What a nice problem to have, right? Gary, Gene, esteemed mileage millionaires, and other folks that have an opinion, this one’s for you to solve.
Hear me out, because I don’t want to sound like a girl on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” that says she hates her parents when they “only” buy her a BMW 5 series for her birthday.
Thanks to the number of miles I earn a year I’m able to travel to virtually anywhere in first class using miles. That’s nice, but it actually presents a challenge I never thought I’d encounter — I’m getting kind of sick of international first class! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than the first class cabin of a Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Singapore, Swiss, Thai, or Turkish plane, but at the same time I have all those marked off my list and can’t help but say “been there, done that.”
What I really want to do is fly business class, because I feel like I’m missing out. I realize once this “phase” is over I’ll return to international first class, but there really are airlines I want to try. I actually want to try Continental’s BusinessFirst, for example, or even US Airways Envoy (at least the new product). And those are the boring ones. I’d also like to try longhaul business class on Austrian, bmi, LOT, SAS, and of course Swiss’ new product.
But at the same time I can’t bring myself to do it. The mileage premium for first class over business class is so minimal, yet the product is so much better. There are advantages to flying with those airlines in business class, though — I could visit places I wouldn’t otherwise visit, places other than the Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich hubs I’m used to.
You see, I can’t really book a trip that keeps me away from home for over a week. And I never really relax in the traditional sense, which I like. If I’m not busy I’m not happy. But the one place I do relax is when I fly, being totally disconnected, watching a movie, and generally not being pestered. There’s no doubt that I’m always most well rested after a long stretch in international first class. While I enjoy the actual destination, it’s not “relaxation” per se, since I’m more of a city person. So I’m happy to compromise my destination somewhat (meaning I’d visit a city that’s lower down on my list first because it involves a more comfortable journey).
While I probably wouldn’t get as much onboard “relaxation” in business class, I kind of want to fly LOT and visit Warsaw on a stopover, or maybe fly Continental and do a stopover in Dublin, or Austrian and do a stopover in Vienna, or SAS and do a stopover in Copenhagen.
But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I love Lufthansa first class and in particular the First Class Terminal. I love Swiss’ new product, which is probably the best in the sky. I love Thai’s ground services in Bangkok, which are ridiculously good.
I have nearly a million Star Alliance miles and am working on planning a trip, yet I don’t know what to do. Do I actually want to intentionally avoid first class? What has this world come to? 😉