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How much would you pay for a first/business class upgrade?
Old 03-14-2015, 09:10 AM   #1
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How much would you pay for a first/business class upgrade?

After I've booked economy class tickets on United, they frequently offer me the chance to buy up to business/first class. For a 3 hour domestic flight they usually want $300 for the round-trip. Which seems kind of steep, although if you were planning on buying "economy plus" (+$100) and checking a bag (+$50) then the incremental cost to get to first is only $150. Still more than I want to spend on a 3 hour flight. I think at +4 hours, the $300 upgrade would be worth it. But of course they want more than $300 for those longer flights.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:59 AM   #2
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I would not pay to upgrade to first/business class on a United domestic flight. It is just not worth it (based on experience). I'd pay for the "economy plus" upgrade, though, for a 2+ hour flight.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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I paid $250 for a business class upgrade on a 6 hour United flight. It wasn't worth it in my opinion, as that particular flight didn't even have inflight entertainment! However, the $600+30,000 miles upgrade I paid for a 15 hour international flight was well worth it. It's a business first class with flat beds and much better inflight food/drink services than economy or economy plus.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #4
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I'm 6'6" with legs that are longer than average for someone that height. For me, flying economy is not an option. I don't fly but if I did I would always upgrade to business. If seat size or legroom aren't a problem for you then it doesn't seem worth the extra cost. However, if you're already FIRE'd and the cost of upgrading fits in your budget then go for it, I would.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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I think $300 for both legs is worth it. You get a full decent meal, wine, cocktails, first on and off the plane, luggage comes out first from the carousel. None of these are crucial but a nice little splurge imo.
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How much would you pay for a first/business class upgrade?
Old 03-14-2015, 02:09 PM   #6
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How much would you pay for a first/business class upgrade?

I share Bestwifeever's point of view. I recently paid $90 for an upgrade (one-way) on American. I figured the baggage fee waiver and free meal/drinks (although I long ago stopped drinking alcohol while flying) were worth having less stress, especially if you're heading to that sea of tranquility, Chicago O'Hare.

I wait until I get the day-before check-in notice to see if they have an upgrade available for my next-day domestic flight.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:39 PM   #7
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I can't help think about the economics for the airline.

If they have an unoccupied seat, the added cost for them is almost zero. So anything over 100$ for longer flights seems like profiteering to me.

Probably why I never fly business ..
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:51 PM   #8
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I recently flew WestJet to Mexico and back: a 4.5 hour flight each way. WestJet does not have first class but recently introduced Plus fares for $50, meaning lots more legroom and free meals and beverages. For me this was absolutely worth it, especially since I had a whole row of seats to myself on the way home!

In contrast, a couple of years ago I was absolutely miserable stuffed in a window seat at the back of the bus on United between Kahului, Maui and LAX.

For a shorter flight (up to 3-4 hours) I would just grin and bear it. But for a transatlantic flight (5-8 hours), I suppose it might be worth $100 to me. If I were flying transpacific to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, etc, all over 10 hours, I probably would be willing to spend another $200. In fact, that's why I haven't been to Oz yet. I am saving up till I can afford to go in comfort, or break the journey.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:57 PM   #9
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I think $300 for both legs is worth it. You get a full decent meal, wine, cocktails, first on and off the plane, luggage comes out first from the carousel. None of these are crucial but a nice little splurge imo.
+1

Now that I'm old and decrepit I pay for economy plus anyway to get the legroom, so this looks like good value from my point of view.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:45 PM   #10
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.............If they have an unoccupied seat..........
I haven't seen one of these in a long time.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:23 PM   #11
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I haven't seen one of these in a long time.
We flew Spirit (which sucks big time) to Cancun recently and there were probably 30 empty seats. But yeah, that was the first time Ive seen empty seats in a while.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:29 PM   #12
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We pay up for economy+. DH is tall and needs the legroom.

I haven't gotten a generous offer on a first class upgrade yet.
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:41 PM   #13
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I'd pay 300 for the upgrade, but I'm 6'3". And spoiled from a career flying first and business.
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Old 03-14-2015, 07:15 PM   #14
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DH is 6'2", 76 years old and has a creaky back. We switched to Business Class on long-hauls a few years ago (meaning flying to Europe far less often and maximizing use of frequent flyer programs) because it just took him too much time to get back to normal after being squashed into a Coach seat for 7-10 hours.


On shorter flights we fly Business only if we can use miles; we don't live in a hub city so there's generally a connection involved to break up the trip and generally a baby jet with no First/Business Class seating on at least one leg.


We have decided that on long layovers (which I tend to book because I get antsy about short connections) day passes to the airline club are a nice treat. No beeping carts, comfortable couches, a few munchies and open bar- much better than the boarding area.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:46 AM   #15
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After flying over 30 years I became totally burned out by the experience. Last month to get me on a plane, DW purchased first class tickets for an additional $150 on a Delta flight from DTW to FLL. Well worth it as it streamlined the process for a cranky old man. No lines at check in, three free bags, decent lunch, and did I say no lines.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:05 AM   #16
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After flying over 30 years I became totally burned out by the experience. Last month to get me on a plane, DW purchased first class tickets for an additional $150 on a Delta flight from DTW to FLL. Well worth it as it streamlined the process for a cranky old man. No lines at check in, three free bags, decent lunch, and did I say no lines.
Nice! Now you're talking!

I think we were offered first class upgrade on a Canadian Regional Jet for a short flight for $100 once. I scratched my head and said really? I just didn't see how first class in that tiny plane could help.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:29 AM   #17
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Nice! Now you're talking!

I think we were offered first class upgrade on a Canadian Regional Jet for a short flight for $100 once. I scratched my head and said really? I just didn't see how first class in that tiny plane could help.
Yes, but for $100 you get all the free booze you can drink! That helps, doesn't it?
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:31 AM   #18
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Yes, but for $100 you get all the free booze you can drink! That helps, doesn't it?
No, LOL! For some reason I don't drink on planes.....
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:08 AM   #19
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No, LOL! For some reason I don't drink on planes.....
One of the few pleasures left in flying, for me, is sitting at a window seat on a nice day, sipping a glass of wine, listening to good music and maybe snapping pictures.

When I flew a lot and occasionally got upgrades due to my status, it tended to be on a one-hour flight in the morning. I most certainly don't drink in the morning unless it's the Champagne at the beginning of a transatlantic flight!
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:25 AM   #20
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No, LOL! For some reason I don't drink on planes.....
Same here. Alcohol dehydrates, so I need to drink even more water, which leads to more bathroom visits on the plane, which is something I'd rather not. As a very frequent business traveler I read long ago that most air travel related deaths were from fire and smoke, not crashes, and I then decided that a strict no alcohol policy might give me a slight advantage. Plenty of time and opportunity to drink after landing.

Back on topic, I travel very little now but pay for premium+ and would consider booking business for any international travel.
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