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Old 01-30-2014, 12:13 PM   #61
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For me, the lack of padding, and the totally non-ergonomic design, is worse than the lack of space.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:31 PM   #62
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We are heading to HK for a week to visit DD. Economy tickets were $1400, business was $5xxx. I can think of a lot of other things to do with that extra $8k for the two of us in exchange for sitting in a tiny seat for 14hrs each way.
That's the way I usually make decisions about these things: Is there anything else I could do with that $8K that would bring more happiness? Heck, that's a few more days in Europe for the two of us, or three years of eating out an additional time every week. Either of those bring way more enjoyment than 5" more legroom, cushier seats, and slightly better chow while on the plane.

Convert everything to beer and pizza . . .
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #63
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That's the way I usually make decisions about these things: Is there anything else I could do with that $8K that would bring more happiness? <snip>

Convert everything to beer and pizza . . .

+1 And good wine!
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #64
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Just booked Business Class flights from LAX to Sydney and back. We'll spend a few days with DD in Santa Monica before we leave in July, and after we return in November. Cost, including all taxes and fees, $5,052 for each of us. Includes a 3.5 hr stop in Fiji, but the non-stop flights were $2k / person more.

Never spent that much on flights before, so this is probably a sure signal that the markets will tank this year.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:22 PM   #65
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Personally, I don't enjoy flying commercial very much -- never have. And I do usually spring for business class when going across the pond. Sometimes even for domestic travel if it's four hours or more. But for under 2,000 miles I'm far more likely to simply take a few days and drive the distance.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:12 PM   #66
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That's the way I usually make decisions about these things: Is there anything else I could do with that $8K that would bring more happiness? Heck, that's a few more days in Europe for the two of us, or three years of eating out an additional time every week. Either of those bring way more enjoyment than 5" more legroom, cushier seats, and slightly better chow while on the plane.
That's definitely a correct way to look at it. But some people may have made a decision years before, do I work OMY or 2 or 3 more years and be able to travel in more comfort in retirement? If your job was tolerable it's a valid choice. For those that chose that way, they aren't giving up something else to travel business class.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:25 PM   #67
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Business class seats are nice, no doubt about it particularly for long cross-ocean flights as we have enjoyed those a few times, but not paying out of our pocket.

But being frugal all my life, I ask myself how large a portfolio I would need in order to pay $5K+/seat vs. $1500 without cringing, and the answer is $5M. Obviously, I am not there, actually far from it.

Well, maybe in a couple more years I may change my mind when I realize that my time is running out and I need to pamper myself before it's too late, but right now, it's tough! My wife is even more frugal than I am.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:35 PM   #68
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But some people may have made a decision years before, do I work OMY or 2 or 3 more years and be able to travel in more comfort in retirement? If your job was tolerable it's a valid choice. For those that chose that way, they aren't giving up something else to travel business class.
We worked at least 2 or 3 years beyond what FIRECALC said we could comfortably do, but it was retiree health insurance and starting a DB pension at 55 instead of 62 that were the real reason we stuck it out. We were going to fly business class last year to England but DW found out we could sail over and back on the Queens for a lot less. I don't think we will going to Oz again for a long time, and I can't see us not sailing over and back to Europe again instead of flying, so this coming flight is going to be a one off, or at least a rarity.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:14 PM   #69
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That's definitely a correct way to look at it. But some people may have made a decision years before, do I work OMY or 2 or 3 more years and be able to travel in more comfort in retirement? If your job was tolerable it's a valid choice. For those that chose that way, they aren't giving up something else to travel business class.
True, they aren't giving up anything now or in the future, since they already "paid". 2 years x 50 weeks x 40 hours = 4000 extra hours spent pulling on the oars for the man. Those had better be some dang comfortable seats up in business class!
But, I'm glad we are free to choose.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #70
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On long hauls, I will pay for premium economy (or economy plus as some flights call it). However I usually save up my mileage for redeeming business class if available. I do suffer from bad leg cramps if flight is too long and if I can't do the full horizontal position during the flight. Thus, for medical reasons and to truly enjoy my holiday, I will pay for business class if I have to. Once on a flight from Hong Kong to London where I had redeemed business class tickets against mileage, I was upgraded to first class. Wow! That was really an experience. You don't get a seat number, you get a suite number! And they serve Krug champagne.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:28 AM   #71
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I fly between DC to Manila several times a year and take numerous other long trips and have to say that flying in business often makes what is otherwise a 24 hour ordeal much more bearable.

In the past, I'd only fly business on someone else's dime, but now that I'm retired, I'm more inclined to fly business days (perhaps its an age thing) even if I have to pay myself. Some of my reasons:

First, international business itself has gotten a lot more luxurious over the past decade, and is now comparable to what first class used to be. Flatbed seats (with sumptuous bedding), private seat pods, 24 inch TVs, good food and wine, and (sometimes) solicitous service. Not to speak of access to international lounges (showers, food, drink, sometimes even beds), no lines, plenty of overhead space, first on/first off, special baggage handling, special check in, special security, etc.).

Second, virtually no one pays the "rack" rate for business class. Discounted coach tickets to Manila, often on full planes, typically go for $1500 - $2,000. But while Cathay and Singapore may ask $10,000 for business class round trip from DC to Manila, full price on Delta or United (and often Cathay and Sing too) is typically more like $5,000 to $6,000. And Ethiad and Emirates (flying the other way around) offer a wonderful business class (with a free stop and a night's hotel in the Middle East, if desired) for $2500 -3500. And, if you have frequent flyer miles you can do even better. Both United and Delta, for example, typically offer Business class upgrades for 25k miles and $500 each way over cheapest coach. (Not too speak of the deals offered by consolidators and mileage bucket shops, which I usually stay away from.)

Third, within Asia, good business classes are available on Singapore, Cathay, Thai and other airlines (not quite up to the transpacific and transatlantic standards, but much better than domestic U.S. business) that are sometimes heavily discounted. One time, for example, I was quoted $350 on Cathay for a coach round-trip from Manila to Beijing (not a bad price), but was offered Business Class seats for just five dollars more ( $355 roundtrip, a steal!!). And Singapore and Thai offer frequent flyer tickets within Asia for 25,000 miles round trip in coach, but only 35,000 miles in business...including a stop, if desired (e.g. Manila to Bali with a stop in Singapore or Manila to Rangoon with a stop in Bangkok!!!)

So, while I certainly won't pay $10,000 for business class, I was willing to pay $2600 for my next trip from Manila to the States in March (vs. $1500 in coach)....
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:32 AM   #72
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Although I don't fly overseas like JerryO, I really agree with his comments on business class. I do fly 1st class in the US and many times, booking ahead, 1st class adds around $100 to the total cost.....about the same as paying for luggage. I've worked hard, can afford it and so I do it!
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:04 AM   #73
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I fly coach because I am frugal.

Additionally, when I fly overseas for missionary trips, flying business would eat into the medicines budgets for my patients in developing countries. And I just couldn't look in some of these kids' eyes and say "sorry, I flew business this time so no vitamins or antibiotics for you". I just couldn't do it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #74
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And I just couldn't look in some of these kids' eyes and say "sorry, I flew business this time so no vitamins or antibiotics for you". I just couldn't do it.
I doubt if many people here could do it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #75
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Although I don't fly overseas like JerryO, I really agree with his comments on business class. I do fly 1st class in the US and many times, booking ahead, 1st class adds around $100 to the total cost.....about the same as paying for luggage. I've worked hard, can afford it and so I do it!
Are there any tips/tricks to getting a 1st class for a hundred more bucks? I usually pay around $250-$300 for rd. trip tickets to Vegas several times a year and when I check 1st class is usually $300-$500 more. I would definitely consider giving the old bones a break on the 4 hour flight for a $100.
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