy on long haul. Once both our daughters are in boarding school, DW and I plan to do more travelling and will pay for that by going premium economy only on long haul flights.

We do tend to shop around for the best deals and have learned through experience that loyalty to a single airline for points/status usually ends up costing more in higher ticket prices than the benefits are worth.

As others have said, not all business class seats are the same. Some give you flat beds and some do not. The same is true of the pitch and seat width in premium economy, so check to see what you are getting for your money before you book.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:52 AM   #33
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Haven't flown American Airlines much internationally, but I'd certainly take the business class seat if its a full flatbed..... $1300 is really quite cheap for internationally business class, which is typically $3,000 - $7,000 across the Atlantic depending on destination.

Flying business class across the Atlantic and Pacific nowadays typically means sitting in little, private cubicles with full flatbeds. Business also usually means faster check in and security; access to good international lounges; much better customer service; and the ability to sleep on overnight flights. Flying business can make the first two or three days before and after your trip much more functional and enjoyable.

My wife and I, for example, just came back from a hiking trip to Switzerland (via London) on British Air. Business Class meant: Excellent dinner in the lounge before leaving and a full 6 hours sleep on flatbeds in private cubicles on the overnight flight. MUCH better service (through fast track lines) transferring in London on our return from Zurich when BA's reservations system went down (we took a couple of minutes, while coach passengers waited for hours in long lines!). Two or three movies, an excellent dinner with fine wines, and 2 or 3 hours of sleep on our return flight to DC which arriveed 9:00 pm US time (but 3 am Zurich time!). And our "priority tagged" luggage was always first off the plane.

In general, commuting two or three times from Asia to the US the past 5 years (on 24 hour flights), my wife and I would always take business if we could get a ticket for no more than $500 - $1,000 extra (+ 50k miles usually) for the upgrade.

Flew to Argentina last winter on Economy Plus (free upgrade on coach mileage tickets) and it was okay, but it isn't really much better than regular coach (but business on those flight required four times as many miles!).

In general, I'm willing to pay a small surcharge for Economy Plus (say $50-100) and often do on transcontinental flights for early boarding and slightly more space; but international business is usually a whole different ball game!

Hope that helps!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:55 AM   #34
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$1300 for Business is a bargain. If you can afford it, I'd go for it.

Heck, yeah. I don't think I've ever seen it that cheap. Even with IcelandAir, DH and I paid $2100 pp for Boston-Keflavik last year.

We quit flying Coach on transatlantic years ago- DH is over 6 feet tall, and has a creaky back and other health issues. Coach was just too hard on him. While I was sad that it meant our travel budget could cover only one European trip per year (some years we'd done 3 in Coach), we don't regret our decision. It wasn't just the free booze (that's darned expensive "free" booze!). It was the early boarding, the comfortable seats, the lounge access, better and more plentiful food (DH particularly liked ice cream sundaes made to order)- just all around a more civilized experience. It helped that I had a nice pile of miles form flying on business and knew how to leverage all the loyalty programs. I once kept 100K miles in DH's account from expiring by buying a $15 iTunes gift card through the airline's shopping portal!

We're still fine with Coach on short-hauls. We buy alcohol or food if we want it and if we have a very long layover, either scheduled or due to airline problems, we buy day passes to the lounge. Sure, it's a splurge at $50 per person but it's a lot more enjoyable than being in the main area with the infernal beeping carts and recorded announcements.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:10 AM   #35
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I realize I'm in a very different class of net worth and spending than some on this thread, but I have to ask. I've seen multiple mentions of the ability to sleep in business class seats and that translates to 1-3 extra days of useful time once you land in Europe.

I've never done the Europe flight, but did a similar flight to Uruguay (on our Uruguay/Argentina/Buenos Aires vacation several years ago). We flew economy class using points (40,000 pts off season rates!). I recall it was 2 hours to Miami from Raleigh, then 9 hours overnight from MIA to Montevideo Uruguay. I slept some but not a lot (though DW reports sleeping well). I was a little groggy upon arriving in Montevideo but after some coffee and a decent meal I don't remember the first day being a bust at all. I probably went to bed early and it was fine after that.

Even if I spent a whole day half-asleep and then went to bed early, I'd still be way ahead in dollar terms (even after paying $100-200 for a hotel night plus another $50-100 for meals). I would partially "waste" a day but have an extra $1400 in my pocket using OP's prices (which would buy us an extra week or two of vacation depending on where we travel).

I would be all over a cheap 1st or business class upgrade for an 8-9 hour flight at ~$200-300 max, but not sure I would pay a lot more. Is it an age thing? Maybe I'll feel differently at 46 or 56 or 66 than I do now at 36.

edit: another confusing airline travel issue: why is early boarding so important and loved by many on this thread? I dislike being on a plane and want to board as late as possible (unless it's southwest and I want to pick a seat with my companion(s) ). I'd close the cabin door on my way in if they'd let me! Of course I'm in coach and many of you are in biz/1st so maybe that's the difference? Is it overhead space for your carry-ons? I figure if I can get on the plane 30 minutes later than the first people on, my flight is 30 minutes shorter!

edit 2: I only fly 1-2 trips per year so maybe the very infrequent inconvenience of coach doesn't bother me as much.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:51 AM   #36
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I've never done the Europe flight, but did a similar flight to Uruguay (on our Uruguay/Argentina/Buenos Aires vacation several years ago). We flew economy class using points (40,000 pts off season rates!). I recall it was 2 hours to Miami from Raleigh, then 9 hours overnight from MIA to Montevideo Uruguay. I slept some but not a lot (though DW reports sleeping well). I was a little groggy upon arriving in Montevideo but after some coffee and a decent meal I don't remember the first day being a bust at all. I probably went to bed early and it was fine after that.

Even if I spent a whole day half-asleep and then went to bed early, I'd still be way ahead in dollar terms (even after paying $100-200 for a hotel night plus another $50-100 for meals). I would partially "waste" a day but have an extra $1400 in my pocket using OP's prices (which would buy us an extra week or two of vacation depending on where we travel).

I would be all over a cheap 1st or business class upgrade for an 8-9 hour flight at ~$200-300 max, but not sure I would pay a lot more. Is it an age thing? Maybe I'll feel differently at 46 or 56 or 66 than I do now at 36.

.

It is an age thing .In my 40 & 50 's I flew international flights in economy and bounced back pretty quickly . I will be 70 when I go on this trip and I find I am willing to pay extra to make travel easier on me . This will also probably be my last transatlantic flight as I am losing interest in that type of travel . Something I thought would never happen to me . Luckily I traveled extensively in my 40,50 & 60's .
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:58 AM   #37
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Heck, yeah. I don't think I've ever seen it that cheap. Even with IcelandAir, DH and I paid $2100 pp for Boston-Keflavik last year.
Keep in mind this is $1,300PP ONE-WAY. Presumably it'd be $2,600 PP RT which is still quite good, but not insane like $1,300 PP RT would be.

$2K PP RT to Iceland is a very good price. I haven't seen less than $3K when I've looked.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:16 AM   #38
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We fly to Asia 2-3 times a year from LAX, almost on Econ seats and we use karak.com to find the cheapest price. They are selling about $500 round trip with one stop nowadays. This is the cheapest I have seen for 20 years, thanks to the low oil price. The price for business class though could be up to 4-6 times as much.

Only once, on Malaysia airline, they overbooked our seats, and upgraded 4 of us on business. Kids loved these and requested flying business ever since but we have not tried on our money yet.

I suspect that once we pass 65, we will have to spend the money to buy the comfort for those 14 hour flights.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:29 AM   #39
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Premium economy is usually just a larger seat than coach. Whereas usually in Business Class the seat becomes a flat bed. My feeling is not to waste money on Prmium Economy. If your are going to do it, go for Business Class!
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:32 AM   #40
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edit: another confusing airline travel issue: why is early boarding so important and loved by many on this thread? I dislike being on a plane and want to board as late as possible (unless it's southwest and I want to pick a seat with my companion(s) ). I'd close the cabin door on my way in if they'd let me! Of course I'm in coach and many of you are in biz/1st so maybe that's the difference? Is it overhead space for your carry-ons? I figure if I can get on the plane 30 minutes later than the first people on, my flight is 30 minutes shorter!
+1

I've never understood the compunction to frantically get into line when they announce boarding. Standing there all anxious and getting on board, just to sit there for another half hour ! The less time in the cigar tube the better, I say.

I always take my time and if I had my way I'd stay off until the last second and have to leap from the jetway across the gap while you were closing the door ! haha

To the OP, I would go for it. At your age and with your (implied) funds, you deserve it for a lifetime of hard work and foresight. The rewards have to come some time and if not now, when ?

We have only been to Asia once and we had biz class on that 15+ hour flight. A godsend. Mind you, I always take a couple of Dramamine before any flight and usually sleep okay. My DW has often been PO'ed at me because I am asleep before takeoff !!
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