Redeeming Airlines Miles for Coach Seats vs Premium Cabin

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Here at Mommy Points, this last week of summer before school starts back up is dedicated to “keeping it real” with miles and points.  Don’t get me wrong, I love miles and points for fancy and/or exotic redemption from time to time, but a lie-flat seat isn’t truly necessary to get you from Point A to Point B (or is it?), so why spend 2x the points to book that seat when you can stretch your miles further by just sitting in coach.  So, to kick off this “keeping it real week”, today’s post is going to be on looking at how important premium cabin redemptions are…or aren’t.

More people means more miles

I love reading the trip reports of those who criss cross the globe in first class like I criss cross the grocery store with my shopping cart.  However, many, if not most, of those folks are flying solo.  Some have spouses and partners that come along from time to time, but for the most part that type of travel doesn’t line up with most families.  This is true for many reasons, but one of those big reasons is that when you have a family of four, you don’t just need 100,000 United miles to fly to Europe in business class, you need 400,000 miles.  There is no question that 100k is a ton easier to obtain to than 400k, and there is no question that premium cabin availability for one or two is a ton easier than for four.  It can be done, but it is going to take a while for most people to rack up that many miles.

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United BusinessFirst seat

However, you can get to Europe with United miles in coach for just 60k per person, or 240k for four.  That is a more manageable number for many families to come up with.  If you want to take that further, you can decide to fly off-peak with US Airways to Europe for as low as 30,000 points per person (if you have the US Airways card), or you can fly off-peak with American Airlines in coach to Europe for 40,000 miles per person.  That brings a family of four down to as low as 120,000 US Airways miles, or 160,000 American Airlines miles if the off-peak schedule works for you.  With all the ways to earn miles and points, those totals are extremely attainable for most families – much more so than 400,000 United miles just to get you to the same destination.

United BusinessFirst seat as a bed

United BusinessFirst seat as a bed

How important is the seat

Clearly it is more economical from a miles and points perspective to fly coach rather than in a premium cabin, but how terrible is coach?  I think the answer is that it depends.  If you are flying to Europe from the Eastern portion of the US to Western Europe, the flight is only six hours and change.  That may sound like a long time, but when speaking globally that is not that long of a flight.  Think if you would need a lie-flat seat to fly from New York to California.  If you could do a flight across the US in a normal seat, you can probably survive a flight of that length to Europe in one.

If you have kids that you think are unlikely to be any more relaxed in a lie-flat seat than in their car seat or regular seat in coach then you also likely would not get your money or miles worth from a premium cabin seat.  When traveling with young kids, you probably won’t get to enjoy the in-flight meal service, drink service, or movies the way you would if you were not traveling with young children, so that just increases the case for flying coach.

However, if you are talking about longer flights, or if you think your children could benefit from a lie-flat seat then the equation changes somewhat.  I flew from LAX to Frankfurt in Lufthansa coach seat in late 2012 and I hated it.  I could lie and say it wasn’t that bad, but it was.  That was a roughly 11.5 hour overnight flight sitting up and barely sleeping.  The guy next to me that kept snoring and leaning on me didn’t help, but that can come with the territory in coach.  No one can lean on you in a fancy seat.

Lufthansa coach seat that made me grumpy

Lufthansa coach seat that made me grumpy

Being a busy mom, I had gone into that trip tired, and had to hit the ground running once I landed in Europe.  It really was a recipe for disaster.  So much of a disaster for me that in my sleep deprived state, I blew 67,500 United miles and an already purchased coach ticket to fly back to California in Lufthansa first in a lie-flat bed.  I skipped the reportedly yummy meal and slept almost the entire time.  All I cared about at that point was sleep and I would have spent virtually anything at my disposal to get sleep.  I share that story to say that when doing the math on coach vs. business or first you need to consider the time or day, length of flight, and how much time you have to rest when you land.

Lufthansa bed where I finally caught up on sleep

Lufthansa bed where I finally caught up on sleep

If you can build in a day or so of rest on the front and back-ends of your trip, then it is okay if you don’t get a ton of sleep the nights you are traveling.  You can save the miles and just spend a little extra time snoozing in the hotel room…if your kids let you.  Also if your overseas trip is still really just a 6 or 7 hour flight, then it may make sense to just tough it out and zonk out once you get to your final destination.

If you do want to fly premium, be smart about it

If you do decide that sitting up front is where it’s at for your family, then be smart about it.  Sure you can spend 100,000 United miles to fly round trip in business class from the US to Europe, or you can spend 90,000 US Airways miles and fly round trip in business all the way to North Asia with a stop in Europe on the way.  That means fewer miles and more places to visit.  Maybe you could do a smaller number of trips, but make them longer in order to visit more places and stretch your miles further.  Of course, you could also utilize that strategy in coach, but it would only cost 1/3 fewer US Airways miles to do that same trip in economy, so that is a case where the up-charge may very well be worth it.  Every route and every award chart is different, so compare your options before just assuming a premium cabin is out of reach.

Also, if earning a bunch of miles is tough for your family, then in most cases I would not even consider using miles to fly in domestic first class.  The difference between coach and first on most domestic flights is very minimal and certainly isn’t worth 2x the miles.  There are some exceptions on some transcontinental flights that have nicer premium cabins, or to Hawaii where the flights can get super long, but for the most part if you can get a coach seat with some extra leg room you are about 90% as good as domestic first class.

Do what is right for you and don’t feel bad about it

Most importantly of all, do whatever you think is right for your family and don’t look back or feel bad about it.  If you redeem 60,000 United miles per person to fly your family in coach on the Lufthansa flight from LAX to Frankfurt that I took then don’t feel bad just because I said it was miserable.  It may be just fine for you and your crew, and more importantly it will get you to Europe and beyond.  If you spend 100,000 American Airlines miles per person to fly from the East Coast to Western Europe then don’t feel bad because you redeemed a ton of miles for a fairly short flight.  Be glad that you had the miles to spend and enjoy the heck out of it.  You will see many on the internet who think you should almost always only use miles for premium cabins because the return for your miles is better, and you will find those who say you should almost always only use your miles to fly coach because then you can use your miles to go more places.  I’m squarely in the middle saying of course premium cabins are more comfortable, but sometimes practicality wins out and coach makes more sense.  Do what is right for you and block out the rest.  We are so lucky in the miles and points world to be able to go where we go and even consider anything beyond always being in an uncomfortable coach seat!

What type of tickets do you book for your family and how do you decide which trips get coach and which get a more premium experience?

 

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  1. With a family of four, we need to be careful about how many miles we spend, since there are only two of us earning. This winter, we are going to England and have decided to fly there in BA business class, so that we can (hopefully) sleep overnight. But on the way back, we are working in the low miles flight from DUB-BOS on Aer Lingus and flying coach. It’s a shorter flight and it’s during the day, so we thought that would be a great way of conserving our miles.

  2. Thanks for the post. We’re a family of five. This is why the BA card has been so useful to us. We have managed to get into business and first with the companion ticket option. But we have to really focus our spending on the BA card to get up to $30K a year.

  3. I recently flew LH and BA in F d with my wife. Dropped a crazy 250k miles. We could have gone J for cheaper, but the experience alone was worth it for us. We love first class now, it’s kind of addicting. Hopefully we can squeeze two more flights in before it would be too cruel to l leave our kid behind. You make a great point, it’s only like 6 or 7 hours in most cases. We flew with our 5yr old to Hawaii in coach with out too much of a problem and that was 8 + hours. I don’t have and answer for that. Maybe it just seems different. Anyway, we have to start getting real as we will be taking our kid on our next big vacation.

  4. For me, miles and points and all about family, even though my “kids” are young adults. Miles and points allowed me to fly a sister and myself to Norway this summer to trace our ancestral roots, and pay for about 1/2 of our hotel stays thanks to Club Carlson points. I am flying same sister and her daughter with me to see family (and a new grand-nephew) for Thanksgiving. In April I will use miles to travel with my husband and sister to Spain where our college-age “kids” will be studying. And in May I am flying ALL five of my sisters to NYC for a weekend, also using points to help pay for hotel stays. And though they are not technically family, in August miles will get myself and my husband to Alaska to take a cruise with his close-knit group of high school friends. The more “mature” I get, the more I value time spent with extended family. I can’t think of a better way to spend my miles and points.

  5. I have a family of five and will be looking to start flying with the whole crew in a few years. How do airlines react if you split the family up between the premium cabin and coach. For example if you have 2 seats in the premium cabin and 3 in coach and basically swap people between the cabins how do airlines react. I’m not sure if they would frown on it or not as I have never flown in the premium cabin, but I have a lot of miles on the sidelines when the family is ready to travel so I’m curious if splitting the seats up is an option.

  6. Unless my circumstances change to a situation in which I can easily generate a half-million or more points a year (that is, I start spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for reimbursable items), I doubt I’ll be booking any premium-class family trips. With a single trip ringing up at 400K or more points (four people), that would mean one award trip every couple of years.
    .
    I’m not one of the people with an interest (hobby or professional) in experiencing different “products”. I travel for the destination, and if I could get there without setting foot in an airport I’d be perfectly happy. Likewise, a hotel is a place to sleep. As long as the room is adequate I don’t really care how large it is or what brand of shampoo is supplied.
    .
    I’ve tried checking the safety card to see what plane variant I’m on and the bath products to see what brand they are. Sometimes I think I’d like to be the kind of person who cares about those things. But I don’t.
    .
    I realize there are people who feel differently and that’s what makes the world go around.
    .
    For the same price, or even a modest premium (say 25%), I’d choose the nicer product. Otherwise, I’d always rather have two trips than one.

  7. We live in the Midwest and have taken our 2 preschool daughters to Europe a few times and Hawaii twice. We’ve always flown coach. Elite status is definitely helpful, since many airline programs allow you to snag premium economy seats at no additional charge. Those extra 5-6 inches make a difference when you’ve got a lot of kid gear and the additional recline helps with the sleeping – but don’t count on getting more than a few hours of sleep. Due to this factor and the jet lag, it is not smart to plan anything ambitious for the first day. Your kids will probably want to sleep or maybe check out the hotel pool. Dragging them to a museum probably isn’t going to work, but strollering them around an old town might be OK.
    It is a pain in the rear, but taking a car seat on the plane helps the 3 and under crowd sleep. We knew that we would travel so we bought travel-friendly Diono Radian car seats that are slimmer than average (but heavier, because they have steel innards instead of plastic). This seat is nice because it folds compact enough that you can carry-on in a large 33″ duffle bag (check the LxWxH dimensions when buying!). Diono also makes a bag so you can carry it backpack style.
    Since we almost always have to take a connection, we try to book at least 2 hours between flights to allow the kids some time to blow off steam (we also look for airports like MSP that have play areas). I think the breaking point for coach vs. biz is a flight segment more than 8-9 hours. Next year we are planning a trip to Australia and business class will definitely be the way to go.

  8. For those of us sending youth around the world (as in scouts, etc.), the 30k US Airways and 40K American Airlines bargain coach seats are the way to go. When sending 8 or more kiddos abroad, the miles for anything but coach are prohibitive, even for avid miles collectors. And these bargain fares are available during some school holiday weekends. Sending our guys off to Paris in 2014.

  9. You make several great points here. I’m generally a believer that business/first international redemption is the way to go, but I suppose that it is largely because we don’t have kids yet. I’m generally traveling alone or with my wife, so finding low level awards for one or two is a challenge but not impossible.

    I agree also that length of fight is important in the coach vs business decision, but airlines that allow split or one way awards are also worth considering. On overnight flights to Europe, ill spend a lot of time finding flat bed seats, etc- as sleep is the most important consideration and I want to hit the ground running. But on return, daytime flights from Europe to the US, I don’t want to be tempted to sleep to much, so business/flat bed isn’t quite as important. A split business/ coach award in that sense preserves sleep and also miles.

    Great post today- it really highlights the differences between traveling alone and traveling with family.

  10. I think the better option is to find space on Aer Lingus Business Class to Dublin using Avios (esp during the MR transfer bonus periods…38k miles rt?!)and have a short flight in Economy to the destination point in Europe if you really wanted to sleep in the long-haul and save money in the short haul.

  11. You should definitely highlight the low miles (as TPG laid out) required for Business Class via Aer Lingus with Avios for those that can connect in Dublin. It’s easily one of the best redemptions to Europe.

  12. I have 3 children and am based in KUL, so even an economy KUL-NYC on * Alliance will cost me 325k miles. And as you pointed out, most of the time the constraints aren’t the miles themselves but availability of J/F seats for more than 2 award tickets.

    With some planning however, it’s possible to break a 22-hour KUL-NYC flight into two more manageable segments with stopovers, plus having a nice hotel to stay in upon arrival helps get over the painful economy class flight 😀

  13. I never even considered using miles for anything other than coach because I wanted to stretch my miles as far as possible into more trips.

    But when faced with a very long trip – From Bosnia to Bali – my husband and I splurged for Business class and it was amazing. The 25 hours of traveling was almost a pleasure instead of being torture like usual!!! You didn’t mention another perk of flying business/first–lounge access between flights is a game changer! The experience itself was so worth it. Although now I am afraid we are spoiled!

  14. Families flying in coach on United should look into United’s Economy Plus subscription. It is $899 for a year of upgrades to Economy plus for the subscriber and everyone flying on the reservation (up to 8 people).

    Our family of five has several trips in United coach next year, including one to Europe with 2 legs in each direction.

    We could have booked Business class on one leg for an additional 100,000 miles (20K each). Although that would have been very nice, it made more sense to spend the $899 and get E+ seats on all 4 legs of the Europe trip (20 segments at 4 legs x 5 people) AND on the 4 legs of the trip my husband and I are taking to Hawaii.

    Anita

  15. One asterisk I think you missed is when traveling with an infant-in-arms, I think it’s well worth it to snag a bed, especially using Aeroplane or Avios which don’t charge much more for the baby, so I almost 3 ppl for price of 2. To your broader point, I save my miles for premium cabins and use cash for economy, and find that works out to be the most efficient use of both.

  16. Call me cheap, but even with 1.5 million points/miles in the bank, I can’t get myself to shell out for premium cabin tickets.

    I always look at the trade-off this way (for a European trip for 4): I can use an extra 240,000 or so points/miles and have a nice seat and meal for 7-10 hours, or I can 1) Do the same trip 2 1/2 more times, or 2) I can use the points for around $2400 in gift cards or other things…. $2400 wins out over a nice seat and an airline meal (no matter how good) every time.

  17. As a kid, I always flew coach and I’m glad I did. I didn’t start flying until I was age 6 and though I got bored during the long-haul transpacific flights, I managed and survived. Personally, I think kids (older than 6) can tolerate coach more than full-size adults.

    I’d always redeem miles for my kids in coach and let them earn their own miles/points when they get older to try out the premium cabins.

    I’m also ok with travelling in premium cabin while the kids fly in coach (I remember watching Home Alone movie when the parents were in AA business class and all the kids were in coach.)

  18. You hit on an issue I’ve grappled with ever since getting into this game. I was nervous the first time I flew CX business class from ORD-HKG. Not because I was worried about the flight or the experience, but because I had always been perfectly content in economy. I flew the 15.5 hours from LAX-SYD in economy and never slept a wink. And I was fine with that. Would I still be fine with it after a 15 hour flight with a lie-flat reverse herringbone style seat on Cathay Pacific? I doubt that I will be fine with it.

    Recently I went back and forth on an award ticket to Hawaii. I could justify spending 40,000 United miles to fly economy when the ticket was going for close to $1,000. I couldn’t justify spending more than that to fly 1st, especially in a domestic configuration.

    I still mostly pay for flights to Europe and sit economy. I think flying east to Europe is the worst flight there is. I can’t justify having a lie flat seat when I’m not going to be tired enough to sleep in it until about an hour before the plane lands.

  19. My husband, myself and our 5 year old son are flying to Thailand in March 2014. In coach. Yes…I am terrified. I have thought about trying to upgrade our return flight (which I think will be the worst) to business class, but it will cost me about 90K miles to do so. First of all, I don’t have an extra 90K right now and even if I was able to earn it in the next few months with sign up bonuses…I’m not sure I would want to “waste” them to upgrade. I have trips planned next year to California and Turks and Caicos that I need my airline and hotel points for.

    I may regret this decision. I’ll let you know.

  20. @DBest without trying to start a heated debate, would have to disagree with your stance on bringing infants in Business Class. Fewer things upset me (and an overwhelming majority of fellow business travelers) more than shelling out thousands for an intl business class seat (albeit company paid or worse yet on your own dime) or “hard-earned” miles only to have the flight ruined by a screaming child. I’ve always thought it would be nice to somehow show ahead if an infant was in business class for your flight — then at least you can change flights if necessary.

  21. Love this discussion, here are a few of my thoughts/answers to questions (apologies for not answering each one individually right now…preschool is still out for another week and it’s a 3 ring circus here).
    -Infants can be as disuptive in a fancy seat as a coach seat. However, they may be more comfortable and happy as a clam. I have sat in front of one that cried literally across the entire ocean in business and it was not fun. However, I don’t think that a premium cabin is any different than coach in terms of where infants are allowed, or should be allowed. It’s just the luck of the draw.
    -Totally agree with those who fly biz one way and coach another based on whether or not it is a day or night flight.
    -You typically cannot swap seats with your family from coach to premium cabin during the flight. It is best to assume that whoever is assigned biz will stay there and whoever is assigned coach will stay there for the duration of the flight. Some can even get fussy if you are just going to another cabin to say hi.
    -I like BA and Aeroplan for their low infant fees and the distance based charts can work in your favor for some routes (like the Boston – Dublin route on Avios), but many of those carriers then hit you with fuel surcharges, so it is almost six of one, half dozen of the other.

  22. For me the limiting factor is time, not miles. There’s only so much vacation in a year, and realistically with small kids only a chance at one international trip. So when that comes around, I’ll spend the miles and sit in comfort.

  23. My kids are really much better off and easier to deal with if they can sleep on a long flight. I agree that for 6 hours or less, with a bit of attention to timing, there is little advantage in spending points for first.
    My family of 4 hails from Europe; so far we have managed to visit the old country about once every 1-2 years on points. We have tried every time to fly BA premium economy, as their seats are really more comfortable than standard coach and the kids can sleep. Alas, their surcharges have now made it very costly on points too and we are looking for alternatives.

  24. Hmm…personally I would take 2 free trips in economy over 1 in business…and I can’t imagine flying in either makes any difference to a child

  25. I’ll consider business class for 12 hour flight or longer, but not contemplate on first class yet. When my child was younger than three, I refused to fly or dine out because I did not want to deny others peace and tranquility when they paid to be on airplane or in a restaurant. It’s my prerogative and my belief. I normally take international trips during off season, so I don’t experience much of child temper tantrum on the plane. My child and I start traveling more about two years ago when she turned 14. She now loves to travel and does so independently. But her traveling goal is different from mine: Mine is about history and culture, hers is about shopping and teenage-interaction. I don’t know why parents won’t wait until their children are above 12 and become more behaved before taking them on the airplane to be in an enclosed crowded environment. Kids won’t learn much about the world and other cultures before such age. Drive them to national parks or visit relatives in the country and teach them how to adapt on the long haul trips in the car first before setting foot on the airplane. Premium cabins, five star chain hotels and exotic places are not high on my travel priorities, especially on islands desired by so many in the travel community.

  26. I like to lie flat if I can and need to sleep, otherwise I save the miles.

    That said, my vacation time is drying up due to a job change, so I think I may splurge if I earn more miles than I can use.

  27. I hear ya Adam, I think I’d much rather leave an infant (or even older kids) with their grandparents than bring em across the pond. But if it’s an extended trip, I don’t see that there is much of an alternative except maybe a kid-free zone on this planes with an upper deck?

    MP, you have a good point about the Aeroplan/Avios surcharges, but at least with Aeroplan to Europe you can avoid them by flying certain carriers, including UA, US, Swiss and SAS, and as you mentioned there are loopholes for Avios too, such as flying Aer Lingus.

  28. For me it’s easy. If I’m going to be awake the majority of the flight I’ll take an E+ seat and be happy. We’ll see if that’s true after this autumn’s 14-hour flights, but in general it’s true. Also if the flight is short (< 10 hours) I'll probably go for the cheap seats.

    If I'm overnighting and it's a long flight, or it's a "special" occasion I'll spring for business.

  29. Hi MP. We have s family of four and the parents (us) have the travel bug. If we flew any premium, we won’t be able to go to as many places as we have done and still plan to. One exception is first on our anniversary trip later in the year (just the two of us) from yul-dfw-sfo. We are still flying coach on the outbound flight.

    We appreciate the post, especially from a family perspective. This is why you are one of our favorite travel bloggers. Keep up the good work!

  30. The rule in our house is anything under 5 hours we are happy to sit in coach. The exception to that rule is if a redemption is available and we have points that would become orphans if we did a coach redemption. One thing I am trying to do as points become harder to get is focus my points collection into fewer programs.

  31. I live on the East coast and flying time to Europe is 7 hours eastward. I fly coach as I dont see the need to waste miles in such a short trip. But whenever I fly to Asia, I go either business or first. That is too far away to endure the punishment.

    My rule is, if less than 7 hours, fly coach, otherwise premium class.

    Also note, that coach is much, much easier to book than premium class for families. Availability is almost certain.

  32. Hubby and I first started flying overseas in 2002 to Italy in Lufthansa First. I actually didn’t like the lie flat seats as I felt like I was flying upside down…wasn’t worth the extra points over business. 2005 we flew business on US & UA.

    By our trip in 2007, we started thinking about taking our 4 kids with us, so we tested the waters in E+. We were fine, so starting in 2008, we have taken our 4 kids (now 18, 16, 14 & 12) to Italy, London & Paris, Thailand and Spain. ALL IN COACH (yes, including Thailand), and all of us flying using awards. This is in addition to various trips to Europe hubby and I have made (using miles for me, cash for him), family trips to Disney, Caribbean, Mexico, etc. and various National level swim meets for one of our daughters. All using awards.

    I guess my point is that there is no way we could have traveled as much as we have in the past 5 years if we flew in a premium cabin. Yes, 24 hours in a plane to Thailand is long (IAD-NRT-BKK), but the memories are worth it, and we wouldn’t have those memories if we insisted on flying business.

    Oh, and Ambien helps. I’m out cold on an overnight to Europe…even in an E+ seat.

  33. Occasionally you can take advantage of a “sweet spot” when Saver seats are available in Biz or First, but only Standard award seats are available in Economy. Then it’s cheaper to fly Premium than Coach. 🙂 (My GF and I took advantage of this to Paris on BA awhile back.)

  34. When you have 2 kids you will understand the value of F vs Y. Both adults get the aisle seats (which we prefer) both kids get the windows (which they prefer and keeps them separated). Add 2 iPads stocked with movies and games and a few kid snacks and you have the recipe for a relaxing trip with young children.

    I would never spend my miles on economy tix unless the cash price was exorbitant – just not good value. Better to,save them and blow the points on business class TATL or TPAC. Makes a 10-14 hour flight from west coast tolerable as opposed to excruciating.

    When the kids hit their teen years and can fly in the back of the plane without need for constant supervision then the calculus might be different – at least for their seats 🙂

  35. @Boraxo: I have two kids, and I agree with MP. Most of the benefits you cite of premium travel (kids separated and both having a window) can be arranged by choosing seats two-behind-two (or two-behind-one) in economy. Nothing stops you from bringing electronic sedatives and snacks into economy.
    .
    Whether you’re in premium or economy, travel with children is more similar than different — you’re enclosed in a metal tube with limited space, surrounded by strangers. I’m happy to fly premium when I can for my own comfort, but see no particular family-oriented advantage to it.

  36. @globetrotter please take some time to research brain and social development in humans before throwing out generalizations like: ‘I don’t know why parents won’t wait until their children are above 12 and become more behaved before taking them on the airplane to be in an enclosed crowded environment. Kids won’t learn much about the world and other cultures before such age.”
    The exact opposite of what you said about children is true and can be quantitatively measured.
    Age 0-2 it is critical to get your baby out into the world and in contact with other people and objects, the brain is developing faster now than any other time in your life. Age 2-12 your child’s view of the world and self-esteem are being set for life, the more positive relationships with adults and children from all walks of life he/she is exposed to the more confident they will be later on.
    Age 12-21 the young adult is challenging assumptions and societal norms and setting life patterns that will affect his/her behavior and decision making.
    Age 21+ a human will continue to learn but only through the prism that has already been codified from the past 21 years of life. Thinking changes from (as a child)- what is this? to (as an adult)- I know what that is (perspective, gained from millions of experiences, drives our ability to reconsider assumptions).
    Age 25+ your mind has set millions of shortcuts and pathways to quickly determine a right course of action. Actively engaging the brain in new learning helps maintain functionality, but no longer changes the way your brain develops.

    As far as waiting three years to go to restaurants or airplanes or waiting til age 12 for a ‘well behaved child’. Really? Children’s behavior is largely determined by the parent, but is also dependent on society. If a child is kicking your seat on an airplane it is right to address the problem to the parent and hope the behavior is corrected. (positive social pressure) If a child is being comforted and nourished by breastfeeding on a plane and one tries to stop the mother from breastfeeding through angry looks or official policy it is wrong to be angry about the child then crying. (negative social pressure)
    Hopefully this helps illuminate why i travel with my 2 and 5 year old and why i am excited about the influence of travel on their development. and also why i look forward to meeting you and thousands of other people in life’s shared journey.

    but none of this helps me figure out if i should try and upgrade my economy class award tickets to new zealand, via australia, next year. can i upgrade just the leg from LAX-MEL? can i upgrade only my wife on our itinerary or do i have to upgrade all 4 of us? what are the options for upgrading an economy award ticket?

  37. I recently booked a trip for my family of 4 to HKG in business class using 480k united miles. We seriously considered going in coach so as not to spoil our 5 and 7 year old boys and to conserve miles. However, we went ahead and splurged for a couple of reasons. 1.) I want to give my family an experience that we’d never be able to afford otherwise, and 2.) we’re not talking about a 7 hour nonstop flight to Europe. This is a 24 hour 4 leg itinerary from middle America. We could do it in coach, but we will get more out of our trip because we will be rested when we get there. And we will be able to transition back to work and school quicker.

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