Last week, I wrote about “Why Flying International First Class Doesn’t Make Sense.” Ben, who writes One Mile at a Time, countered my post with “Why flying international first class does make sense.” There were definitely some great comments on both blog posts.
Brian’s routing is JFK-AMS-CPT with a whopping 9,641 miles in economy coach.
Like Brian, I’m a big fan of elite status, but sometimes it’s tough to find that Business/First Class award space. It’s even tougher when it’s last minute, although some bloggers preach that being flexible and last minute can lead to that coveted premium award redemption.
There is one upside of flying in coach. First off, the meal service is very quick. Usually the meals are blasted with heat during the boarding process and the meal carts come out right before Business class even gets their hot towel! After the tray collection is done, you can usually go to bed without flight attendant disturbance. In Business /First Class, you’re constantly hounded by flight attendants for drink refills. You won’t get bombarded with questions in economy.
Here are some of my best meals I’ve had in international economy coach:
JFK-CDG (New York to Paris) on Air France
AMS-LAX (Amsterdam to Los Angeles) on KLM (on two different occasions)
CGK-NRT (Jakarta to Narita, Japan) on ANA
JFK-IST (New York to Istanbul) on Turkish Airlines
Here are some of my personal tips when flying international coach:
- Ask at the airport check-in counter if there’s a possible buy up to Business Class. If that’s not available, ask for Economy Plus/Comfort where you get more leg room.
- If you failed at the airport check-in counter, try asking the same questions to the gate agent working that flight. Sometimes you can score a great seat by “just asking”.
- If you’re stuck in coach, at least get a better seat and don’t be stuck in the middle. Ask the gate agent nicely if there are any better seats available. Of course, elite status helps tremendously in addition to being polite.
I’m a big fan of Brian, but sometimes flying international economy coach is not the end of the world. In the end, all the passengers will get off at the same destination. That’s why we fly, right?