Is flying first class worth it?

AT&T / Ops
DDM2K

AT&T Ops

PRE
Windstream
DDM2Kmore
Dec 2, 2017 55 Comments

Before you ask, I’m not a frequent flyer, I don’t have the option to use points for a free upgrade.

I am flying home to Raleigh to visit family close to the holidays. My ticket is an upgradeable nonstop flight, 6 hours duration. The aircraft is a 737 according to my check-in reminder email. The cost to upgrade is about $250, or roughly $0.10 a mile. 5 seats free in first, with an upgrade list of 13 passengers.

I have no reference to calculate whether this is typical price for cash customers, so I want to ask the audience 😋

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TOP 55 Comments
  • Amazon kcgE06
    No, if you have to pay for it, it is absolutely not worth it
    Dec 2, 2017 0
  • Amazon thus
    I flew first class a few times LA to SF on Virgin. It was cheaper than Southwest. On one flight I had 8 or 9 free cocktails. It was worth it. Aside from that, not worth it.
    Dec 2, 2017 3
    • Intuit Oihbbhg
      Yeah, holy shit. I’m impressed.
      Dec 3, 2017
    • Intuit Kv16jRa
      No flight attendant would serve that much, this story is BS
      Dec 4, 2017
  • Microsoft TheCurate
    If you do choose to take the upgrade, $250 for a 6 hr flight is one of the better deals you’ll get offered in my experience.
    Dec 2, 2017 0
  • AT&T / Ops
    DDM2K

    AT&T Ops

    PRE
    Windstream
    DDM2Kmore
    OP
    STATUS UPDATE!

    I read this thread through and considered all things. I’m writing my post from 5A right now, in a seat 6” wider than I am, not regretting a thing.

    I almost didn’t get to upgrade. I got on my laptop and was informed the upgrade fee jumped from $249 to $486... what?! To be sure, I went into the airline’s app and checked, price was back down to $249. One seat remaining. I jumped on it. Subtracting the costs I would have incurred, some numbers have changed because I found out the actual price had I not upgraded:

    -$25 for breakfast, total a la carte price
    -$32 for drinks, just enough to feel 👌🏻
    -$24 for priority boarding, security lane
    -$25 for checked bag, I only had one

    So we’re at $106 already and I haven’t counted the intangibles:

    -I can enjoy the flight itself. I don’t get nearly as airsick with a little room to spread out and lie back.
    -My back feels 100% better after 3 hours (thus far) than in a coach seat.
    -Noise doesn’t bother me much, so I might pass on the headphone idea
    -I’m not planning on traveling internationally anytime soon, so this is it as far as money I’m throwing around on tickets.

    I also made the most of my money otherwise and drove my car to work and parked (takes me halfway to the airport) and then opted for Uber Pool. 7am on a Sunday was about the lowest chance we’d pick up another rider. $18 from RWC to SFO.

    All bets I took paid off and I am a happy traveler.
    Dec 3, 2017 7
    • Oracle mbmvu76
      How much was the ticket before the upgrade?
      Dec 4, 2017
    • AT&T / Ops
      DDM2K

      AT&T Ops

      PRE
      Windstream
      DDM2Kmore
      OP
      Low $400s for round trip, nonstop both ways.
      Dec 4, 2017
  • Salesforce / Eng Dufenshmrz
    But decent noise cancelling headphones instead of the upgrade.
    Dec 2, 2017 0
  • Microsoft azure-cli
    Domestic flights, not worth it.
    Dec 2, 2017 0
  • WalmartLabs KjCeXs~5
    I would have a hard time paying my own money for first class. But I've had my employer pay for it for international flights and it made a huge difference.
    Dec 2, 2017 0
  • GitHub / Eng YuccaFool
    Planning to check a bag or two? First class generally has waived bags so you'll save a bit that way to offset the cost a little bit. Otherwise it's really up to you if it's worthwhile.

    You almost certainly won't get a free upgrade without status on that airline. Even if the upgrade list is exhausted they'll give the seats to airline employees (non-revs) next.
    Dec 2, 2017 3
    • Microsoft TheCurate
      Depending on the airline and airport, there might be a dedicated security lane (ie Delta Sky Priority).
      Dec 2, 2017
    • Oracle heathcliff
      More comfortable seats, no getting waken up if someone else needs to get out.
      Dec 2, 2017
  • Google nuckchorri
    If you are rich, it is worth it and you wield not have thought so much about it. So it's not worth it
    Dec 3, 2017 0
  • Google WFDV56
    It's a crappy first class, but for $250, whatever, I'd upgrade. First / business really makes sense for overnight flat beds, then you land having had 6 - 10 hours of continuous, comfortable sleep and can be productive as heck and not a zombie.
    Dec 2, 2017 0

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