While this is hardly significant in the grand scheme of things, I nonetheless feel the need to share.
As I’ve said many times before, my goal is to try as many new airline products as possible over the coming months in the interest of reviewing them. As great as Lufthansa first class is, for example, I think I’ve reviewed just about every aspect of their service in-depth.
Next week I’ll be flying from Seattle to Tampa, and tickets are rather expensive. So I decided to have a bit of fun with it and book a ticket on Alaska from Seattle to Vancouver for 4,500 Avios, and then redeem 25,000 American miles for Cathay Pacific business class from Vancouver to New York and then a connecting flight from New York to Tampa.
Given that the Cathay Pacific plane will feature their new business class with fully flat beds I’m sure it’ll be a super-comfortable redeye. Nonetheless I found it really tough to actually follow through with booking business class when first class was available for only an extra 7,500 miles.
This is always one of my struggles. Cathay Pacific first class is simply a phenomenal product — the service, food, and seat are top notch. But the biggest thing is that the mileage premium for first class over business class is so small in most cases. For example, from New York to Hong Kong it’s 55,000 miles for business class and 67,500 miles for first class. So as much as I’d love to try business class on a longhaul flight, it’s tough not to pay 12,500 extra miles for such an amazing product.
The other aspect to my thought process is that business class will always be there, while first class may not. Cathay Pacific is eliminating first class on many routes, and I suspect over time it will only become more difficult to secure first class award seats with them, so I feel like I should take advantage of the opportunity while I can.
Anyway, in the grand scheme of things this is the ultimate “first world problem,” though can anyone else relate to the struggle? Would you have booked business class in the interest of reviewing it and trying the product on a shorter route, or paid the small price premium for first class and all the amenities that come with it, including Shanghai Tang pajamas?
On second thought, it occurred to me I should be pimping out this award ticket a bit more. I’m spending 25,000 AAdvantage miles for the one-way ticket, while for 50,000 miles I could include the Vancouver to New York segment and add a segment from New York to Europe to the itinerary at a later date for just 50,000 miles. Yes, I’d have to book my tickets between Tampa and New York separately, though you can’t beat an additional 25,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket to Europe, right?