It turns out, you actually can go back…
By any means of calculation, I am a very frequent traveler. I cross the world’s oceans more times than I can keep track of each year, and thanks to credit card points, airline miles and flight deal hunting tips, I spend a large majority of those journeys in the front of the plane in business or first class. I may be the first person in history to feel this way, but my amusement with premium cabins has largely waned, and I now care much more about direct flights in any cabin over the fancy schmancy stuff.
Many travelers dream of a day where they may experience a private first class suite, with bottles of Dom Perignon, Krug or any other fine champagne being popped. Spoiler alert: it’s awesome, and I hope you get to. Once you’ve experienced it, they say life can never be the same, and in a way, the pundits are right. I can vouch that Dom Perignon is absolutely scrumptious, but despite all this praise, once you’ve tried your Emirates First, Singapore Suites, Etihad Apartments and all the other swoon worthy flying experiences, you’ve kinda done it. You then realize that drinking entire bottles don’t exactly make you feel fresh when you land at your destination, which is really what should matter to any true travel fan. You then also realize that if you don’t really need too much booze, that any bed will do, so business class is more than fine. And then you realize that on short flights, you barely enjoy the bed, and any cabin on a flight of reasonable length is no sweat. Don’t get me wrong, if it means nothing to you to drop $6,000+ or 250,000 points on an airline ticket, rock on. But that’s not me.
Travel Over Everything
The more I travel, the more I realize that it’s travel that I really love. I do love the journey more than most too, and I do research: the plane, the seat maps, the entertainment, the cabin pressure and all sorts of ridiculous detail but it’s going somewhere and experiencing something that gets me. The hum of the engines, the buzz of the airport, it’s like crack to me, and I’m fully addicted. But given the choice, I’d rather travel economy to somewhere exciting every week, than take just one or two ultra luxe trips. I think most travelers are however at the other side of the spectrum, and for years, I definitely was too. Flying up front can really change the feel of any trip, and for most importantly, it can help people unlock destinations that felt too far, when economy was the only option. I support the notion of making one or two unforgettable experiences over a bunch of forgettable ones. But I am jaded, and at the end of the day, I’m so much more excited by sunrise in a foreign country than I am about missing out on an entire sunrise just to route through three airports to fly some crazy seat with some crazy booze. I sound like a prick, but I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and unless it’s something revolutionary, it all kinda blends together.
In a perfect world, I’ll always take business or first class on a direct flight. Yes, I’d love to have my cake and eat it too. But if I have the choice between business or first on a non ideal connecting flight, or premium – even economy on any flight under 7 hours, I’ll honestly take the economy flight these days – with very few exceptions. After all, the seats are more comfortable than most office chairs, and the price differential can be insane. I’ve reached a point where I am only willing to connect to experience a better cabin if the long haul flight time is over 9.5 hours. In my feeble mind, 9 hours plus is the minimum time needed to actually make the sleep of business class worthwhile. No one, even in first class gets a great night rest on a five hour flight, and the time wasted to connect is worth too much to me.