What is First Class? Not a day goes by that I don't say marketing has ruined the world. Depending on the airline or the route, you could get anywhere from a slightly bigger seat to a bed, or even a private suite. If it weren't so painful, I would find it comical that this BED which is Etihad's First Class....

etihad first flat.jpg

Is technically the same class as THIS SEAT which is Delta's Domestic First Class...

First Class can feel like you've taken a private jet or simply like you have a few more inches to stretch out. Knowing when First Class is worth it is a big part of maximizing your points, miles and money. Everyone has different needs, some people never plan to take a long trip, some simply don't have the miles for one. Regardless of your situation you can benefit from knowledge. Some routes are always just going to be a slightly bigger seat, whereas others may have drastically different options depending on airline, flight number and aircraft, including beds and suites. Do your homework before you book by checking sites like Expedia and Kayak to see which airlines serve your route, see what planes each offers and then look up their layouts and products on SeatGuru. On a recent trip to Mexico the difference between the flight we took and the flight we almost took was nearly as drastic as the two photos above. Between New York and Mexico City, AeroMexico operates a state of the art Dreamliner once a day in each direction with flat beds, the other flights of the day... more like picture two. 

As a rule of thumb I think First or Business is always worth the miles on flights over five or six hours, provided that they are in a flat bed and provide airport benefits such as lounges and faster security. If it's just a bigger seat, I'd save my miles to grab a flat bed on a flight that's more like six or seven hours and above. A bed is definitely going to come in handy on my 15 hour flight to Hong Kong, and had I blown miles on short haul first class flights beforehand, I wouldn't have had enough to book that particular trip in a bed. 

Don't be disappointed by your seat. Do your research, find the best option for your destination and book when it makes sense. Earning points over miles through credit cards gives you more flexibility to transfer your miles to different airlines. If you are stuck with miles, be sure to consider your airline's partners before committing to your First Class award. 

Questions? As Always, Get in Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com