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  • #16
    For overseas flights in the past I would buy coach then upgrade to business with points. Premium economy complicates this now since upgrades only bump you up one class and are more difficult to obtain since everyone has credit card miles. Now I book premium economy for overseas flights which are comparable to domestic first class. I still try to upgrade to business but understand it's not guaranteed. I'm anxiously awaiting the resolution to this Covid crisis so more normal international travel can resume.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by doctorbone View Post
      Economy plus for domestic. Business for international.
      +1. It’s worth it for those international flights.

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      • #18
        Generally Southwest for domestic flights (or Alaskan, or Hawaiian). Non-US carrier for international flights. Space-A military flights as appropriate.

        LATAM and Aeroflot were substantially better than I expected. Lufthansa seems overrated, but Alitalia, Fiji Air, and Tahiti Nui are pretty decent.

        If you’re flying coach on a legacy US carrier, you probably made the wrong call or ticked someone off. I might not spring for a private flight or first class on Emirates or Cathay Pacific, but I certainly don’t want to be stuck on United or Spirit if I can help it.

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        • #19
          I am curious why people say coach for domestic, business for international. Is this based on value metrics? In other words, has anyone run the numbers and seen how much more you pay per hour to fly business for international trips, and how much more it costs per hour for domestic?

          That may not be how others determine whether it’s worth it, but that’s how I would.

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          • #20
            Excited to see the majority of folks flying coach. We still do but I suspect we will slowly start to 'blow that dough' on extra long trips. The first time I flew to South Africa (KLM 747 from Amsterdam in 1989) I remember that we all pretty much had a middle 4-seat row to stretch out in alone. Those days are long gone. On my last 4 trips to Malawi I took advantage of Ethiopian's bidding system to upgrade to Business on my own dime after my organization paid for coach. But only on the return flight which is 15 hours with a non-deplaning refueling stop in Dublin on the Addis to Toronto leg. The $700 still pains me a bit but I'm getting old and it includes lounge access which is nice. If I knew the flight would have some empty seats I would chance it but flights are packed. The westbound leg is 12h non-stop so no upgrade. I can still manage that!

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            • #21
              Rarely business in domestic.
              Never coach for long-haul international.

              For those of us who are self-employed, the costliest part of the trip is not the airfare or the hotel, but the time off. Many of our trips were 24+ hrs away. Flying back in coach would require days to get the body back into a working shape.
              In business or first, I could frequently come off a TATL/TPAC flight, shower and go to work. Would have been worth it even if I paid for the airfare... which to date I haven't had to yet.

              For flights under 4 hours, upgrade to crappy US3 recliners isn't worth it for us though.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                I am curious why people say coach for domestic, business for international. Is this based on value metrics? In other words, has anyone run the numbers and seen how much more you pay per hour to fly business for international trips, and how much more it costs per hour for domestic?

                That may not be how others determine whether it’s worth it, but that’s how I would.
                Because business class international is a much better experience than business class domestic

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                  I am curious why people say coach for domestic, business for international. Is this based on value metrics? In other words, has anyone run the numbers and seen how much more you pay per hour to fly business for international trips, and how much more it costs per hour for domestic?

                  That may not be how others determine whether it’s worth it, but that’s how I would.
                  I've always been able to generate enough miles for 4 people to fly in business 3-4 times a year, so cost never really entered the calculations, but my math is different.

                  When you fly in business or first, especially on 10+ hr flights, you can get a full night sleep on the plane and hit the ground running. If you are flying coach to Afica or Asia or Oceania, you're exhausted by the time you get there, and need a day to just rest. In my case, that's losing valuable vacation time that I worked hard to create. Same on the way back.

                  I could see East Coast to Europe in coach, although it sucks too but not so bad. Some of our trips took 40 hrs to get there, and all of them were 10-11 days or less. No way they could be done flying there in coach.

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                  • #24
                    Hmm. Spending 8x more on a ticket to get to the same place. No thanks. Whether you can afford it or not, that just seems like a ripoff to me.

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                    • #25
                      Still buying the cheap seats. One time however that turned out to be first class for an 18 hour flight.

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                      • #26
                        As I've written before on these threads, having status and/or flying business can make a big difference in enjoyment and dealing with hassles along the way. The longer the itinerary, the bigger delta for enjoyment and the larger chance of hassles.

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                        • #27
                          I am not tall or excessively fat so coach is fine with us. I have routinely taken non stop 15+ hour flights to India which I prefer to flights with one stop, disembarking and boarding and all those passport control checks, esp in Europe. I have not had much problem yet wit those long haul flights. The longest I have taken is the 18 hour Dallas-Sydney flight where food and booze was unlimited even in coach.

                          Business class is usually 4-5X times the cost in these flights and I have not yet pulled the trigger while paying full cash.

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                          • #28
                            Honestly the thought of sitting in a chair for 3 hours with nothing to do sounds wonderful.

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                            • #29
                              I always fly coach, but I kind feel like a sucker given how easy some of these travel hackers make it look.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                                I am curious why people say coach for domestic, business for international. Is this based on value metrics?
                                If you’re flying New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles on a larger plane, then there might be a real domestic first class or business class experience available.

                                If you’re flying Tampa to San Diego (direct or with a stop in Dallas or Phoenix) then you might be paying substantially more for essentially the same seat and customer service / amenities. You could make a decent argument that the sky waitresses treat A-List on Southwest better than non-frequent-flyer business travelers on United or American.

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