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Hawaiidan

Flying to Europe- business class

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Just a note if your considering  to take a air credit/ and or purchase an O deviation for a trip to Europe  and are trying to decide between Economy and Business      You should know that   you can get one way Business Class for around $1400 to $1700  now by buying miles or using a  Business Class discount agency...  So if you stressed  on taking a  10 to 12 hour flight in coach  but  the $6000-$9000  published fares scare you to bits....   know there is an option  

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Just a note if your considering  to take a air credit/ and or purchase an O deviation for a trip to Europe  and are trying to decide between Economy and Business      You should know that   you can get one way Business Class for around $1400 to $1700  now by buying miles or using a  Business Class discount agency...  So if you stressed  on taking a  10 to 12 hour flight in coach  but  the $6000-$9000  published fares scare you to bits....   know there is an option  

 

DSC00369-1.jpg

One has to be very careful about the "third party" traders of FF miles for biz class. Can't remember the name of the one outfit that has had many problems resulting in denied carriage. Nonetheless, caveat emptor.

 

Another option to biz class is the correct version of true "premium economy" (not just more legroom on a domestic flight) usually found on major international carriers and now making its way into the U.S. fleets (e.g., United's new "premium plus").

 

Though, there aren't the "lay flat" seats, "premium  plus" and similar designations offer roomy  2x2 seats with leg room, better meals/drinks etc. for a fraction of the cost of biz class (even with points/$ combos).

 

It's a real consideration for folks without a big FF points bank (especially if they're doing multiple international flights per year).

 

With a $1300/pp Oceania air credit to help, we just purchased multi-city Cathay Pacific "premium economy" for SFO to Cape Town pre-cruise and Singapore-SFO post cruise for well under $2k/pp. Net cost to us is $1500 for two "baby biz class" tix without using FF points needed for three other long hauls in 2020. (BTW, BizClass on the same flights totals $6k/pp.)

Edited by Flatbush Flyer

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Posted (edited)

I use ita matrix and never pay rates that Dan describes for BC. I watch and catch the sales on UA or AA and rarely pay over $3K rt for BC to Europe. Traveling rt  BNA to LHR in Aug on AA/BA in BC for $2500. 

 

The major airlines sre constantly having sales or inventory adjustment pricing. Watch ita matrix and snatch when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t dilly dally, the pricing posted in the morning can be gone in the afternoon. No need for third parties.

Edited by pinotlover

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13 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

I use ita matrix and never pay rates that Dan describes for BC. I watch and catch the sales on UA or AA and rarely pay over $3K rt for BC to Europe. Traveling rt  BNA to LHR in Aug on AA/BA in BC for $2500. 

 

The major airlines sre constantly having sales or inventory adjustment pricing. Watch ita matrix and snatch when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t dilly dally, the pricing posted in the morning can be gone in the afternoon. No need for third parties.

Plus 1 on ITA Matrix.

However, with the increasing number of air fare "classes" (like the aforementioned United "premium plus"), it should be noted that some code share routings found on ITA Matrix are not ticketable as a single "mixed cabin" itinerary sold by a single airline (even if it is a consortium partner like Star Alliance).

Particularly when it comes to identifying multi-city intineraries, ITA Matrix is ideal. But, buying the tix may have its own set of challenges.

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Posted (edited)

Flyer;

 

One does have to do some work! 😂! I got a great $3200ish Fare on AA in BC BNA- HGK and and BGK- BNA. There were cheaper fares on UA/ Air China listed. However, they all had 50 minute connections in Beijing! Clearing immigration,  changing terminals and making a flight there in 50 isn’t going to happen! Lucky if you can make it through immigration in 50 minutes in Beijing!

 

An airport may have a legal connection time that an airline won’t sell. They all have their own airport connection times. Those aren’t integrated into the Matrix!

 

Case in point, the big 3 US airlines all have different minimum connection times for EWR- JFK or LGA-JFK and vice versus.

Edited by pinotlover

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Oh yeah! A lot of cheap itineraries have short connection times. I just won't do that when I'm headed to a long cruise (seen too many folks needing to wear the same clothes until their bags catch up to them).

Because we fly out of SFO and are subject to fog et al. delays (among other potential problems), our rule of thumb for international connections is "maximum of one connection" and "no less than 3 hour layover."

 

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Posted (edited)

Well  I dont have a clue on this  "matrix stuff."   I guess I am old fashioned 

 

   I just use miles.   and $$ aside  you can buy 70,000 miles from UAL  for $1400 most times, $1700 at most.  And that  70K miles gets you a euro business class on  all the Star alliance boys flying that way.    That is a safe bet, no 3rd party

 

    That was my suggestion for folks who were wanting to try a business class seat.   Thats all.      Also  I suggest flying on A380, A340 and B787  because of the better cabin pressure and humidity which mitigates a lot of  jet lag.  Totally different experience

     
Premium economy may work for some... but amigos an over night flight, of 11-12 hours  needs  a lie flat bed with big pillows and blanket.     It is not an option in my book anything over 6 hours..... I go business  I dont want to be a stressed out zombie when I start my cruise and have to  spend days adapting to 12 hour time zone changes   

 Fine if you can cut it   I  cant.    Many can't....  it isnt all that healthy as you grow in years....

 

(I can not remember when I last bought a seat actualy..... I think it was in 2014.    Still cashing in FF miles from years of playing the game. As Ryan Bingham in" Up in the air" said... its a  big number)

     

 

Edited by Hawaiidan

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30 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Well  I dont have a clue on this  "matrix stuff."   I guess I am old fashioned 

 

   I just use miles.   and $$ aside  you can buy 70,000 miles from UAL  for $1400 most times, $1700 at most.  And that  70K miles gets you a euro business class on  all the Star alliance boys flying that way.    That is a safe bet, no 3rd party

 

    That was my suggestion for folks who were wanting to try a business class seat.   Thats all.      Also  I suggest flying on A380, A340 and B787  because of the better cabin pressure and humidity which mitigates a lot of  jet lag.  Totally different experience

     
Premium economy may work for some... but amigos an over night flight, of 11-12 hours  needs  a lie flat bed with big pillows and blanket.     It is not an option in my book anything over 6 hours..... I go business  I dont want to be a stressed out zombie when I start my cruise and have to  spend days adapting to 12 hour time zone changes   

 Fine if you can cut it   I  cant.    Many can't....  it isnt all that healthy as you grow in years....

 

(I can not remember when I last bought a seat actualy..... I think it was in 2014.    Still cashing in FF miles from years of playing the game. As Ryan Bingham in" Up in the air" said... its a  big number)

     

 

70k pts. is for a one way saver award on Star Alliance partners and that will change (probably not in our favor) in November 2019. 

 

And the "saver" date windows sure do seem to be getting smaller. But, United is where almost all of our points (earned pre-retirement) reside.

 

Of course, we could always fly in sooner than originally planned to get the saver price. But, that may easily be negated by extra cost of added land stays.

 

In a future post, I'll tell the story of United's newest $ grab for use of points in and around 330 days pre-flight. 

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43 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

In a future post, I'll tell the story of United's newest $ grab for use of points in and around 330 days pre-flight. 

Do tell - please 🙂

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Hello, Everyone., When booking BC, it pays to know when to do it. Our next international is October 2020. No airline that I know about now is booking that now. Hawaiidan, if you have an airline flying from Florida that does, let me know. Booking on board gave us the option to use Os pricing. Still, it is a long time time till May of 2020 when final payment is due. In the meantime, who knows what will happen to pricing and availability? AA is certainly having problems. All this in part of the adventure that is cruising.

Mary

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15 minutes ago, warburg said:

Hello, Everyone., When booking BC, it pays to know when to do it. Our next international is October 2020. No airline that I know about now is booking that now. Hawaiidan, if you have an airline flying from Florida that does, let me know. Booking on board gave us the option to use Os pricing. Still, it is a long time time till May of 2020 when final payment is due. In the meantime, who knows what will happen to pricing and availability? AA is certainly having problems. All this in part of the adventure that is cruising.

Mary

Most airline announce flights 330 days prior. Whether there can be value for FF poInt (or combo w/$ use at that time is a somewhat complicated proposition. As aforementioned, I will post a note about this at a later date.

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Posted (edited)

Another way to get to business, is to buy a PE ticket and then use miles or Certificates (if you have them) to upgrade.  On UA I have done this successfully 3 times out of 3 using GPUs this month.  The new pecking order for upgrades gives PE fares the highest priority (other than Global Service) for upgrades.  I do try to fly midweek which provides maximum inventory.

 

Then of course if you really want a superb Business class experience forget about American Carriers or even Euro's and fly Emirates.  Comfort, privacy and great service.  Flew this way last week.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.de8970c250441df53536478f20180b41.jpeg

Edited by PaulMCO

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Funny you should mention Emirates, which we have never flown, and which I don't think of when planning US to Europe trips.

 

 I was researching potential BC fares for an Oct 2020 cruise for a figure to plug into the airfare expense column.  Much to my surprise, I noted a very good rate (without points) Newark to Athens direct on Emirates.  Fingers crossed they keep that route and similar pricing when it's time to book.

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Cannot say enough good things about Matrix, even if it is orphan software now. Business Class routing for a Premium Economy price, over and over and over again.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PaulMCO said:

Then of course if you really want a superb Business class experience forget about American Carriers or even Euro's and fly Emirates.  Comfort, privacy and great service.  Flew this way last week.

 

 

 

Unless you are managing to catch some of the new 777 interior flights, Emirates is far from being a good choice. And even then, it's not groundbreaking.

 

They have three main business class products.  The old 777 interior is in a 2-3-2 configuration.  FAR from being luxurious or even comfortable.  3 seats in each row do not have aisle access, the seats are slant-boards, and there is minimal privacy in the center section.  Personal space is tight.

 

The newer 777 interior is a bit of an upgrade, but still is 2-3-2.  The seats are now lie-flat, and the appointments have been improved.  But it's still got seats with no aisle access.  Plus, it is difficult to distinguish  which interior you might get with their 777s.

 

The A380 has a much nicer layout, with seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.  Larger personal area and lots of privacy.  A world of difference from the 777.

 

For some comparison photos and info on the 777 products, here's an article for your reference.

 

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/11/emirates-biz-with-middle-seats/

Edited by FlyerTalker

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17 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Just a note if your considering  to take a air credit/ and or purchase an O deviation for a trip to Europe  and are trying to decide between Economy and Business      You should know that   you can get one way Business Class for around $1400 to $1700  now by buying miles or using a  Business Class discount agency... 

 

The "buying miles" strategy has its upside and downside.

 

The upside is that you can sometimes get some outsized value from those purchases.   The downside has multiple factors.

 

First off, you need to have inventory available for award redemptions on both your particular route AND on your dates.  Then, you need to be able to redeem at those attractive point levels.  Delta has eliminated award charts and gone to dynamic pricing of awards, making SkyPesos even more worthless than before.  United is also eliminating award charts and making the same move to dynamic pricing. American is rumored to be following.  So the days of known price-performance for FF miles is fading fast.  Yes, you CAN still get some good values.  The problem is that the likelihood that you WILL get them is way down compared to past years.

 

As for buying from a "discount agency", all I can say is Caveat Emptor.  There are some legitimate agencies that sell consolidator business tickets.  However, one should be aware that they can (and usually do) have some significantly restrictive fare rules, as compared to tickets on the same flights bought directly from the airline.   These may include that they are non-refundable, non-changable, have no value towards other tickets, have specific routing rules, have specific flight number rules, have specific carrier rules, are not endorseable to other flights/carriers and more.  So it's not the "same ticket" as what you would get from the airline directly.

 

In addition, there are some shady operations that will resell you an award ticket from someone else's FF account.  If discovered, the airline can cancel your entire ticket and you are stuck in the lurch.

 

Not to say there aren't options for reducing your travel costs.  But one needs to be aware of the potential pitfalls and then make an informed decision with both eyes open.

 

And FWIW, there is a "Cruise Air" forum here at CC, where a number of very frequent flyers freely give good advice on air travel.

 

.

 

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Emirates A-380s are great, the 777s nothing special. They fly the 380 out of JFK, but mainly the 777 out of DFW. Since none of the US carriers are interchanging bags or tickets with them now, I think it’s best to fly to JFK to catch the A380.

 

A great route to try Emirates is to South Africa. Fly the A380 to Dubai, then unfortunately, it’ll be the 777 from there to Capetown. A friend used them for flying to Cairo for our Uniworld Egypt river cruise. A380 NYC to Dubai and the 777 to Cairo. Multiple times better than our using the miserable Egyptian Airlines!!

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3 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

Another way to get to business, is to buy a PE ticket and then use miles or Certificates (if you have them) to upgrade.  On UA I have done this successfully 3 times out of 3 using GPUs this month.  The new pecking order for upgrades gives PE fares the highest priority (other than Global Service) for upgrades.  I do try to fly midweek which provides maximum inventory.

Are you sure about that pecking order? We fly United (business and pleasure - "1k" for many years before retiring) and it has always been my understanding that fare cost trumps everything else (other than Global Service) in determining upgrade pecking order. That said, an unrestricted economy ticket can easily outprice a restricted premium economy one.

BTW, United is definitely moving to dynamic point redemption (vs a set chart) this November.

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1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Unless you are managing to catch some of the new 777 interior flights, Emirates is far from being a good choice. And even then, it's not groundbreaking.

 

They have three main business class products.  The old 777 interior is in a 2-3-2 configuration.  FAR from being luxurious or even comfortable.  3 seats in each row do not have aisle access, the seats are slant-boards, and there is minimal privacy in the center section.  Personal space is tight.

 

The newer 777 interior is a bit of an upgrade, but still is 2-3-2.  The seats are now lie-flat, and the appointments have been improved.  But it's still got seats with no aisle access.  Plus, it is difficult to distinguish  which interior you might get with their 777s.

 

The A380 has a much nicer layout, with seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.  Larger personal area and lots of privacy.  A world of difference from the 777.

 

For some comparison photos and info on the 777 products, here's an article for your reference.

 

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/11/emirates-biz-with-middle-seats/

I still prefer anything that Emirates has to anything UA has.  Compare the 2-3-2 on the Emirates 777 to the UA 2-4-2 Coffin layout.  Even the new Polaris layout on the 787-10 is the most uncomfortable cabin layout plus the worst business class seats IMO as far as width and comfort.  The aisle is so narrow that you will be guaranteed to get stepped on or knocked in the head if you sit in an even seat...

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3 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

I still prefer anything that Emirates has to anything UA has.  Compare the 2-3-2 on the Emirates 777 to the UA 2-4-2 Coffin layout.  Even the new Polaris layout on the 787-10 is the most uncomfortable cabin layout plus the worst business class seats IMO as far as width and comfort.  The aisle is so narrow that you will be guaranteed to get stepped on or knocked in the head if you sit in an even seat...

Yes - the aisles are quite narrow. 

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15 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

70k pts. is for a one way saver award on Star Alliance partners and that will change (probably not in our favor) in November 2019. 

 

And the "saver" date windows sure do seem to be getting smaller. But, United is where almost all of our points (earned pre-retirement) reside.

 

Of course, we could always fly in sooner than originally planned to get the saver price. But, that may easily be negated by extra cost of added land stays.

 

In a future post, I'll tell the story of United's newest $ grab for use of points in and around 330 days pre-flight. 

Yup....its a strategy game to say the least....I too am a UAL junkie...even worked  for them after my 1st retirement.   A lot of the time I go for euro-tickets to ZUR and LYS for Business   ( Swiss/Lufthansa/LOT)  its is easy to get a 15K mile  inter euro flight

I set my cruises up to start in Europe and end i the US  for both safety and ease.    I cruise for sea days as I have been to every port I would ever want to go.    The art loft has me.  

Since your much more informed and competent in using gizmos to crack fares  keep us informed or at least me.

Ciao....       (  yout a sloop guy?   I used to have a 42' money pit... learned at Cass's)

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Just now, Hawaiidan said:

Yup....its a strategy game to say the least....I too am a UAL junkie...even worked  for them after my 1st retirement.   A lot of the time I go for euro-tickets to ZUR and LYS for Business   ( Swiss/Lufthansa/LOT)  its is easy to get a 15K mile  inter euro flight

I set my cruises up to start in Europe and end i the US  for both safety and ease.    I cruise for sea days as I have been to every port I would ever want to go.    The art loft has me.  

Since your much more informed and competent in using gizmos to crack fares  keep us informed or at least me.

Ciao....       (  yout a sloop guy?   I used to have a 42' money pit... learned at Cass's)

30' Hunter fractional rig sloop. However, we sold it a few years ago and have yet to replace it.

IMG_2432.JPG

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7 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Yes - the aisles are quite narrow. 

Have to check it out   I have a flight to ZUR  coming up and then SYD to LAX.      Lufthansa 340 and 380  so far the best  Swiss ..nice. business is better than first on both lines.

What do you mean by Dynamic  miles  vs the current sustem...  your genius is needed. to understand better

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7 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

30' Hunter fractional rig sloop. However, we sold it a few years ago and have yet to replace it.

IMG_2432.JPG

Nice....  and nice you sold it too.    I sailed mine on the HA-HA. to Cabo and back... Thats why I now cruise  in O !!!

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15 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Do tell - please 🙂

Yea.... if November is the bewitching date   Maybe I can slip in a October 20 to FCO before.

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