About First Class Flyer
First up, be sure never to think of airline upgrades the way most travelers think of (fantasize about) them: good fortune bestowed by benevolent check-in staff or cabin crew.
Don’t even think of them as better seats and service bought with miles; well not solely. That can be a great strategy but done naively, a costly waste.
Here’s a quick upgrade heads-up:
An upgrade is something bestowed on you, but not by the airline. By you.
The penultimate upgrade is coach to Business for not much more than the price of coach, or for same price as coach, or even less than coach.
The ultimate upgrade—coach to First Class. Again… for not much more than the price of coach, or (rarely) for same price as coach, or (even more rarely, but not unknown) less than coach.
Each can be achieved through strategies (Buy Miles to Fly in Style, booking through alliance partners instead of direct, using connections creatively, etc.), through intelligence (e.g., what we’ve dubbed EasyUp fares—premium fares published but not promoted which make flying coach a folly), even through Sweet Redeems: The FCF Worldwide Mileage Seat Locater is a feature of each issue. It shows where and when spending miles is relatively easy.
And there are also in-class upgrades. The pick-your-flight-right strategy has had many members enjoying a fully reclining seat on a long-haul journey whereas, uninformed, they’d have suffered a second-rate First Class or a bummer Business Class… on the same airline paying the same fare.
And there’s the upgrading of one’s own mood, maybe even esteem. When you get to choose between two different prices for an airline ticket, one extravagant and the other extremely reasonable, the choice you make affects the spirits.
Prof. Thomas Y. Levin
New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
Condé Nast Traveler
Los Angeles Times
Fleischer Sports CEO
Four Seasons Resorts Magazine
The New York Times
Lawrence Pass, MD
Prof. Michael Beckerman