Unlike most people in the miles and points community, my experience in business class and first class seats is very limited. I’ve never made an award redemption in business class, and I’ve only paid cash to fly in business class once. (The one time was on a long flight to South Korea when the fare was very similar to economy. This was before lie-flat seats were a big thing).
I’ve always taken a more practical and conservative approach to using miles and points. Mainly, it’s because I have five people in my family. We fly a few times a year, and earning the miles for business/first class flights all the time is just darn near impossible. I’ve written essays about flying in coach. My family happily flew 17 hours in coach to Australia in 2019. There is no doubt that I’ve been quite vocal about how I stick to flying in economy class.
Well guess what? Times and circumstances change. I just made an award redemption for my entire family in business class to Europe (see separate post here). Why the change of heart?
Comfort is Becoming More of a Priority
As I get older, I must admit that it’s not as easy to get comfortable. As a kid, I could sleep on the bare floor with no pillow. Now, I need the mattress and pillows to be just right.
My knee starts to ache if I sit for too long. On my recent flight to Mexico on Sun Country Airline, my butt hurt due to the thinly cushioned seat. And that flight was only 2 1/2 hours! Getting older sucks.
Time is Fleeting
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that time is fleeting, and the future is not guaranteed. Both of my parents passed away. The pandemic wreaked havoc on most people’s lives. Trips were cancelled, people died. Crazy, crazy times.
In addition, my oldest son is getting close to leaving the nest. He will be off to college in just two years. My vacation time with him is limited. Soon we’ll be traveling as a family of four, and then just two.
Long-haul business class is something I’ve been curious to try. If not now, then when?
We Have the Miles and Points
When the pandemic forced us to cancel our trips last year, we gained the gift of time to earn more miles and points. After a bit of a dry spell with new credit cards, my husband and I have had a flurry of approvals over the last 1.5 years. We’ve both been approved for United cards (2 for my husband, 1 for me). I got the Chase Ink Cash and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. We both got Alaska Airlines cards. Our bonuses totaled over 500k miles and points!
Money Isn’t as Tight as It Used to Be
When my family first delved more deeply into the miles and points hobby, money was pretty tight. I had quit my corporate job, and we were adjusting to one main salary. At that time, if we couldn’t get there on miles and points, we wouldn’t go.
But now, money isn’t quite as tight for us. My husband has changed jobs and earned a promotion. We’ve almost paid off our mortgage. If we use all of our miles and points for this trip, we can likely save up to pay cash for the next trip.
Obviously, I don’t have to justify my travel choices to anyone. But, I like to keep it real on this blog. For this particular trip, we’re splurging big time. I hope to splurge on premium economy for the return flights or maybe more business class seats if the availability works out.
Does this mean we will be flying business/first class from now on? Heck no! My next flight is booked on Spirit Airlines. I still don’t think the splurge is worth it on shorter flights. But I reserve the right to change my mind.
PS–My husband thought I should really name this post “Why I’m Planting my A$$ in Business Class”. It’s catchy.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.