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PHLspecial
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Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:11 pm

Is it strange if you pay for first class when you don't fly that often? When I generally fly its usually 3-5.5 hour flights so I kinda see the value. Done it once and was pretty worth it.
I am curious how often would you pay out of pocket for first class if at all?
 
paullam
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:01 pm

I’d never pay because to me it’s simply not worth it.
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AAlaxfan
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:08 pm

I will fly first/business class all the time unless it is a short, <1.0 hrs, flight. Being a person "of size", the comfort you get in first with the larger seats is very important to me. The room also allows my seatmate more comfort too.
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Kent350787
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:44 pm

I might consider paying for it transcon. Otherwise no. Even being tall, there just isn't enough benefit.

Medium-long haul international is a different issue
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PlymSpotter
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:32 pm

I've paid a few times - last one was when DL offered me an upgrade for less than the cost of checking my bag, so it was a no brainer.

Not sure if I'd continue. I'm quite happy in economy, taking up less space.
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Insertnamehere
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:22 pm

Depends on the situation. Ive flown first class on an hour long flight from NYC to CMH just because the price was low enough and the upgrade was cheap. Its not a matter of the length of the flight, but the price of the upgrade. If the upgrade is cheap, why not? Never say never :)

For business travel, that's a different story, Im only allowed to fly business above 5 hours in length, with the exception of flights connecting onto or off of a long haul flight and transcons. Im going to take advantage of that.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:01 am

Depends on the situation.

Vacation? Sure, it’s a fun way to start a trip and the last little bit of comfort before coming back to the real world.

Go to visit the family for a holiday? Probably not unless the difference is minimal.

For work we can’t book it unless it’s involves an international segment, you can bet my I’ll be in the seat under that circumstance.

I always look in case there is a deal, especially when booking with miles. But I rarely plan it from the start.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:50 am

I've never flown business or first class in my life, always economy. I simply don't see the value of it. As long as I get to my destination, I don't care.

What I do care about is the price, I want it to be as low as possible. That means often LCCs or even ULCCs.
 
IADCA
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:26 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
Is it strange if you pay for first class when you don't fly that often? When I generally fly its usually 3-5.5 hour flights so I kinda see the value. Done it once and was pretty worth it.
I am curious how often would you pay out of pocket for first class if at all?


I wouldn't normally do it, but I know some people who are retired, well-off, and don't fly that often but fly domestic F every time they fly. For them, a couple hundred dollars is an immaterial amount when the expense is so infrequent and they find the ancillary benefits related to flying F to be extremely useful. I wouldn't, because as even a mid-tier elite I get most of that for free and don't really need the larger seat.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:34 pm

Insertnamehere wrote:
Depends on the situation. Ive flown first class on an hour long flight from NYC to CMH just because the price was low enough and the upgrade was cheap. Its not a matter of the length of the flight, but the price of the upgrade. If the upgrade is cheap, why not? Never say never :)

For business travel, that's a different story, Im only allowed to fly business above 5 hours in length, with the exception of flights connecting onto or off of a long haul flight and transcons. Im going to take advantage of that.

Generally when I decide to fly its usually flights over 3 hours. Of course I always don't do it but the transcons seem worth it if the price is right.
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:31 pm

Not sure why flying regularity has any basis for whether you should pay for F or not.

Personally I've routinely paid for it on 30min flights and it's my default go to cabin...Unless pricing is obscene (such as the time it was $800 vs $85 for a 90 mile flight from CLT-CAE) I'll fly FC. Why? It's just better. Bigger seat, more space, some semblance of comfort. Luckily my company pay for F regardless of flight length too
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Insertnamehere
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:38 am

PHLspecial wrote:
Insertnamehere wrote:
Depends on the situation. Ive flown first class on an hour long flight from NYC to CMH just because the price was low enough and the upgrade was cheap. Its not a matter of the length of the flight, but the price of the upgrade. If the upgrade is cheap, why not? Never say never :)

For business travel, that's a different story, Im only allowed to fly business above 5 hours in length, with the exception of flights connecting onto or off of a long haul flight and transcons. Im going to take advantage of that.

Generally when I decide to fly its usually flights over 3 hours. Of course I always don't do it but the transcons seem worth it if the price is right.


Depends really on the time, is it a mid-afternoon flight Eh, economy is fine. But if its going to be a redeye or something equally sucky in terms of timing, makes sense to splurge.

I am a bit different from most here as I am particularly masochistic and fly regularly economy on very long routings such as LGA-YUL-YVR-MEL which included economy on the 15 hour flight from
Vancouver to Melbourne and slept fine. You can get quite far in economy relatively comfortably if you have priority pass or an Amex card that gets you into Centurion lounges.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:50 am

Insertnamehere wrote:
I am a bit different from most here as I am particularly masochistic and fly regularly economy on very long routings such as LGA-YUL-YVR-MEL which included economy on the 15 hour flight from
Vancouver to Melbourne and slept fine. You can get quite far in economy relatively comfortably if you have priority pass or an Amex card that gets you into Centurion lounges.


Lounge access really does make a difference on long-haul - it's been one of the best things about travelling JAL PE over the years. I'm reasonably OK with 10 hour sector length in PE or even Y, but longer I'm older and prefer the extra comfort of PE or J. I really don't want to do HKG-BOS (for example) in Y, and J is much nicer than PE.

So, transcon, maybe, anything else not worth it paying "cash"
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PHLspecial
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:13 am

IADCA wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
Is it strange if you pay for first class when you don't fly that often? When I generally fly its usually 3-5.5 hour flights so I kinda see the value. Done it once and was pretty worth it.
I am curious how often would you pay out of pocket for first class if at all?


I wouldn't normally do it, but I know some people who are retired, well-off, and don't fly that often but fly domestic F every time they fly. For them, a couple hundred dollars is an immaterial amount when the expense is so infrequent and they find the ancillary benefits related to flying F to be extremely useful. I wouldn't, because as even a mid-tier elite I get most of that for free and don't really need the larger seat.

Yeah see my thing is I don't travel often so no flyer miles. Hence my question. It's a mix bag with mostly people paying for economy. I enjoy a bit of First class when I want to fly comfortably. I enjoy reading peoples opinions of what they think first class is.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:56 am

fbgdavidson wrote:
Not sure why flying regularity has any basis for whether you should pay for F or not.

Personally I've routinely paid for it on 30min flights and it's my default go to cabin...Unless pricing is obscene (such as the time it was $800 vs $85 for a 90 mile flight from CLT-CAE) I'll fly FC. Why? It's just better. Bigger seat, more space, some semblance of comfort. Luckily my company pay for F regardless of flight length too


I'm in the same boat, the majority of my flights are paid for by my company, however, until Covid the vast majority of the time I pay for first or business on international flights.

I will say though, right now with the limited seating arrangement and the cut back in the service level, the premium for first in the majority of my upcoming flights just,wasn't worth it.
 
evank516
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:31 pm

I've done it a few times, but I think the aircraft type comes into play with my decision to do it. For example, I flew LGA-MCI on an E170 and back on a CR9. For an RJ, that's a long flight so I bumped up to first class when the price to upgrade was like $99 each way (might have been less actually). But If I'm flying on an A321 or an A220 to MSP where I have more amenities and space, I'm good with economy. I'm a Gold Medallion on DL though so I'm almost always in comfort at the very least, but I suspect upgrades won't be happening for a while with reduced capacity in the COVID era. Usually the less amenities in coach, the more I look into buying an upgrade to first. It also helps being a New York-based traveler so you get meals in domestic first on certain flights that you wouldn't get on other flights of a similar length. LGA-ORD and JFK/LGA-ATL are examples.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:52 pm

I only ever paid for it once on the last trip my friend and I took. We went to a convention in San Diego, and unbeknownst to her, I put us in First Class on the flights home. Haven't flown again since that trip, so can't say if I'd do it again.
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Stitch
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:53 pm

I always fly paid First domestically (usually two to three trips between Seattle and Southern California and one between Seattle and Washington DC).
 
Kno
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:44 am

I’m 5’10 and just don’t see the value since I fly domestically - I could afford to if I wanted to but it seems like a ridiculous 2-5x price increase for a few hours of a few extra inches at my knees and some mediocre food service.

A $300-$400 transcon easily becomes $1200. You have to be tall as hell and/or rich as hell to rationalize spending $900 to be slightly more comfortable for 5 hours of your life.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:14 am

evank516 wrote:
I've done it a few times, but I think the aircraft type comes into play with my decision to do it. For example, I flew LGA-MCI on an E170 and back on a CR9. For an RJ, that's a long flight so I bumped up to first class when the price to upgrade was like $99 each way (might have been less actually). But If I'm flying on an A321 or an A220 to MSP where I have more amenities and space, I'm good with economy. I'm a Gold Medallion on DL though so I'm almost always in comfort at the very least, but I suspect upgrades won't be happening for a while with reduced capacity in the COVID era. Usually the less amenities in coach, the more I look into buying an upgrade to first. It also helps being a New York-based traveler so you get meals in domestic first on certain flights that you wouldn't get on other flights of a similar length. LGA-ORD and JFK/LGA-ATL are examples.

I have done the DL first class with the A220 and B739 well worth it after a long trip. Though I hope to try both the A321 of Delta and AA to compare.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:15 am

AirKevin wrote:
I only ever paid for it once on the last trip my friend and I took. We went to a convention in San Diego, and unbeknownst to her, I put us in First Class on the flights home. Haven't flown again since that trip, so can't say if I'd do it again.

Was first class not worth it? Was it a short segment or something?
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:12 pm

i've done it a few times when it was not that much more and recently did Den to MEX, not domestic but same type of service. Tend to agree with others if under 2 hours doubtful, but with luggage fees, etc. it is not always that much more.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:41 pm

Kno wrote:
I’m 5’10 and just don’t see the value since I fly domestically - I could afford to if I wanted to but it seems like a ridiculous 2-5x price increase for a few hours of a few extra inches at my knees and some mediocre food service.

A $300-$400 transcon easily becomes $1200. You have to be tall as hell and/or rich as hell to rationalize spending $900 to be slightly more comfortable for 5 hours of your life.


Same here, although I am quite a bit taller than you are. I'm 1.94 meters, which is equal to 6 feet 5 inch.

Still, I can only spend my money once. I could afford first class if I had to, but I find it a waste of money. I don't want to blow all of my savings at once just so I can be more comfortable for a few hours, do you know how much I worked to gain those savings? Economy is expensive enough as it is.

Heck, I even fly economy on long haul intercontinental flights. I don't even consider business or first class, not for short haul and not for long haul either. What's a few hours of being cramped? If I can save a lot of money by doing so, then that's what I'll do.
 
Kno
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:31 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Kno wrote:
I’m 5’10 and just don’t see the value since I fly domestically - I could afford to if I wanted to but it seems like a ridiculous 2-5x price increase for a few hours of a few extra inches at my knees and some mediocre food service.

A $300-$400 transcon easily becomes $1200. You have to be tall as hell and/or rich as hell to rationalize spending $900 to be slightly more comfortable for 5 hours of your life.


Same here, although I am quite a bit taller than you are. I'm 1.94 meters, which is equal to 6 feet 5 inch.

Still, I can only spend my money once. I could afford first class if I had to, but I find it a waste of money. I don't want to blow all of my savings at once just so I can be more comfortable for a few hours, do you know how much I worked to gain those savings? Economy is expensive enough as it is.

Heck, I even fly economy on long haul intercontinental flights. I don't even consider business or first class, not for short haul and not for long haul either. What's a few hours of being cramped? If I can save a lot of money by doing so, then that's what I'll do.


I would assume most people in first class fall into 4 categories - business expense, status upgrade, 1%, or bad at managing their money.

One thing I’ve seen some international carriers offer is the ability to bid for an upgrade - you can shoot out a low bid (usually there is a minimum) and if nobody with priority takes the seat it’s yours. Not sure if any of the us3 have tried this.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:24 am

PHLspecial wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
I only ever paid for it once on the last trip my friend and I took. We went to a convention in San Diego, and unbeknownst to her, I put us in First Class on the flights home. Haven't flown again since that trip, so can't say if I'd do it again.

Was first class not worth it? Was it a short segment or something?

Wouldn't say it wasn't worth it, but it ultimately depends on how much it's costing, especially if I'm paying for more than one person.
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spacecadet
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:51 am

I pay for it sometimes. I don't think some people here realize that the price is often not much different. I think the last time I did it was on a trip from JFK-FLL, where economy was like $225 and first class was something like $260. It seemed a no-brainer to me. I'd probably pay that difference just for early boarding and a free breakfast.

Not every flight is the same. On some flights, the price for first might be 4 times that of economy. On others, it's more like a 15% premium. It's all down to that pesky law of supply and demand.
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anrec80
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:20 pm

For me - I look at a few things. On some occasions on domestic flights, price difference between J and Y is around $100 or less - but you get checked luggage and a meal, well worth it if you are traveling after a workday. Also, between US and Mexico/Canada - lounge access. Also, on a transcon a lie-flat matters to me, but those are generally more than I am willing to pay, and are almost never available for mileage (at saver tiers) - airlines know they can sell these seats.

Sometimes I use Chase or Amex points - either directly or by transferring them into airline's mileage program, if that yields a better deal. There is 35% points rebate on Amex for J, and that may bring the "cost" of a J ticket below Y - technically you still are a revenue pax, does that count?

When traveling transatlantic, premiums for J are HUUUGE over Y, and the only upgrade I allow myself is Y+ if the price difference isn't huge.
Last edited by anrec80 on Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
anrec80
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:21 pm

spacecadet wrote:
I pay for it sometimes. I don't think some people here realize that the price is often not much different. I think the last time I did it was on a trip from JFK-FLL, where economy was like $225 and first class was something like $260. It seemed a no-brainer to me. I'd probably pay that difference just for early boarding and a free breakfast.

Not every flight is the same. On some flights, the price for first might be 4 times that of economy. On others, it's more like a 15% premium. It's all down to that pesky law of supply and demand.


A while back, I flew EWR-YVR on AC, and the price of J ticket was less than the price of Y ticket on the same flight.
 
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Pellegrine
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:40 pm

I pay ALL THE TIME for Domestic F. I try to save my points for int'l flights, but sometimes I'll pay cash for J or F too. Y seats are simply unbearable and I'm only 6'. If the Dometic F price is ridiculous...like $1600 DCA-TPA/MIA/FLL, sometimes I'll buy a Y+ and hope they offer me a paid upgrade at check-in. I never rely on upgrades due to status at the gate.
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Coal
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:00 am

I did it last year. I was flying KE SIN-ICN-ATL on a Super cheap J fare ($1,800 RT) and needed to connect ATL-FLL which I wanted to do in Domestic F. I bought one way ATL-FLL F on DL, on a 752, for $200. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was. Of course this route doesn’t have any proper service, just some chips etc, but was good enough for the bigger seat and comfort.
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LH658
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:14 pm

If the flight is less than 2.5 hours I can handle being in economy with 31 inch pitch. If the flight is longer than that I need a economy product like with 32 inch plus of pitch, for me to sit comfortable due to my tall height. On short sector I wouldn't pay for domestic first, or even on a late night flight after 9pm, as you get no meal service with carriers like AA or DL. Though if it's 2 hour plus flight the price difference isn't much, then I would also go ahead and book first class. There has been times where I upgraded to first just cause I had luggage to check in, and the upgrade price was the same price as checking in a bag. Though, if First Class price or upgrade price is to costly, I would upgrade to economy plus, cause i can really use the extra legroom.
 
MD8090orDRIVE
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:43 am

The last time I paid money to fly domestic first (Delta Las Vegas to Atlanta) I was kicking myself. I was working all day in Vegas and had to work the next day at Virginia Tech, so I wanted some sleep on the flight. Sadly my crystal ball did not show me that the 757 was only going to have about 25 pax in the main cabin and I could have had a row to my self, like pretty much everyone back their did. So instead of lying down and sleeping, I was asked to get up 3x so the window seat guy could go to the bathroom.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:54 pm

I pay for value. I paid for my next 2 flights in this Covid19 environment. The added cost over Y+ was less than the added luggage. :)

There have been splurges in the past.

If you buy enough in advance, the first class premium is low. I have sometimes found it cheaper than Y! I always look at the price difference. When high, no! When low, why not?

Lightsaber
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Kno
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:27 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I pay for value. I paid for my next 2 flights in this Covid19 environment. The added cost over Y+ was less than the added luggage. :)

There have been splurges in the past.

If you buy enough in advance, the first class premium is low. I have sometimes found it cheaper than Y! I always look at the price difference. When high, no! When low, why not?

Lightsaber


When is this the case? What routes or airlines? In my experience it’s consistently significantly higher except during the rock bottom Covid prices we had a few months ago.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:55 pm

I realize I'm an outlier, but I have sprung for F/Biz many times (but only up to $400 add'l) specifically because I was traveling with young children. Their feet don't touch the floor, and they don't eat the F catering (or drink the booze!) but the benefit of first on, first off, priority check in/luggage handling takes alot of stress off of me, as a single parent.

So basically, I've been paying $1000 extra make my 8 to 10 hours of airport/airplane time easier.

Having said that, the days of finding F fares "only" $400 more than Y seem to be over, cie la vie.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:45 pm

I was looking at flying from FLL to CLT in August and the basic economy fare is $47 RT and the first class round trip is $545 RT!
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:55 pm

Kno wrote:
When is this the case? What routes or airlines? In my experience it’s consistently significantly higher except during the rock bottom Covid prices we had a few months ago.


Usually at times of weak premium cabin demand but high leisure demand. Thanksgiving, New Years, Xmas etc.

dfwjim1 wrote:
I was looking at flying from FLL to CLT in August and the basic economy fare is $47 RT and the first class round trip is $545 RT!


Seems pretty normal for F Class prices. One of my regular routes is JFK-CLT-RIC and that's often $300-$500 one way in F.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
rinkymehra
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Re: Paying for First Class (Domestic flights)

Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 am

I've never flown business or first class in my life, always economy. I simply don't see the value of it. As long as I get to my destination, I don't care.

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