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One Business Class Trip, Or Two Economy Class?  
User currently offlinenycdave From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 546 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5279 times:

I just got laid off from my job, with... well, if it's any kind of parachute, it's cheap, made in China, and covered in gold-colored lead-based paint. But anyhow, I have enough saved up that I can have a nice long, FRUGAL, vacation before going on the job hunt.

I've also been saving up my miles for a while now, and have almost 140,000 with CO (regular elite).

I've always wanted to go to Australia, and Japan -- but never have. My dillema is this.

Do I go to ONE of those places flying business/first using my miles (135k)... OR, should I do trips to BOTH (australia this winter, japan in spring), but fly economy? (140k)?

I'd always figured on going business for that long a flight... but I'm fairly young, in good shape... if I had to, I could subject myself to economy with the aid of enough valium and some pressure socks.

But what do YOU folks think? Is it worth the trade off? Will flying more comfortably make a trip better enough that it's worth forfeiting another trip?

Also, I'd be flying Star, obviously, so what would be my chances of getting on a carrier like ANA or Singapore, which are great even in coach? Or would I be almost certainly consigned to UA's cattle class? Or would I be consigned to UA's cattle class, but have good chance of an upgrade to E+?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinevahidpm From Iran, joined Oct 2010, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5275 times:

Hi!
I think the Australia and Japan in economy class will be better! Many of people fly in economy for long routes every day. I know that the business class is great and more comfort but instead you can visit two different countries in this way and I think it could be very good at all.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11616 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5274 times:

Personally I would go for two, or more, economy trips. But that is the perspective of an ex student who has yet to land his cushy job earning decent money  


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5257 times:

I'm going to go the other way... use miles for premium class travel, pay cash for coach. A paid J ticket can cost significantly more than twice the coach fare, which makes the price in miles for an award ticket quite a bargain. Treat yourself to J-class, then good luck with the job hunt!

User currently offlineJKJ777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5247 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 3):
I'm going to go the other way... use miles for premium class travel, pay cash for coach. A paid J ticket can cost significantly more than twice the coach fare, which makes the price in miles for an award ticket quite a bargain. Treat yourself to J-class, then good luck with the job hunt!

I totally agree. I recently used my miles for two Business Class tickets for my wife and I to go to Korea and Japan (from IAD). The total mileage was 240,000 miles and the cost of each ticket thru KE is $12,580. This is a significant win for me based on cost. There is no way I could ever afford to pay for one biz ticket for us much less two. I have so many family and friends that use miles to fly from IAD-ATL, or ORD-LIT. They use 30,000 miles and pay $20 in taxes. This really drives me crazy. Then later on they have said they wish they could take a trip to Asia in biz class but cannot afford it......go figure.

Those are hard earned miles at times and you should 'treat' yourself. Yeah, you only get one vacation out of it, but make it count. Go all out and have a lot of fun doing it.


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8060 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5244 times:

A passion for flying is something we all share so the appeal of J is obvious; but it should be about the destination, and if you do the lot on one J class ticket, you're missing out (a second destination) on a lot more than you gain (some champagne and a few extra degrees of recline).

Y class is perfectly adequate, 90% of long haul passengers fly Y and it's fine. I just flew LHR-SYD in Y and SYD-LHR in Y the very next day, and felt perfectly fine to go into work. Conversely, have flown long haul J and arrived tired and disorientated. Don't forget - if you wear a smart jacket and no jeans or sneakers, you'll be first in line for an upgrade if they're overbooked and need to do a cabin roll. (It is not considered bad form to point this out at check-in btw.)

Enjoy the a.net pics of J class and book Y, so when you get back from Australia, you'll have Japan to look forward to.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineJER757 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

Definitely go for two trips. As pointed out above, J is nice... but seeing a new place is much better. Would it be possible to route America-Australia-Japan on a single ticket? It may save you a few dollars/miles!

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 5):
It is not considered bad form to point this out at check-in btw.

Isn't it? If someone says the 'U' word to me on check in I'll generally try and make sure they don't get it (unless of course they carry a shiny Golden card in their wallet). Pick an agent that looks generally chatty/polite, go check in with them and be nice!!



Gale force fog... don't you love it?
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5232 times:

Personally, I would not risk savings, nor waste time on a vacation if you are unemployed. You will virtually be getting a vacation at home anyhow.

I would instead use the time to search for a job, and keep the little money you have saved as cushion just in case.

With dire economic times there is really no certainly of when or what type of replacement employment you may land so going in vacation and blowing valuable time and savings would be last thing I would be contemplating.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8060 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Quoting JER757 (Reply 6):
If someone says the 'U' word to me on check in I'll generally try and make sure they don't get it (unless of course they carry a shiny Golden card in their wallet). Pick an agent that looks generally chatty/polite, go check in with them and be nice!!

That's exactly what I meant. Look smart and be nice, and you never know your luck.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinepugsley From Australia, joined Jan 2010, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Personally, I would not risk savings, nor waste time on a vacation if you are unemployed. You will virtually be getting a vacation at home anyhow.

I would instead use the time to search for a job, and keep the little money you have saved as cushion just in case.

With dire economic times there is really no certainly of when or what type of replacement employment you may land so going in vacation and blowing valuable time and savings would be last thing I would be contemplating.

Sorry LAXintl, but i dissagree. Life is for the living... Why save the money? In case something hapens in the future, like lose our job? Jobs come and go, and had you not lost your job, you probaly would have taken a holiday and spent the money anyway. We work so hard to earn money, just spend it and have fun, reward yourself.

I say take two trips, at the end of the trip who really remembers the flight. Now i'm a plane nut like us all, but when i think about my last few major trips, visiting Malaysia and Cambodia, I dont really remember my flights on the squishy D7 (AirAsiaX 9abreast A330) seat, i remember my one bedroom villa with private pool in Lankawi, and the amazing breakfast when we stayed at the Traders Hotel in KL or the amazing temples of Angkor Wat and the surroundins of Siam Reap. I kind of remember the flight, but its not the first thing i think of, it just is a vacant memory.

Take two trips, even us planes nuts dont remember the flights in Y, and experience two amazing destinations.



A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A388, BAe146, B717, B733, B734, B735, B73G, B73H, B743, B744, B762, B763, B772, B773
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5081 times:

How about buying all Y tickets and upgrading using miles?


One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5032 times:

Quoting pugsley (Reply 9):
Life is for the living... Why save the money?

By all means yes live life, but without money the OPer might be doing so out of a card board box or park bench.

Unemployment is at record highs, and millions of American's remain unable to get jobs even after two years after loosing their jobs.
There simply is no guarantee when the OPer can start earning wages again, so blowing ones savings on on one or two needless trips is a rather foolish act with no regard for the future.

Anyhow back to savings, you realize if you save enough, you wont have to work, and can enjoy life all you want.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8060 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5017 times:

Back on planet Earth, the OPer clearly states it's mileage he is looking to unlock, not cash.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinenycdave From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4959 times:

I would totally agree on being frugal and not vacationing... IF I were really worried about finding a new job, had a lot of locked-in costs (ie mortage), or a family to care for. I'm definitely very lucky in being able to be rather selfish -- I'm still fairly young (30), no kids or significant other, parents who don't require care or support, and an apartment that is now on a month-to-month basis that I can basically say goodbye to at any time. I think a big part of the appeal for me is that I don't know that I'll ever get another chance to be this... unencumbered. I never did a year abroad in college, never got to bum around for a summer playing with a Eurail pass or anything like that. I plan on doing this trip pretty frugally -- a lot of airbnb.com and couchsurfing when I can... but since I don't know what the future will hold, I kind of want to milk this opportunity for all I can.

I'm really lucky in that the job I worked for the past 5 years is one of the very few that's been adding jobs even through the recession... and with my experience I'm pretty well certain of being able to land a new job in a short space of time when I want to. Ha! Maybe if I'm really REALLY lucky, I'll get to go from freelancing as a travel writer to being able to do it for a living! Then I can do this kind of thing all the time  

But as for Y or J... here's one other thought I had. If I *bought* the trip to australia on Y class... expensive... BUT -- with my elite status on CO, the milage bonus would take me almost all the way to elite qualification for 2012. PLUS, i could use a chunk of my miles to upgrade to J for that flight, and still have plenty left over to fly to japan Y class (and maybe even J) on nothing but miles!

Only catch is, that initial layout WOULD still cost me more than a month's rent, meaning I'd have a month's less time to play at being the lucky, lucky, globetrotting bastard who got laid off. It is awful tempting though... because then I'd be both getting to fly premium AND garaunteeing my elite status for another year.


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