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Old 05-20-2016, 06:24 AM   #41
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My friend said that business class often goes on sale? Does anyone know if that's true, and do you find out well before the flight is scheduled? I just looked at the upgrade to business class for the two segments and it would probably be close to $2-3k, which is a big difference than paying an extra $400!
I haven't heard of this but would be interested if others are familiar with it. I don't frequently pop for BC but would do so at a discount.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:50 AM   #42
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Every time I consider upgrading for international flights of > 12 hours, I remind myself that on about 50% of the dozen or so flights of that type I've taken, I have ended up with my own entire row anyway.

Now... to get booze? Yeah maybe then. :-)
What routes do you fly? The last few years we were flying Coach to/from Europe (usually late Spring or early Fall), DH and I always booked Window and Aisle seats in the same row. We were always joined by a passenger in the middle.


And the free booze is nice but it would be cheaper to buy it in Coach (although it's hard to get the attention of a flight attendant in Coach).


Quote:
Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
My friend said that business class often goes on sale? Does anyone know if that's true, and do you find out well before the flight is scheduled? I just looked at the upgrade to business class for the two segments and it would probably be close to $2-3k, which is a big difference than paying an extra $400!


I've searched for those mythical Business Class seats on sale and can never find them. Typically they're last minute or, at best, within the next month or two, and DH and I book 6-9 months out. I subscribe to e-mails from one travel writer (Joe Brancatelli) who will occasionally notify us of Business Class sales but they're usually "flash" sales (very short-lived) and you have to hunt for the bargain prices. It's never as easy as "New York to London, Business Class $X, click here".


I just have a mental idea of what we're willing to pay and search to find an acceptable airline/itinerary. Last year we flew from Boston to Reykjavik in Business Class for $4,200 round trip for both of us; we're going again in August for a little less than that.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:33 AM   #43
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I think it's worth it more on the way home. You're less thrilled to be on that leg of the trip, and coming back from Asia may be starting late in the day and more in need of the sleep.

Also far less chance of someone near you with infants which can be a huge plus on those longer flights.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:04 AM   #44
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Gross alert ahead!

Of my aforementioned 40-50 flights to Asia, due to odd circumstances, I had to fly back home coach once. Once!

Directly behind me were three elderly Chinese women who spent the entire flight "hocking louies" (not sure if that's a local expression) on the floor...every 30 seconds or so for 15 hours.

Cured me of coach for-e-va!
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:29 AM   #45
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We're flying EVA Air through Taipei as that seems to be the best connection that will allow a dog to transit without a significant quarantine.
EVA is a very good airline, I've used them many times flying to Asia from US. Along with the extra legroom their economy deluxe seats are also wider then regular coach. It use to be a no brainer upgrade when they were flying 747's, the upgrade cost about 20% more then regular economy. Now that they have switched to 777's the economy deluxe section has fewer seats and the prices have gone up accordingly, almost double regular economy.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #46
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6'1" and 225 lbs I do it even cross-country but definitely across the ocean.

and extra for non-stop routing too. YOLO

(When I use to travel to SEA once a quarter, Malaysian Air and Air Philippines would always be fully-booked in business class and economy was empty so I would take the middle section in the rear.)
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:25 PM   #47
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I've had a economy+ policy for long distance air travel for a few years now (I'm 6'6"). (basically after a torturous nonstop from Johannesburg SA to Atlanta in coach - ouch!)

For a cruise out of Barcelona this year, we couldn't get economy+ because the plane was full. All the alternate flight were full too (this was a few months before the trip). It turns out we were going to Barcelona during the start of the Mobile Congress (a giant cell phone conference) and so all flights were full.

We ended up flying in a couple of days early - which worked out great with a few days to explore Barcelona! And because of all this, I talked myself into upgrading to business class. Oh boy, that was sweet. So now DW is pretty much insisting we fly BC anytime we go to Europe. The price bothers me a little, but I did really enjoy it.

So beware of tasting the nicer class air seats. You may end up going for them forever after.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:26 PM   #48
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What routes do you fly? The last few years we were flying Coach to/from Europe (usually late Spring or early Fall), DH and I always booked Window and Aisle seats in the same row. We were always joined by a passenger in the middle.

And the free booze is nice but it would be cheaper to buy it in Coach (although it's hard to get the attention of a flight attendant in Coach).
Great seat + free booze + movies would be more worthwhile than a few extra inches of legroom to me, but that's JMO, that's all I meant.

The two Euro flights were to Amsterdam and Brussels. I've had my own rows to Bahrain and Tokyo as well as well as one or two of the return flights through SFO or JFK.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:29 PM   #49
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So beware of tasting the nicer class air seats. You may end up going for them forever after.

Totally agree! I can make a good case for DH flying in Business due to his height and his health. I have no excuse. I just like it!
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:39 PM   #50
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If the flight is with United, by any chance... I have 6 GPUs (upgrades) that expire end of the year... and I'm likely not to leave the country between now and then.

I can send two of them your way.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:41 PM   #51
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Thought I would provide an update to the group. Nothing is finalized yet but..


I recently signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to get the $500 sign up bonus. The $500 bonus equated to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points which fortunately transfer 1:1 to United's Mileage Program.

I learned that I can upgrade to Business Class (with the lie flat beds!!) for 60,000 points (which I would have in my account after factoring in already earned United points from work travel) plus $1,200.

This obviously is a lot more than the $400 to upgrade to United Economy Plus, but I am thinking of splurging. Given how long the flights are and that I would really be able to sleep if I were able to lay down and take a sleeping pill, I think it is worth it. I think I would feel very rested upon arrival in both ways. I think Economy Plus would be nice with the extra leg room, but I am doubtful on whether or not I would be able to sleep well in the upright position.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:52 PM   #52
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We flew United business class from Lima in what I would call a sleeping pod, got some good shut eye on the red eye.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:39 PM   #53
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We have a BA VISA, and if you spend more than a certain amount, you get a free companion ticket. That, along with our miles, got us Business Class seats. The attached picture shows what the BA Business Class looks like
Another advantage of Business Class is the use of the lounges.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:43 PM   #54
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I hope it works for you but getting those points will take some time. First you need to do the minimum spend and wait for Chase to post those bonus points. Then you have to wait for the transfer from Chase to United.
On the Sapphire card you can book travel from the reward website and you would get a 20% bonus on those points at the time of booking.

And last but not least 50Kin United miles might result in some nice free flights with a little bit of planning.so you have the original ticket cost, 60K in miles and another 1200 in cash, are there any United flyers here you know if this is a good deal?
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #55
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We have a BA VISA, and if you spend more than a certain amount, you get a free companion ticket. That, along with our miles, got us Business Class seats. The attached picture shows what the BA Business Class looks like
Another advantage of Business Class is the use of the lounges.

Not sure how they are now.... but when I worked in London I got to travel business back to the US... I will tell you that Continental (now part of United) was not that great... but Virgin was really great.... first, they had a driver pick you up from your home and take you to a special gate to get by security... then their lounge had great drinks and food... I would fly Virgin every time if I could...
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:06 PM   #56
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I hope it works for you but getting those points will take some time. First you need to do the minimum spend and wait for Chase to post those bonus points. Then you have to wait for the transfer from Chase to United.
On the Sapphire card you can book travel from the reward website and you would get a 20% bonus on those points at the time of booking.

And last but not least 50Kin United miles might result in some nice free flights with a little bit of planning.so you have the original ticket cost, 60K in miles and another 1200 in cash, are there any United flyers here you know if this is a good deal?

Actually I already have the ultimate reward points in my chase account (they just credited today) and I read online that once you initiate the transfer to your united account from chase it credits usually instantly.

There is the opportunity cost of the $500 / 50,000 rewards points but at the same time it is not coming out of my pocket.


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Old 06-14-2016, 06:09 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
Thought I would provide an update to the group. Nothing is finalized yet but..


I recently signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to get the $500 sign up bonus. The $500 bonus equated to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points which fortunately transfer 1:1 to United's Mileage Program.

I learned that I can upgrade to Business Class (with the lie flat beds!!) for 60,000 points (which I would have in my account after factoring in already earned United points from work travel) plus $1,200.

This obviously is a lot more than the $400 to upgrade to United Economy Plus, but I am thinking of splurging. Given how long the flights are and that I would really be able to sleep if I were able to lay down and take a sleeping pill, I think it is worth it. I think I would feel very rested upon arrival in both ways. I think Economy Plus would be nice with the extra leg room, but I am doubtful on whether or not I would be able to sleep well in the upright position.
Are you upgrading or buying a ticket outright with points? Upgrading with points usually means you're put on a wait list, and fliers who have higher status, or anyone who pays for the upgrade will outrank you, and you may not know until boarding time. So it's a possibility, but not a slam dunk.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:32 PM   #58
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But I have been in planes to or from Europe that were booked solid. Absolutely full, and the middle seats in Economy Plus were taken up by the people being assigned seats at the last minute - usually some big group traveling together, like students with teachers.
And non-revs.
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Old 06-15-2016, 02:04 AM   #59
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I will go against the grain and say that upgrading on a decent airline from economy to economy plus for $400 is absolutely not worth it to me -- in fact, I probably wouldn't even pay $100. I am 6 feet tall, 170 pounds. So I guess I am long and not wide.

I fly a round trip across the Pacific Ocean each year and have plenty of room to stretch my legs in an aisle seat in economy on the major Asian carriers (the last 4 years I flew one round trip on each of Korean Air, EVA, Japan Air, Philippine Air).

Now, I did fly on United Economy domestic last month in the USA, and those seats are cramped!! But a major Asian airline is totally different, like night and day compared to those domestic flights in terms of space and service.

Now if I were flying an airline like United going international or one of the cheap Chinese airlines like China Southern or China Eastern, I would be worried about personal leg space.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:58 AM   #60
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Hi ER Community:

I am traveling to Asia in August from Chicago. The first leg of my flight is 13 hours followed by a connecting 7 hour flight. Same for the trip back.

I am fairly tall (6'2") and have been contemplating upgrading to a Economy Plus seat on United. The upgrade would be about $400 round trip (note: I paid only $650 round trip for my flight) and is only applicable to the 13 hour legs (not the 7 hour connecting flights).

Of course I am having an internal battle trying to decide if the cost is worth it. For those of you who don't know, Economy Plus only gives you about 5" of extra leg room + extra pitch, but per my research on SeatGuru's website, you can secure more "preferred" seats by doing your homework. This does not include all of the extras that First Class gets you (better food, more space, lay flat bed, etc).

Just curious to hear if anyone has had experience with these seats and if you think the cost is worth it?
I haven't read all the responses you've already gotten, so you may have already received this advice. My wife and I went to New Zealand last year and upgraded to Premium Economy. Here is the type of seat arrangement we had:

777-300 Premium Economy - Onboard Your Flight - Air New Zealand

I believe this is only available on certain types of aircraft. But, if wherever you are going is serviced by Air NZ, I can't recommend this upgrade enough! Also, everything about Air NZ was exceptional, in my opinion.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Air NZ other than having been a passenger on this one round-trip.
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