Alitalia777
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 7:19 am

How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:13 pm

Hello everyone,
How many of you guys fly first class or business class as your normal class of service? Not to be rude or anything, but how can you afford it? I notice so many pictures taken from people who were seated in first or business class. Is it for business? Please don't be offended. Thanks.

Alitalia777
 
AA 777
Posts: 706
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:33 pm

Becuase my mom works for AA I fly First whenever it is open. How people actually pay for it is beyond me!

AA 777
Matt
CRJ-700 FO
 
Ansett767
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:33 pm

Yeah, most people flying first or Biz class are business men or women whose seat was paid for by the company. I think around 80-90% on a poll I read once somewhere? Could tihs be right? - seems to me to be true...

Otherwise, there are some non rev passengers...

The rest are rich travellers. As a student I have only ever travelled on Biz class when my parents paid for me to.... so yeah.....


 
B-HXB
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 12:04 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:42 pm

The important thing to remember is that quite often the fare you end up paying for F/J is significantly lower than airlines quote on their website.
 
Thumper
Posts: 520
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:42 pm

The times I fly First Class or Biz I usually upgrade with my skymiles!
 
Tbird
Posts: 801
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 12:51 pm

Greetings:

I've flown F Class 17 times, as to how I afford it? I always upgraded when I checked in. Before TWA was mergered with AA I always flew TWA and they had a great upgrade policy. If there were seats in First you could upgrade for a small fee. The max I ever paid one way to upgrade was $250 to London, it was well worth it in my opinion. Most of the time however I do fly coach.

Regards
Tom
 
USAFHummer
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:30 pm

I too fly coach the majority of the time, but depending on the circumstances of the flight, I get upgrades either through my own miles and upgrade certificates, or if Im traveling just with my father on US, I get automatically upgraded as his "companion" as he is Chairman's Preferred with US and that is one of the benefits...free companion upgrades...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
cedarjet
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:44 pm

I always fly Economy when I'm paying, Business when someone else is. Except when I escorted my gran back to Sydney after my Mum's funeral in England (sorry it's so depressing), cos my gran was already flying in Business Class (on Emirates) there was no point in flying back with her 20 rows away, so I flew in J out of my own pocket. Btw I found Emirates Business Class service quite underwhelming considering their great reputation. It was a 1980s Business Class product (and I noticed that the seating in Economy was 3-4-3 on a 777 - how come they keep winning all those awards?).

Now I'm booked to go LHR - SYD for Xmas, and again Economy would be my choice but I'm going with my sister and she has a 3 year old and a 3 month old and she doesn't want to be crammed into 61H, J and K for 24 hours with the li'l ones. So (get this) we found return tickets on Qantas First Class that were half the British Airways Club World (do they still call it that?) fare (BA J is £5000, QF special offer on F is £3500, normally about £7000). £3500 is the most I've paid for a plane ticket by far (Emirates J class at the beginning of the year was £1100 LHR-SYD rtn) but I may as well: (a) I've had a shitty year so I deserve it, (b) but I've worked really hard so I deserve it, and (c) I can help my sis with the kids. But if I was travelling alone or with partner etc on my tab it'd be 61K for me. Which is fine. Under normal circumstances it's almost impossible to justify J or F as a matter of course unless you're stupidly rich (I'm not).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
CMK10
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:44 pm

If I'm flying AA with my dad, maybe 30% of the time he upgrades me. If I'm by myself or on any other airline, 90% of the time im at the back of the bus.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
artsyman
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:11 pm

I fly BusinessFirst about 95% of the time, which I suppose is around 3-4 longhauls per month, but it is all Non revenue travel on Continental

Jeremy
 
tadex
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 3:52 pm

"Not to be rude or anything, but how can you afford it?" How do you want to know how much people earn here. i.e.: I fly F and if that doesn´t exist than C.
rgds
 
tadex
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:09 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 3:56 pm

I meant to write "then" instead of "than".
sorry.
 
afitch7881
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2000 2:04 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 5:05 pm

I fly first class 90% of the time. Reason is I am a Silver Elite on Northwest. That allows me to fly unlimted amounts of first class with free upgrades from coach. Most of you know how this works so I wont go in depth. I had a long streak of flying first class snap on my last trip. Flying BDL-MSP-PHX, I was in coach on both flights. O well, it does spoil you when you fly first class all the time however.

I typically fly about 35K miles a year, usually all between PHX and BDL.

Eric
 
thadocta
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 9:44 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 5:11 pm

In general, very few passengers in North America pay to fly in J of (what is laughingly described as ) F. Upgrades are way way way too easy to come across in the third world.

I travel in J in Australia (which is often better than what some third world carriers like UA and AA call 'F') a fair bit, and I pay for about half of it. And the cost is often about 4X what I could get on a cheap web-deal.

How do I afford it? Simple, I work.

Dave
 
mhz
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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 3:08 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Sun Nov 10, 2002 6:09 pm

I have to fly First because of my size and my back problem. the airlines I had been with are MH, BA, SQ, EK. Seat wise SQ & BA among the best, followed by MH while EK not worth paying for. Service wise where they really look after you, the best is MH then SQ. BA service is ok nothing extra, EK I might add again, not worth paying for!
 
BOEING747400
Posts: 292
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 3:10 am

There are no free lunches here! The only way out is simply being a millionaire or billionaire. Other than that, there's upgrades but you have to purchase many tickets for the mileage required or the employer pays for you on business travel (especially if you're a CEO or MD). It's a pity that airlines tend to charge 4-5 times as much for F/J compared to Y. I love F and wish I could travel on it as much as I like but nothing comes easy.
 
viveAF
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 3:06 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:38 am

The account handled by my section in the travel agency has a strict policy on classes. For European journeys everyone including the top dogs have to travel economy unless they are accompanying customers when business class is used. For long haul the criteria is : less than 8 hours flight time and total trip more than 4 days they fly economy or premium economy, more than eight hours or a trip of less than 4 days business class can be used.

Strange thing is that with our own negotiated, or nett rate, fares we can almost always offer a long haul business class with the likes of KL/LH/AF etc which is as good or better than the direct flights ex UK with BA/VS etc in economy.... But company policy still holds and they fly `down the back` !

Many of the travellers do use their own upgrade certificates though and this is allowed although they have to make those arrangements themselves... And the current offer BA have for a free one-way upgrade from J to F, or even Concorde on the JFK route, has been very well used - I`ve booked more Concorde sectors in the last couple of months than ever !

Got so say that the occasional upgrade I`ve had myself from Y to C (never F yet....) has been very welcome, but it does spoil you !

 
AlaskaMVP
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 11:41 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:07 am

I think some people here are missing the point of first class. I doubt too many of domestic first class seats are actually sold at first class prices (though certainly any airline employees can correct me). The reason first class fares are so high is to ensure that airlines have high availability for frequent fliers (FFs).

Think like an airline. Frequent fliers are typically business travelers who not only fly alot, they typically pay extremely high coach fares because they can't reserve in advance, and need flexible reservations. This means that keeping a frequent flier flying your airline can easily be worth tens of thousands of dollars a year in revenue. So putting your FF's in first class as often as possible is how you earn their loyalty. You would rather put an FF paying $500 for coach in first than an infrequent flier paying $600, because the FF is going to come back again and again and again, all at your top coach fares. So you jack first class fares up to 4 times coach (or more) to "discourage" the infrequent traveler from taking your first class inventory from your best customers, or at least ensuring you make a whopping profit on it if they do.

My employer will only pay for coach tickets, but since I fly a great deal (25,000 miles since July) I am upgraded to first class for free most of the time. How? On the west coast I typically fly Alaska and they upgrade me since I'm an MVP (soon to be MPV Gold). They have a little system that is similar to the other airlines I think illustrates how First Class inventory is managed to maximize FF loyalty and hence profitability.

More than 2 days before flight - First class fares are about 4-6 times higher than coach, or a free upgrade from coach if you are an Alaska MVP Gold (meaning you fly at least 35,000 miles per year on their mostly short hops).

1-2 days before flight - First class fare is still 4X-6X, but if you are an MVP (15,000 miles per year), they'll upgrade you for free.

Day of travel - Aha, first class hasn't sold out, and all the FFs have been upgraded. Now the airline will try to get something for the first class seats before it's too late. Anyone can upgrade for $50 per segment, so for example there is no reason to buy a first class fare at the counter before your flight, just buy coach and pay the $50..

Of course I'm over simplifying, there are many wrinkles to this, you can also use miles to upgrade or coupons given to you if you use the Alaska credit card, but it all comes back to rewarding loyalty, if you have lots of miles they'll open first class for you.

So next time you walk through the first class cabin, don't think you are in the company of a group of "millionares or billionaires". In reality they are a sad bunch of mostly middle class schlubs, in jobs requiring them to fly constantly, away from their families, eating strange food in strange cities while sleeping in strange beds. Their plush seats are courtesy of an airline that is the one familar and friendly place on their exhausting and lonely trips, with a staff that will work very hard to ensure the FF's always feel welcome and comfortable. That's one reason why cabin crew try to greet first class passsengers by name, but in many cases I'm sure it also because they've seen same poor soul on their flight every week for the last year Smile
 
Guest

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:03 am

It depends on the circumstances.....

As an elite on American, I earn some upgrade certificates (500-milers) but typically purchase sets of them to put in upgrade requests under special circumstances (such as booked up flight in coach where I'm only able to reserve a middle seat, or traveling with a friend and upgrade both of us like I did on my last F trip). Almost all of my travel is short-haul (of my 15 airline flights in the last month, all have been two hours or under). I used to be elite with TWA, and that yielded unlimited domestic upgrades. Prior to that, upgrading for a small fee was possible on TWA (example: OMA-STL-ORD was $30 to upgrade).

Last weekend I wasn't feeling well on my journey and upgraded myself by paying the $40 to sit in BusinessElite on JFK-ATL so that I could lay down and actually get some rest.

All depends on the circumstances, but I have no problems sitting in coach for two hours.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1059
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:46 pm

When I travel domestic I fly economy, unless I can upgrade with coupons. WHen I travel to Europe I try to book economy and upgrade to C. Several times a year I do Round the World trips and usually fly F. Flying on the Round the World in F can be less money then flying To say South Africa in C. When you do several trips in one trip ( by going around the world) it is actually less money for the company (no I do not pay for it myself). EVen though I am a
1 K on UA I have never been called up for a free upgrade, so I kind of envy those FF whose airlines recognize them.

It may seem like an extravegence, but remember this. Often a business person has to fly say from New York to Tokyo, arrive and go into a meeting the next day or even that day. It takes the body a long time to reuperate from a 18 hour economy seat. The executive is able to be better prepared for the meeting, get more work done and be more efficient at work if he/she arrives refreshed and relaxed. I have flown from New York to Tokyo for an afternoon meeting, one night over, and back the next day. If I am hitting Europe, Africa, Asia and say Australia in one trip, your body needs some help.

I was flew New York to London on BA in F. Another guy on the flight had a meeting at Heathrow, and then was catching the afternoon flight to San Francisco. He NEEDED First!!!!

Some business people have flown the concorde for a meeting and gone back the same day. It is part of business.

Cedarjet I would love to know where u got the lesser pruce for DF inF? U use a consolidator?
 
sushka
Posts: 4657
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 1999 12:33 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:59 pm

When my sister was still working as a F/A for NWA I flew frequently first class.
Other than that, whenever my family and I fly on a flight that is over five hours we get upgrades.
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:05 pm

ok,
I an one of the few here...
I pay for all my J intercontinental sectors. Usually 6/7 times a year, across the atlantic and the pacific.
It is my way of rewarding myself from hard work and because I love it. My holiday starts with that treat and if I work I need the tranquillity and the room before I go to work. I am 32 and it is 5 years I fly J. Usually on LH ( which, by the way, has a VERY strict upgrade policy) where I got reliable, dependable service in the air and on the ground. Not many free upgrades, for all the passengers, a very democratic if hard rule for all of us. And I like it that way. Occasionally I have been bumped up to First ( because the plane is really full or because my beloved ladies in the lounge have pity!)
I am not a billionaire, and many times I thought that with that money I could have bought quite many things...do I regret it? not at all.
Call me romantic but travelling for me still has a meaning, I want to do it in a certain way, not for the others but for myself. And it is the same if I travel by train or by sea. I always look for the more understated, discreet and less crowded way. I work with people ( a lot of them) all the time.
On MY time, I don't want to hassle with hordes of people, I don't want to be bothered and I pay for all my services because I know that they come, but at a price. I can change all my plans in complete freedom, exactly what I need.
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:33 pm

Because my mom AND dad work for AA, its obvious where I sit Big grin

First class all the way!
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
9V-SPK
Posts: 1576
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 11:53 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:52 pm

Like most of the others because my dad works in the airline company so I get to fly First or Business. Before all my flights are only First but nowadays due to the fact that I study overseas I also fly a lot of Economy but quite often I get upgraded if the flight is nearly or already full.

However flying which class doesn't mean that much to me, at least I get to fly!

Best Regards
 
Airbus Lover
Posts: 3163
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RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:09 pm

I fly business most of the times and once in a while in First, not to show off or anything but on most flights it is paid by my dad's company and a few times by my dad himself... Other times, like recently when my dad has to pay for the tix, I was on economy. So in all my flying I have done 5 economy flights so far (only), that is why I think I am lucky... Out of those 5, 2 were award tickets....
 
2cn
Posts: 632
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2001 6:30 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:44 pm

For me, I fly in First/Biz all the time since my dad works for Delta and has tons of senority.. we tend to get the last two seats in first alot of times on domestic flights... think the last time I flew in coach was back in 98.. which was and still is the first time I flew coach on Delta (was a longhaul from atl to lax on a L1011...first and last long haul on that plane)... I'll be sorry when I am out of college and I loose my free flight benifits and my dad retires.. right now, I'll admit it.. when it comes to non reving, I'm a spoiled brat.
 
traveler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 10:09 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:03 pm

Hello guys,

I aslways fly business class on CSA Czech airlines. It is simply great. Excellent food and service. On November 21, I will fly business class (L'espace Affaires) on AF from YUL-CDG return . I can't wai to try AF and their B-777-200.

I have the opportunity of flying business class because I am a travel agent and I get special fares. When I do not get special fares I simply ask for an upgrade and I always get it except on Air Canada (they are quite rude and stiff about upgrades).

Good luck

Traveler
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1059
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:33 pm

I use to think that only FF flew F class but now I think it is full of airline employees and their families. Do you get the upgrades when u make the reservation or only at the airport when others are accomodated first?
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:39 pm

It depends on the airline you fly.

I used to work for NJ, so I upgraded, usually free, sometimes for $25, all the time. I worked for AirTran for a short while after that, and usually upgraded. Haven't flown since then, but I know I can't afford to buy F or J in advance. I imagine I will be upgrading a lot, though.

As for how people anyone can do it, I find that the $35 upgrade price for AirTran convinces a lot of people to choose it when they check in (I think at the end of this year it goes back to $50). Vanguard had the same deal going when it was $50 for them.

My brother-in-law upgrades whenever he flies, and he usually flew Airtran or Vanguard when he could, simply because they were/are less expensive and the upgrades are cheap. My parents never upgrade, and frankly fly according to who is cheapest (but they never fly low-cost/low-fares and never have, even when it's cheaper--except for Southwest). They also never used my flight benefits, which often enough drove me nuts!

And besides, if you fly a low-cost/low-fare with business class, it's usually about the cost of a major's walk-up coach, and often less.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
thadocta
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 9:44 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:51 pm

I fly in J on QF a lot - most of it is paid for, some of them I use upgrade credits to upgrade, or I upgrade in the lounge.

But upgrades with QF are extremely expensive, so it is not something I do lightly, I would rather sit down the back on those legs I cannot justify paying the J fare for.

And J is not cheap either, $A450 (about $US225) for a flight of about an hour, when a web-saver can be obtained for $A90 (about $US45) - these are for SYD-MEL flights.

But some of us choose to pay it.

Dave
 
Seat2A
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 4:27 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:09 pm

I've logged over a million miles in First Class but I've only paid for full fare First Class three times in my life. As much as I enjoy the enhanced service and comfort, there's no way the difference in services can justify (for me and my reasons for traveling, at least) the difference in cost.

As such, I use upgrades and/or award travel. As an Alaska MVP Gold, I get upgraded automatically at the time of reservation if the space is there. I also get free upgrades on Northwest. As a United Premier, I get a few complimentary 500 mile upgrades but must generally buy them via the 500-mile certs.

I recently completed a mileage run in which I spent $842.00USD and accrued over 140,000 miles. These miles will go towards a return trip in First aboard BA to Europe and Australia this spring.

Foe those of you who may have read my trip reports detailing my First Class trip from Alaska to New Zealand via LHR, SIN and MEL, I financed that trip by taking advantage of extremely cheap post 9-11 airfares. I also benefitted from a couple of promotions being offered at the same time. The total amount of money I spent on mileage earning trips to accrue enough to exchange for that R/T First Class on BA was $1627.00USD. Were I to have gone out and simply purchased a r/t Fairbanks - Australia via NZ ticket in Economy class, I would have paid about $1500.00.

 
9V-SVA
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:54 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:15 pm

I have been flying in First/Raffles for the past 3 years or so because I have a family member who works for the airline in question and we normally go on non-rev travel(full fare Y)

9V-SVA
9V-SVA | B772ER
 
spk
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 1:56 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:27 pm

I always fly Business class for business and pleasure. I fly First class from time to time when upgrades are available or when I can find a good fare.

Good fares come up from time to time. For example, the discounted first class fare from BKK to SYD is currently lower than the discounted business class fare. Go figure. And if you're ROP Silver or Gold, the current promotion lets you fly first class at 35% off full fare. That can justify First class travel in many cases.
 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 25, 2002 4:02 pm

I am 6'7" and I always asked to be upgraded from the cramped Coach seating, sometimes it works. Continental seems to be nice about it.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: How Many Of You Fly First Class Or Business?

Mon Nov 25, 2002 9:48 pm

Havr flown up front just once in a lifetime of flying that dates back to 1956. That's a lot of flights...right now I am averaging probably 8-10 trips a month and this is the "slow" season.

That was on a FCO-KWI flight, the entire Y cabin was filled with screaming babies, (the flight continued on to Mumbai), I was on a govt fare on Alitalia and the differential to put me in F was (thanks to the exchange rate) US$62.

Yes, that time it was worth it.

But why don't I upgrade?

(1) The back half of the airplane gets there at the sime time the front half does, at least most of the time.

(2) Miles/credits/travel awards are worth more to me if I use them to acquire tickets for wife + kids to go someplace neat, like DisneyWorld or New York City (yes, Long Island counts).

(3) Probably 80% of my travel is on WN and they have no F section.

(4) The F section has no intrinsic value to me and I feel no need to be surrounded by (a) large people who need the extra space (b) the offspring of airline employees (c) people who have money to throw away [fly coach and give the difference to the poor] (d) people who don't have money to throw away but do so anyway for status.

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