1)Do the people who fly first class, pay actual listed first class prices? Sometimes you see the first class passengers when you're headed back to steerage and you have to wonder how most of them afforded it.
2) Have you seen what people consider as carry-ons these days? Wouldn't it be less hassle for the airline if they just added the checked baggage option to the price of the ticket? I bet it would cut 45 minutes off of the boarding time. And who are the cheapos who won't shell out $25 to check their luggage? It's $25. If you can afford to fly, what is another $25?
3) The boarding zones. If you're in Zone 1 - you get on the place first, and I understand that if you pay, you get bumped up to Zone 1. That's all well and good, but wouldn't it make more sense to just load the plane back to front, the exception being first class passengers get on the plane first. Wouldn't it save time?
Truly perplexing questions!
OP, check the Sunday paper for coupons. All of your points are covered. I think this might even be double coupon week.
Most people flying first are getting upgrades due to frequent flyer miles or traveling on company dime.
[quote]1)Do the people who fly first class, pay actual listed first class prices? Sometimes you see the first class passengers when you're headed back to steerage and you have to wonder how most of them afforded it.
Most people in FC/Business fly on points/status or at their employer's expense. This is especially true on international routes. There is an enormous competition for those seats; whole websites are devoted to the whole pecking order on airplanes, e.g., flyertalk.com
What R3 said. The only times I have ever flown first class was when I used my mile or had one flight canceled and first class was all that was available on the flight they could get me on.
2- It's not all about money. For me, the most tedious part of flying is baggage claim. I'd rather take the time to neatly pack all my belongings in 2 bags than spend 45 minutes dealing with baggage claim only to be told "Actually your bags are still in Chicago. What's a good time for you tomorrow for delivery?"
The airlines have full-time employees who spend all of their time doing statistical analyses of things like the fastest way to get passengers on and off a plane.
Apparently they all get different results, though. Some of the airlines do load passengers from back to front.
Actually, the fastest way to load a plane is all window seats first, then centers, then aisles, with front and back doors open.
But could you imagine frequent flyer bitches in the exit row aisle agreeing to get on last?
2. The trick I've learned is to bring one carryon through TSA but then at the actual gate to ask that it be stored in the cargo hold. This means:
a) you're spared the stress of having to fit it in the overhead compartments (when there is increasingly less space)
b) you're spared having to pay the annoying $15-$25 fee to have it in the cargo hold
c) they almost certainly won't lose it
d) your bag is usually the first one loaded onto the carrousel
R9, that is so smart! Sometimes, though, on smaller planes they automatically tag the carry-on as you load and put it in cargo hold anyway..if the plane's overhead space is not big enough. If they load my luggage underneath the plane I am ON I have no worries about my bag getting to where I am going at the same time. :)
And FUCK paying extra to check a baggage. That is one of America's PET PEEVES and is insulting. Tickets are fucking through- the- roof expensive as it is. One never USED to have to fucking pay to check a bag so why start now and gouge us even MORE? I mean, really.
[quote]Tickets are fucking through- the- roof expensive as it is.
Inflation-adjusted, flying is the cheapest it's ever been.
[quote]Tickets are fucking through- the- roof expensive as it is.
Airline flights are the cheapest they've ever been (adjusting for inflation)
"Adjusting for inflation" doesn't correlate with an increase in INCOME, jackwagons. Or haven't you noticed that many people have a LOWER standard of living in recent years and the economy has been in the shitter?
Not buying it, R14. Anecdote doesn't trump data. Flying is cheaper than it's every been, and as a result, more people who should never be allowed on a plane in the first place shove their chicken coops and bamboo baskets in the overhead bin.
Flying has become intolerable.
When are we going to see no-kids flights? Not soon enough.
Actually, dahlings, back in the day you never had the trash on board you see today. Planes weren't packed to the gills, you could easily move to another seat, heck they even had hot meals and piano bars for the peons in the back of the plane.
Pity flying is now akin to taking a bus across town. Well, unless you don't fly commercial anymore. Thank heavens we have that as an option these days so we don't have travel with the unwashed masses.
I actually flew first class ONCE in my life, when I had to get somewhere last minute (funeral of immediate family member) and no coach seats were available on any nonstop flights from my city.
I'll admit it was nice to be sipping a free cocktail, while watching the coach passengers be herded back to their section (I could have sworn some of them were going "Mooo...") Of course, I couldn't gloat, since I'd be part of that crowd on my next flight (and all since)
I loved the roomy first class seat. But only until I realized I could have bought a whole ROW of three seats in the back, for what this was costing me!
Coming back (yes, I flew first class round trip, since coach to return would not have saved much) my seatmate was a 17 year old guy flying (alone) to Phoenix to check out ASU. His daddy was sending him (first class, and first class hotels - Hyatt Regency in Phoenix) to several cities where he MIGHT want to go to college. Too young for a rental car, so he'd use cabs once we landed. He had on a Rolex-looking watch that likely cost close to what my car is worth. Must be nice.
"People who should never be allowed on a plane?" Wow. Just wow. You are an arrogant asshole, whoever you are.
The Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, AZ?! WOW!!
= The Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, AZ?! WOW!! =
Actually, I meant to say the Hyatt in Scottsdale, which is closer to ASU. Not THE most expensive hotel, by a longshot, but quite pricey compared to the motherlode of cheap motels available near ASU.
Flying has become.... THE BUS!
[quote]Wow. Just wow.
Someone has never seen that A&E series about Southwest.
[quote]I loved the roomy first class seat. But only until I realized I could have bought a whole ROW of three seats in the back, for what this was costing me!
Yes, that's what surprising to many, who think first class costs 50% more or even double. Instead, the price is always like 5 times what an economy ticket costs. It never seems worth it unless you are using frequent flier miles.
OP, if you even have to ask then you'll always be flying coach, so don't even worry about it.
I agree with OP on Point #2. People shoving their overstuffed luggage into the overhead compartments is a major pain in the ass. I always check my luggage and the only time I had a problem was when I was flying into JFK after a snowstorm and the baggage workers at JFK couldn't/wouldn't unload the bags. I had to wait a day for my luggage to be delivered to my house.
After my bags got lost one time, I always carry a small messenger bag containing a change of underwear and socks along with hygiene necessities. I don't put it in the overhead.
[quote]...more people who should never be allowed on a plane in the first place shove their chicken coops and bamboo baskets in the overhead bin.
Wait, don't tell us. You're a Republican, aren't you?
Anyone on here fly first class all the time? Do you use points? Or do you pay full price?
The competition for first class is a private jet.
NY to LA private jet cost is about $25,000 (one way) buy you can put 8 people in the plane.
[quote]Most people in FC/Business fly on points/status or at their employer's expense.
And it's a write-off so you and I subsidize their fat asses. Same with their hotels. The fabled 3-martini business lunch deduction, however, has been curtailed, IIRC.
Nobody is subsidizing anything r30.
Companies charge expenses against revenue to determine net profit, which THEN gets taxed.
If a company pays zero or 1Billion in taxes, your taxes are not affected in the least.
You sure have the appropriate tag-line, Barb.
If someone (or corporation) pays less, somebody else has to pay a greater share. You will likely at this point commence a rant about taxes being too high but that is not germane to the point that business travel and entertainment deductions are a form of subsidy just like any other deduction.
Looks like you got your money's worth out of that econ101. course.
Someone mentioned Southwest Airlines, which is another kind of hell in the sky.
If all goes well, yes, it's a bargain.
But if there is a problem and a flight gets canceled, you're in deep shit. Most of their flights are full (overbooked, actually), and they don't interline (put you on other carriers if their next flight is full, unless there is NO chance they can accommodate you sometime that day or evening.)
I was once flying from Phoenix to Las Vegas. Yes, short flight, and Southwest flew there pretty much every hour. We boarded the flight, but it was delayed due to mechanical issues. They actually had a repair crew under the plane, and periodically coming up to the cockpit, while we are all still sitting there. After about fifteen minutes, they decided the plane couldn't fly and we had to deplane.
The idiot at the check-in desk continually smiled and said "We hope to get you all on the next flight, which leaves in only 20 minutes!" I figured, wait a minute: the flight I had just been taken off was full, as was pretty much all of their flights. How the hell could they fit TWO capacity crowds on one plane? I checked with my travel agent, who checked for me (He had to call, since SW doesn't give travel agents access to their boarding stuff) and confirmed their next three hourly flights were listed as full. I asked the check-in attendant how she was planning to do this miracle of squeezing us onto one plane, and she smiled and said "Well, I said we *hope* to get you all on the next flight. I didn't say it was possible!" I insisted on seeing a supervisor and was told they would accommodate us as there were vacant seats on SW flights THE REST OF THE DAY. No other airlines, no refunds. I had my agent book me a flight on another carrier, tried to get my bag back (they had already sent it to LV on an earlier flight), and eventually got a refund of my SW fare after filing a complaint with the FAA. Never again.
OP, maybe they recently inherited money. Maybe they won they lottery. Maybe they live in trailers but have been saving up for years and yeaars to do a first class trip. I find it odd that you think you can tell how much money someone has just by looking at them or the clothes they have on.
As a frequent traveler, I'd say most in FC are not on full F-fare tickets, but are some combination of using accrued mileage, upgraded from a $$$ coach ticket (not necessarily Full Y itself), or put themselves on the elite waiting list at time of purchase, and succeeded in scoring an upgrade that way.
[quote]Anyone on here fly first class all the time? Do you use points? Or do you pay full price
I fly FC pretty regularly. I do a combo of full price and points.
If you hate flying have a look at Porter Airlines. They have a single class on their flights but every seat with 34" pitch. You get served a meal or snack on every flight, plus free beer and wine served in an ACTUAL GLASS!
Their lounges include free wifi, use of Apple iMacs and printers, cappuccino /latte/espresso, soft drinks, cookies and roast almonds.
American has started boarding people who have one carry-on item that will fit under seat right after 1st Class and Priority boarding. Not sure what this accomplishes because the people with overstuffed bags still take forever trying to shove their luggage into the overhead.
The policy that allows people to check their bag at the gate because they were too cheap to pay $25 is absolutely ridiculous.
Bring on the Hyperloop!
You can always get an upgrade to first class if you buy the right coach ticket. You need a travel agent who knows what they are doing.
1. On my airline, on most flights I would guess 90% of the first class passengers are upgrades, meaning they've used their points but most are elite fliers who get upgraded no charge.
2. People don't want to pay another $25 on top of the price of a ticket especially if they are a family traveling. However most travelers are going on a short trip and have a standard 22 inch roller bag. If you are going on a cruise or a week long vacation you have a big bag and are going to be checking it and paying the fee. A number if years ago my airline put templates at security so your bag wouldn't make it past security if it wasn't the proper size (this was before the baggage fees). But other airlines sued us because they wanted "their" customers to be able to bring bigger bags on and we had to remove them.
3. My carrier boards first class and military in uniform after passengers with disabilities first, then our elite mileage members, then window/middle/aisle.
Lou! I love when you post on airline-related threads.
Thanks R42. My pleasure
I put my clothes in a box and fed ex it to where I'm going the day before for 18 dollars and don't have to carry anything on my flight but my phone and a book.
"The policy that allows people to check their bag at the gate because they were too cheap to pay $25 is absolutely ridiculous."
I rarely fly - can somebody clarify this policy? Why does anyone ever pay the $25 to check bags if there's an option to do it for free right at the gate?
Corporations get huge discounts, right?
I used to work for a major German Company and it was just a given that if you flew Lufthansa you would fly first class, or at least business class. Of course there was one flight from Germany to the US headquarters where we probably averaged 5 seats per flight over the course of a year.
My situation isn't typical but my partner and I are self employed and often travel with 80 lbs. of test equipment so between add-on fees for extra and overweight bags plus potential change fees when a job doesn't go as planned it's often a wash between first class and coach. First class isn't always as expensive as you might think these days.
For personal travel we'll upgrade with miles for flights over 4 hours but it's not worth it otherwise. We pay our $500 per year for the extra leg room and priority seating section and that's just fine for the shorter flights.
R45. Usually bags are checked at the gate because we are out of overhead bin space. Most "big" suitcases won't fit through airport x-ray screeners and don't make it too the gate.
"The policy that allows people to check their bag at the gate because they were too cheap to pay $25 is absolutely ridiculous."
I think you've missed the point. The greater concern is that the bag is sure to be on the plane.
R44 I love this idea.
Anybody here fly privately on a fairly regular basis? I've done it and love it but the cost is prohibitive.
90% of the first class passengers are "upgrades". When you fly a lot, use Amex Centurion to book the flight, or have "Platinum" status, you book a coach seat and get upgraded 7 days before the flight. I would guess that 1 out of 10 first class passengers paid the full fare.
That includes domestic and international, but the latter is a little more difficult.
If you are flexible, and know a good travel agent, try to book an international flight on BritAir in first. It's amazing. Even better is Thai or Virgin, but it's harder to get an upgrade without paying thousands.
As an aside- fuck the TSA and Air Marshals. A few months ago I got bumped and when I got on the plane I could see the motherfuckers who had my seat were asshole frat boy thugs. I flirted with the FA, and she spilled that they were Air Marshals, and that she was pissed because they fucked up the flight schedule AND had already consumed 4-5 vodka drinks before we landed.
That's just what we need- drunk, trigger happy, obnoxious thugs with guns "protecting us from turrusts".
1. No, they did not pay
2. You're kinda smart OP
3. They are sucking off the frequent fliers, they don't care about the trash sitting back by the toilets..
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I used to fly $$First from HNL back to the states fairly often on Northwest. Invariably, a few minutes before door-close the cabin would be half-full, with an empty seat next to me, and here they'd come. The third world. Once, a quite elderly lady moved to the very edge of her seat right after the seat-belt sign went off, and she sat like that for six solid hours. No food or drink, no expression. I did speak to her a couple of times since she was so terribly uncomfortable. Clearly she did not understand, "Look lady, I've got to take a wizz."
I did once but never again. People are nuts. Once I told the stew that I was on eof the ones she was on fire and stupid so I yelled what the fuck and she still was stupid.
R51. I can't believe the stew told you who the Air Marshals were. That would get you fired on my airline. And I can't believe she served them alcohol, another no-no. What airline was that?
A great many people who fly first class don't pay list prices.
A great many people who fly first class don't personally pay for their tickets no matter what the purchase price, as they are paid by their companies, their clients or with miles.
Both of these are true no matter what class someone is flying. A great many people in business and coach aren't paying list and are their transportation isn't personally paid for or is paid for in miles.
It would make more sense to charge for carry on and check bags free, but nothing about flying makes sense.
Don't get me started on homeland theatre.
Lou, I've got a long wait in Hong Kong between flights and I'm not a member of any lounge clubs. Is it worth buying a temporary lounge pass?
I have flown all over the world in first class: Lufthansa, ANA, Asiana, United, Singapore, TWA, Cathay, and JAL. All on miles, never paid for it. For 16 years, until the company I worked for went out of business, I flew well over 100,000 miles a year, all domestic. The company only paid for coach, but as a super-elite you get upgraded a lot. You also get a 100% bonus on your miles so that's a minimum of 200,000 earned miles a year, so, when you add promos and bonuses, you can see how one could earn enough to fly first class for free.
IME, non-US carriers are very stingy with their F award availability. In order to get 2 F award tix to Asia on Cathay/JAL for travel next month, I had to book 330 days in advance. Flying from MUC-EWR last year in Lufthansa F, we were the only two pax, so that means they sold zero tickets. On a Singapore flight LAX-NRT, there were about 4 people in F, (which really frustrated me since I was unable to get my partner an award ticket, and he had to fly the next day). On US carriers, ITOH, international first and biz are always full, I would guess with free and paid upgrades. Of course, their product can't compare.
Just for fun, I put together an Expedia trip JFK-HKG-NRT-JFK on Cathay and JAL just to see how much our award tix were worth. $24,000....EACH. I would guess almost nobody pays that. I would speculate CEOs who fly F have a discount with the airline, due to large volume, and celebrities have a contract that stipulates they get to fly First.
Lastly, when people ask why I burn my miles for First and not Business, I always say that I can afford Coach, hopefully, someday I will be able to afford Business, but I will never, ever be able to pay cash for a First Class ticket. But it sure is an amazing way to travel.
BTW: The job I have now has zero travel so this is my last hurrah. I now have about 2000 United miles left and 38 (not 38000, just 38) AA miles left. Next trip, I'll be in Coach.
"I used to fly $$First from HNL back to the states"
Was this prior to 1960, R54? Otherwise, I think the word you want is "mainland".
Has anyone tried to butter up the gate attendant for an upgrade to first class? Has it worked?
PS, I love you Lou!
Before 9/11 I used to get free first class upgrades all of the time. I was young and pretty, and dressed nice on travel day. This actually worked for my brother several times as well. They would usually pick a few passengers to upgrade each flight, and the nicest dressed one got the upgrade. I have only flown first class a couple of times since then. Once because someone else paid for the trip, and once because an upgrade was offered for $75 (on Alaska airlines).
gate check is only for carry on sized bags.
you bring your huge ass suitcase through security, therefore it won't be with you at the gate, therefore you already paid 25 for it.
I travel with a normal size carryon and usually my laptop. if the plane is full (I ask) I can gate check it, and my laptop bag has anything i might need (botle of water, snack, book ) etc. Then I get my carryon at the gate after we deplane (or now sometimes it's on the tarmac when it's a small plane).
So you can't avoid the 25 fee for your big ass bag that way.
Plenty of people drag large bags through security, knowing that they won't fit in the overhead and thus avoid the $25 fee
R63. Right back at ya. XO😊
[quote] Has anyone tried to butter up the gate attendant.
Well, I didn't get bumped up to first class and I wasn't trying to butter anyone up, but the check in lady at the British Air told me she loved me like a daughter and that she would put me in a three-seat window aisle by myself--and she did!
I do so feel sorry for folks who don't fly private. Having to endure communal restrooms alone make me very sad. And the various odors one is subjected to.
How DO you do it?
R59. I haven't been to Hong Kong since they opened the new airport (showing my age). Looking at their website it appears to be a nice facility. I think you pay about $50 for access to the airline's club but I see HKG airport has lounge facilities available for about $23 for a day pass (showers, Internet , snacks)
[quote]Has anyone tried to butter up the gate attendant for an upgrade to first class? Has it worked?
An airline stew once told me they will sometimes ask well-dressed people to sit in 1st class if there's plenty of room.
Wore a suit. Flirted my ass off. Got 1st class upgrades from coach 6 different times.
This was in the 80's, so no idea if it still works.
I really wish they'd price seats according to some rational formula like.
Business = 2 x Coach
First = 3 x Coach
It would make flying so much nicer.
I'm sure it was USAir. The FA was pissed at us about how we acted about losing our FC seats, but after we took off she got even MORE pissed they were drinking. She was very much a pro. She took great care of us, and apologized repeatedly.
I now recall that the FA didn't tell us- it was the phone agent when we called to complain that informed us that it was Air Marshals. I remember thinking that the next time I got bumped from FC I would just loudly explain that it was due to the USAir Marshals in FC and just make a scene, blowing their cover. Such bullshit to put them on a plane in the ONE set of seats where they can't see ANYTHING that happens behind them. Wouldn't it be smarter to put USAir Marshals in the MIDDLE of the plane, not on the first row?
R 56/73. The Air Marshals are on board to defend the flight deck, that's why they are put in first class. But they should not have been drinking. It's against federal air regulations for the crew to serve an armed passenger, and if they were drinking out of their own supply that's against the law too.
[quote]Lou, I've got a long wait in Hong Kong between flights and I'm not a member of any lounge clubs. Is it worth buying a temporary lounge pass?
Not Lou, but how long is your layover? If you need to use the showers to clean up for a long layover, go ahead and do it, but if it's not too long HKG is an incredibly huge airport with alot of amenities you don't normally see in US airports, so it's pretty easy to find soomething to eat, drink, relax, shop etc (even smoke!)
I've flown for work for nearly 40 years, and I am an infinite platinum with United. As I own the company I travel for, I try to be reasonable, but the increased charges for change fees ($200) make it better for me in most cases to get a flexible fee that allows me to change flights for no charge. Also, in my status, buying a ticket in that fare class I get an automatic upgrade to 1st. Or I can buy a discounted first class fare (about twice an advance purchase economy ticket in most cases). Because my schedule changes frequently, often beyond my control, I need the flexibility, and I'm a big guy, so the extra room is good for me and other passengers.
Most of my travel now is domestic but about 10 years ago I had a fair amount of overseas travel, and the miles really racked up. Fortunately when United merged with Continental, the Continental folks took over, and they preserved all the perks for lifetime members. I bought a lifetime President's Club membership for $100 in 1982, and it is still honored by United Club.
But you are still fat.
Yes yes yes #3 I had to fly from Fl to NY...I said the same thing...start loading the back seats first. Well, no one that runs anything has any common sense so don't expect this in our lifetime.
It's amazing what is considered a carry on now..I could pack my living room into what some consider one. Well, fuck all of them. I just bought myself a Louis Vuitton carry all 55 and will get great pleasure whacking people on the heads with the big bag while I schlepp my way to the back of the plane
Thanks for the info Lou, - much appreciated.
R75, almost 8 hours. There's a choice of buying either 3 or 3-6 hours in a lounge and it offers a chance for a shower, etc., so I thought it might be a good option. I'd love to hear any suggestions.
A lot of people in First Class are airline personnel, too. When I was a flight attendant, I recall flights where nearly everyone in first class was a flight attendant or a pilot. Sometimes they're "on duty" ("deadheading" to another city--let's say I'm on reserve and based in JFK, but I'm needed to work a flight out of MSY--they'll fly you down there, often first class), sometimes off duty; the cost for personal travel was $10 for coach each way and $25 for first class [this is domestic, to Europe was around $125 for first class], so most people opted for first class.
So yes I usually always fly first. Sometimes I pay most times I use FF miles to buy them. I am flying first to Orlando in september, the price of a coach ticket was 329 the price of a first was 508. The difference was worth it to me.
You can work plenty of credit card offers and never really pay to fly if you go twice a year. (warning you need good credit). I think this Orlando trip is the first time I actually bought a plane ticket in 3 years and I flew first every other time. Vegas, LA, Florida, Hawaii etc. All booked through FF miles, all free. (google million miler secrets for websites that tell you how to work it better than I can explain). If you don't care about first class then you can fly all over for free and a lot more often. Even when I have flown coach I will usually buy up the third seat so my partner and I are comfortable. (airlines really fight you on this because they want a name with the seat so I tell them I weigh 500 pounds and need the two seats..you have to call to book it that way. I weigh 170 so when I show up there is always a little grumbling from the ticket counter and I just say you know that Jenny Craig really works??"