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If you read posts here with some regularity (and thanks if you do!), then you already know that I traded/changed my trip to the Olympics in Sochi for a trip to Europe. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but once I made it, I was very excited about this new trip a friend and I are creating. We’ve been friends since high school, and both have a young kid at home, so jetting across the ocean together is a pretty awesome experience. I have been able to secure some flights I am pretty excited about on United miles, including Lufthansa First Class. This would be exciting to me any day of the year, but it is especially exciting coming just in advance of the United devaluation that will make business and first class awards on partner airlines much more expensive.
Before I say another word, I want to point out that I know this is a very #firstclassproblems sort of decision to have to make, but that being said, all of us with miles and points have to/get to make these kinds of decisions, so I think it is worth sharing. Basically I am now torn between flying back home from Europe on the A380 in business class directly from Frankfurt to my hometown of Houston, or adding a connection in Chicago (in the winter), but getting to fly the new(ish) fancy “Queen of the Sky” 747-8 from Frankfurt to Chicago.
I’m currently booked on the direct flight to Houston. This flight makes the most sense because it will get me home the soonest, and with the lowest possibility of disruptions. However, the business class seats on that plane are notoriously bad. They aren’t lie flat and are ranked very poorly compared to other business class seats. However, the business class seats on the new 747-8 are ranked much higher and are lie flat. I also have never flown on that particular plane before, but very much want to. There is business class availability currently on both flights, so I could change my routing without any penalty (assuming the availability remains).
I shared this “dilemma” on Twitter yesterday, and most aviation enthusiasts said there was no decision to be made, clearly fly the 747-8. However, a few with families back home agreed with my thoughts of wanting to get home as soon as possible, and hedging on adding a few hours on the back-end of the trip with the added risk of cancellations/delays thanks to Chicago weather. I’m not an aircraft snob by any stretch, but it isn’t every day that I get to go on trips like this, so making them as special and exciting as possible is pretty fun. Plus, I would love to share a report about the business class seats on the 747-8.
So the question is, do you get home a few hours sooner and fly back from Europe in a poorly ranked seat, or do you get back a few hours later (and increase the risk of issues), and fly the beautiful “Queen of the Sky”? My normal answer is absolutely keep things simple and get home sooner in the inferior seat, but with the United devaluation that kicks in this week looming, I know I won’t have quite as many chances to fly Lufthansa in premium cabins since United operated flights will require fewer miles and will be my default choice.
I’m torn (on what is admittedly a non issue in the grand scheme), what would you do?