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Talk me into or out of booking business class
Old 09-08-2016, 01:04 PM   #1
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Talk me into or out of booking business class

We are going on a transatlantic cruise to Portugal and Spain . The trip ends in Barcelona . We will spend several days in Barcelona and then fly back to Tampa airport . My choices via Royal Caribbean's air to sea program are
Economy 1 stop $507 each on American Airlines
Premium Economy $ 697 each on Lufthansa
Business Class $ 1300 each on American Airlines

I hate long flights and the crowding in economy but I am pretty thrifty . This will probably be our last transatlantic flight so should we spring for business class or not .The premium economy is a great choice but it involves either leaving a day early or adding another day to the trip .
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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$1300 for Business is a bargain. If you can afford it, I'd go for it.

You say it might be your last transatlantic trip. All the more reason to fly comfortably and have nothing but good memories.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
We are going on a transatlantic cruise to Portugal and Spain . The trip ends in Barcelona . We will spend several days in Barcelona and then fly back to Tampa airport . My choices via Royal Caribbean's air to sea program are
Economy 1 stop $507 each on American Airlines
Premium Economy $ 697 each on Lufthansa
Business Class $ 1300 each on American Airlines

I hate long flights and the crowding in economy but I am pretty thrifty . This will probably be our last transatlantic flight so should we spring for business class or not .The premium economy is a great choice but it involves either leaving a day early or adding another day to the trip .
The difference in price between coach and business class is $1600 (for both of you). The question is: is it worth it? And one way to answer that is "Is there any other way we could spend the $1600 that would bring us more happiness?" If there is, you should at least investigate spending the money in that way.

Another way to look at it: It's a difference in price of $800 each. If you had a seat in business class and someone offered you $800 to move to a coach seat for the flight, would you take it? It's, what, 12 hours in the seat, so that's $66 per hour. And it's not like there's a huge difference in the absolute sense--same plane, slightly better food, and a slightly wider seat.

Now, that's rationality. Irrationally--this iis a vacation--live it up! You won't miss the $1600, what better too spend it on? You deserve it! (But--that kind of thinking isn't what got your to FIRE!)
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
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And it's not like there's a huge difference in the absolute sense--same plane, slightly better food, and a slightly wider seat.
Having logged over 4 million miles on one airline, I'd respectfully disagree. Yes, in the absolute sense it's the same plane and it lands at the same place as the back of the plane, but....there is a difference.

One of the pluses beyond food and seat space is Business/First tends to weed out fellow fliers who insist on invading your space with crying babies, swinging elbows, bare feet up on your headrest and other ummm antisocial behaviors.

Side story:
On one flight I did have to fly coach from Asia to the US. (last minute emergency flight home, only available seat). Behind me were three elderly Chinese women who spent the entire 16 hour flight "hocking louies" on the floor every 30 seconds.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:48 PM   #5
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You only live once. If its your last transatlantic flight and doesn't cause you financial distress... why not? Often, that last memory of the trip is the one that stays with you the longest.

We fit quite well in economy seats and use seatguru.com to pick a seat without any issues. We travel quite a bit, so springing for business class makes a big difference in how much we can travel. For really long flights - to asia or transatlantic, we spring for the premium economy seats sometimes.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:04 PM   #6
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I like to use seatguru.com too. Sometimes business class is not much of an upgrade, and sometimes you want to avoid coach like the plague. Reviews from seatguru for your specific plane and airline can help a lot.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:06 PM   #7
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
We are going on a transatlantic cruise to Portugal and Spain . The trip ends in Barcelona . We will spend several days in Barcelona and then fly back to Tampa airport . My choices via Royal Caribbean's air to sea program are
Economy 1 stop $507 each on American Airlines
Premium Economy $ 697 each on Lufthansa
Business Class $ 1300 each on American Airlines

I hate long flights and the crowding in economy but I am pretty thrifty . This will probably be our last transatlantic flight so should we spring for business class or not .The premium economy is a great choice but it involves either leaving a day early or adding another day to the trip .
We were bumped up to premium economy on SAS this summer and if you can't make yourself part with the $1300 for business class on American (I would do business class--make it the great finish to a great trip, and that is not a bad price at all), definitely go with the premium economy on Lufthansa. Great wide and deeper seats, better food, beer and wine, more movies. The last two times we flew economy across oceans on American were godawful--rude flight attendants, gross bathrooms, ran out of meals.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:18 PM   #9
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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I would definitely do it if this will indeed be your last overseas flight and the additional $1,600 will have a negligible impact on your overall budget. Business vs. economy coach on such a long flight is well worth the extra money if it's coming out of your "surplus" stash that you may end up leaving to your heirs otherwise.

On the other hand, if you're one of those people that can easily sleep on flights and will be unconscious for like 8 of the 12 hours, then your $800/ticket upgrade to business class might not be quite as worth it considering you'd only be awake for 4 hours of it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:33 PM   #11
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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, 02:39 PM   #12
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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.
I find it very useful to look at choices this way. First decide whether the budget exists, then compare this choice to another and see which leads to greater overall satisfaction.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:40 PM   #13
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I would not do it.

The flight is only 8 hours for marginally more comfort and with that $1600 you could take another Caribbean cruise or at the very least a nice holiday.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:41 PM   #14
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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.
+1
Maybe you can live it up for two or three days, depending on availability
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:45 PM   #15
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Do both parts of the air travel have to be the same?

Traveling to Europe is typically overnight. I'd definitely take business class for that, as you may get some real sleep and arrive much more ready for the trip.

Coming from Europe to the USA, flights are usually during daytime hours, and getting some sleep is less important, so I'd save money and fly home in 3rd class (coach).
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:52 PM   #16
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If you can afford it, do it.

My personal practice is this:

On a flight to Europe, you're flying overnight and the business class actually lets you get some decent sleep so you're not cranky and exhausted when you arrive. The difference is huge and the cost is well worth it.

On a flight back to the US from Europe, you're flying in daytime and not interested in sleeping, so premium economy makes the most sense.


But I have often found that if you keep looking and stay active on the booking sites, you can find a business class seat that isn't that much more than premium economy. When that happens, I go for it.

Edit: Oops, I see Hawkeye said essentially the same.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:52 PM   #17
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If you have to be talked into it, you don't really want to do it..take the premium economy and call it a day...
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:10 PM   #18
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It really depends on you. I don't personally don't care if I stay on economy because I rather use my money on the vacation instead.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:11 PM   #19
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Not all business class will have lie flat seats so I'd make sure of that first.

Flying from the West Coast, I'm loath to fly business class on flights less than 9 hours. That would be a lot of flights from the East Coast to Western Europe. By the time you finished eating, you have maybe 6 hours left in the flight.

From the West Coast direct to Europe is a 10.5 hour flight.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:13 PM   #20
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