Why save your first class or business class travel for international or long haul flights? Why wait and cross your fingers that your upgrade comes through? Truth is, a first class ticket is well worth it even on the short flights.
When you fly as often as we do and to various locations, you can’t always end up on the airlines you are most loyal to. This can mean your frequent flyer benefits are not as valuable or plentiful. Also, with so many routes and accessibility, more and more people are traveling and earning more and more miles and upgrades in different ways. Hence, that upgrade list is growing and growing. On a recent flight from Chicago to NYC, there were 32 people on the upgrade list and First Class was sold out. Fact is, I bought my first class ticket for $289 one way; cheap in my book.
I do have to mention that for many flights, most airlines these days either don’t offer true first class or you will have a combination of first and business to places such as the Caribbean. This eliminates the first class costs to the airlines and is smart for most shorter flights. It’s the same seats including some that are pods, but different amenities. When you book your Caribbean flight, it will read mixed class. The domestic flight will be first class, but the leg to the Caribbean destination will be business class.
So, here are some great reasons you should consider first class travel for those short flights.
Space In First Class Travel
I love my personal space! Pretty much enough said right there. I don’t want to be touching other people or have other people touching me. I don’t want that lap kid who is really no longer a lap kid invading my space. I don’t want to fight you for the arm rest and I really don’t want the arm rest up. Give me my space with no movable arm rest. The space also keeps you further away from smells such as unappetizing carry-on food.
Service In First Class Travel
On domestic flights, there is a dedicated flight attendant for first class and for many longer domestic and Caribbean flights there are two dedicated flight attendants. This makes the flight attendants happier I find. Taking care of 16 people or less is also easier, or so I’m told by flight attendants. The attention to details and needs is also more noticeable. The service is not just about getting the drinks out and picking up the trash.
On and Off Flights First
If there is one thing I really can’t stand when flying is being herded. We avoid certain airlines like the plague due to the way they board. Even United is getting there in some airports with numbered holding areas.
I like getting on the plane and knowing no matter when I board, there will be room for my carry-on. I like being able to sit down and get organized for my flight without standing in line or being hit somewhere on my body by someone trying to manipulate something with no sense of spatial awareness.
Then, I want to get off the plane and go. No waiting for people to try to figure out how to deplane. No waiting for people who decide not to get prepared to get off the plane until the last minute. Being able to get to customs before the entire plane and be done. Truth is, I am not patient when it comes to other people flying, so to protect others from my glare, it is better for the others on board, too, if I am up front.
Relaxed And Ready To Go At Destination
Flying first and business saves me from having to recoup from flying. Being able to spread out and be comfy allows me to be ready to hit the ground running or it could be that cocktail or two I get to enjoy.
I generally have to work on flights and in first, I spread out, plug in music or a movie, open my computer, and get to work. On longer or very early flights, first also gives me space to take a little snooze should the feeling come over me.
No Extra Charges, But Extra Miles
Buying a first class or business class ticket gives you extra miles to your frequent flier accounts. Depending on the airlines and if there are any specials, you can sometimes get up to 3-5 x’s the miles. What you won’t get is all the extra charges.
In terms of cost, you really need to check your options and do the math. Recently, I flew one of the twins home in first. They usually fly domestic coach unless they are upgraded. Literally here is the breakdown. The flight was on an airline we don’t usually fly, so we had no benefits. The coach ticket one way was $179 and first was $329. She had 2 bags to check; the first was $25 and second was $50. The cost to get her a decent seat was $69 on one flight and $39 on the shorter leg. After adding up all these add on costs to the coach ticket, we saved $33 flying her home First Class.
I thought about including access to lounges as a perk, but it doesn’t seem like first class domestic tickets get you free admission to airport lounges these days, unless you have a credit card like the Amex Platinum and/or access to Airspace or Centurion Lounges.
Yes, we know it is a choice to fly first class and an additional cost. People spend their money in lots of different ways and flying is one way we gladly spend ours.