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Old 12-28-2013, 09:26 AM   #21
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Very true about seats being no big deal on trains, and we always travel light anyway. Passes are however great for hopping on/off exploring little towns on day trips. One can explore Switzerland in a few days using Eurorail like this.

By the way, some regional trains in Italy do not honor Eurail, as they are not part of it.
Traveling 2nd class with luggage was a real pain as they were packed and we could never find seats with our stuff and always ended up on the jump seats at the exit. No big deal for short bits, but a pain if you are traveling for an hour or more and would like to see a view.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:32 AM   #22
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My spouse and I don't fly all that much, mostly twice a year; Boston to Tucson, Tucson to Boston. I'm considering going Business Class instead of steerage this time around. Price isn't all that different, maybe between two and three hundred dollars a ticket.

Never having done this before (I'm pretty provincial...) does anyone have any suggestions on how best to proceed?

Not going until mid-May.

Rich
I flew business and first both internationally and domestically a lot when I was working.

$200-300 seems like a modest upgrade cost but all you'll get is preferred boarding, a wider seat and perhaps some free drinks. Its a pretty long flight but it might be worth it. You can always try it ans see if you think it is worth the extra cost.

I probably would not be willing to pay 200-300 more per ticket for such an upgrade but would pay for better seats with more legroom and buy my own drinks.

If you have access to miles that can be used on that airline, sometimes it is more cost effective to buy a coach class ticket and use miles to upgrade to business.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:41 AM   #23
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I have used what United calls Economy Plus for 3 international flights and one domestic flight to the west coast. What you get for your money is about 4 inches of extra legroom, but everything else is the same.
Some of the International airlines now offer a 'Deluxe' economy seat which not only offers more legroom but is also bigger (wider and more recline) than regular economy. It usually cost about 50% more than a regular economy seat but a nice crompromise for those +11 hour flights to Asia.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #24
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He did ask for opinions.
Yeah, probably an overreaction on my part but it rubs me wrong when someone says "you shouldn't do this" when it's just a judgement call on whether something is worth the money. Talking about what you get for the money or what you personally would do is one thing, telling someone else what to do is another. Besides, I think Rich actually just asked how to proceed rather than opinions on whether to do it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #25
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.... I do Chicago- Phoenix several times a year on Southwest, but they don't have business class.....
Thanks to all for all the useful info. I'm picking up lots of stuff on this thread.

Ronstar, I'm looking at a Southwest flight (Tucson>Phoenix>Boston) and they show a Business Class ($560 per person). Am I misreading the information?

Rich
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #26
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I'm looking at a Southwest flight (Tucson>Phoenix>Boston) and they show a Business Class ($560 per person). Am I misreading the information?

Rich
I believe it's called Business Select and your not paying for a better seat, just some extra benefits like priority boarding and security line, free drink, maybe a couple other extras.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #27
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Yup. Looked it up after my last post. It's Business Select. For what you get, not worth it.

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Old 12-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #28
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Thanks to all for all the useful info. I'm picking up lots of stuff on this thread.

Ronstar, I'm looking at a Southwest flight (Tucson>Phoenix>Boston) and they show a Business Class ($560 per person). Am I misreading the information?

Rich
https://www.southwest.com/html/air/p...ss-select.html
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #29
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Yup. Looked it up after my last post. It's Business Select. For what you get, not worth it.

Rich

Yes - not worth it. All of SWA's seats are the same size. Business select gets you moved up in line, supposedly between A1and A15. I usually get in the A40's by just doing online checkin at exactly 24 hrs before takeoff. If you get in the A's and low B's a husband and wife can still find seats next to each other. Late b's and c's may not be able to sit together. I would never do business select on southwest
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:43 AM   #30
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I have crossed the Pacific Ocean 14 times since I retired in 2007. For me, personally, the cost difference is not even a close call -- I go coach every time without much problem. I do really prefer an aisle seat. I can't really sleep much on a flight anyway.

I am still amazed by the low cost and speed of modern flight transportation.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:08 AM   #31
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I can't justify paying for business class with my own money. However, I will pay for "economy plus" on longer flights, when available. For me having the few extra inches of legroom is totally worth it. I flew a transatlantic segment in regular economy class yesterday (no economy plus seats available on that flight) and even my petite wife felt totally boxed in.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:57 AM   #32
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I'm a fan of "economy plus" too, but that's because I'm 6'6". I was literally in pain flying std coach from Atlanta to Johannesburg for about 16 hours. That's one long flight to have your knees smashed into the seat in front of you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:19 AM   #33
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When I board an international flight, the first thing I do is take all the magazines and crap out of the magazine holder that is at your knees and put it all up in the luggage bin. That adds about 1.5 extra inches right there.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #34
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When I board an international flight, the first thing I do is take all the magazines and crap out of the magazine holder that is at your knees and put it all up in the luggage bin. That adds about 1.5 extra inches right there.
Great tip!
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:42 PM   #35
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I'm a fan of "economy plus" too, but that's because I'm 6'6". I was literally in pain flying std coach from Atlanta to Johannesburg for about 16 hours. That's one long flight to have your knees smashed into the seat in front of you.
Sounds awful. been there done that.I went economy to Australia once even though my employer would have paid for first class since my wife and daughter were coming with me. Would never do that again.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #36
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If you can afford it, do it!

Some folks drive Cadillac Escalades which isn't that different from a Chevy Tahoe.....and the Escalade costs at least 20k more. So if you've worked hard, have the bucks you should spend the few hundred extra if you enjoy it.

I fly coach when I have my family with me and we fill all three coach seats. If there are less than three of us I like 1st class. I seem to get the person with the flu or a cold sitting next to me......don't need that. If you don't have the extra bucks and I didn't most of my life, coach isn't that bad. Now......if I have another good year in the market I might even buy that new 2015 Escalade!
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:19 PM   #37
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I just got back from a quick trip back east, and took the $200 upgrade for first class on the eastbound leg only.

I had a wider seat and more leg room. I could cross my legs comfortably. I was seated quickly, got off the plane quickly, and received about $6 worth of "free" snacks. The stewardess actually checked on me to see if I needed anything midflight instead of scurrying by. What luxury.

The way back I was in coach and it was perfectly fine. Next time I'll keep the $200.

If I were a large person I'd probably spring for it though. The seats were significantly wider with lots of elbow room.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:55 AM   #38
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The nice thing about First/Business is that you get to sit next to some very interesting people.

I've logged over 4 million miles, all in First/Bus...long hauls. Sat with movie/rock/sports stars, personalities etc. (no, I never bugged them or asked for autographs!)

I wonder once they allow cell phone use if coach or 1st will be more tolerable!
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #39
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I fly economy plus on international flights for the extra leg room. Anything in continental US is only a few hours so I can put up with monkey class seats. Business or first class isn't worth it if it is coming out of my pocket.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:48 PM   #40
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A friend gave me a free upgrade that was about to expire next week. I used it to fly back from Australia in first class with the flat-bed seats. Very nice, but I would not pay for it. I don't think anybody in my section paid for those seats themselves.

On the way to Australia, I had 4 seats to myself in way back. I must say it was not as comfortable going as it was coming back, but I was able to stretch out and sleep.

I've flown enough to get free upgrades occasionally. I would not pay for business class and neither will my employer and neither should you unless you have medical reasons.
One of the things on the "bucket list" for my wife and me is a trip to Australia and New Zealand (possibly with stops in the Philippines [where I was stationed in the Navy 45+ years ago] and Vietnam. But what keeps us from doing it is the thought of the trans-Pacific flight. The fares to go that far are really high anyway and if you upgrade to business or first class it gets to be a really big number. My wife has never flown across the Pacific although I have several times. All of them were in economy type accommodations (although long enough ago that there might have been a little more leg room.) But those flights were not pleasant and the thought of doing it again at my advanced age is a bit disconcerting.

Maybe I should just go back in the Navy and get assigned to a ship that will have a port visit in Australia?
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