Just a thought: Check with NW
and see what variant of the DC-10 they use. If they are using the DC-10-40 (domestic a/c), then you will get a domestic first class seat and domestic meal service.
If you get a DC-10-30, then you get the WBC seat, with the domestic meal. The upside is the WBC seat is a 50-55 inch pitch with a leg rest.
Either way, MSP
is about 8 hrs, so no matter how you slice it, 17,500 (35K round trip), is a no brainer for an upgrade. Besides, you will get about 8000 miles back, so the net cost should be about 27K miles. Just take care what type airfare they ask for the upgrade. Some carriers are adjusting their mileage requirements and uping the fare levels required for upgrade.
If you like your back, do the upgrade.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998