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Old Aug 26, 10, 7:25 am   #1
 
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First Class for the Price of Economy?

My husband is terminally ill with ALS. As part of fulfilling one of this dreams we are going to Paris. I want him to be as comfortable as possible, but we can't afford a 1st class ticket. Does anyone know a travel agency that can book for us Z code fares to Europe (first class for the price of economy) ?
Thanks so much for any help!
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Old Aug 27, 10, 5:56 am   #2
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Originally Posted by Tspiz View Post
My husband is terminally ill with ALS. As part of fulfilling one of this dreams we are going to Paris. I want him to be as comfortable as possible, but we can't afford a 1st class ticket. Does anyone know a travel agency that can book for us Z code fares to Europe (first class for the price of economy) ?
Thanks so much for any help!
Welcome to Flyertalk!

Just some random thoughts on this very general question:

1) On TATL flights most airlines offer either two classes (economy and business) or three classes (economy, business and first), there are no airlines on TATL flights that only offer economy and first class.

2) Unlike upgrading domestic flights, upgrading on intīl flights can be much more difficult / expensive. There are a few consolidators out there who specialize in discounted business class fares, but itīs still not cheap.

3) Depending on the time of year, there are promos which offer business class flights to Europe for about $1500USD from the East Coast, so if you are flexible this may be an option.

4) You could buy miles from US Airways and redeem them for a business class ticket on any Star Alliance partner which would cost about $1600USD incl. taxes.
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Old Aug 28, 10, 7:51 am   #3
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Welcome to FlyerTalk.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to score a low priced first or business class ticket, especially if you do not have status with some carrier. Having a disability doesn't really help here, either. As Jasper2009 points out, you're probably really looking for business class seats.

Reading the various airline mileage program forums is a good way to educate yourself on what the possibilities are.

Another way to tackle this might be some sort of fundraising via an ALS organization or your local community funds-granting foundations, if you don't mind going the charity route.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 1:13 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tspiz View Post
My husband is terminally ill with ALS. As part of fulfilling one of this dreams we are going to Paris. I want him to be as comfortable as possible, but we can't afford a 1st class ticket. Does anyone know a travel agency that can book for us Z code fares to Europe (first class for the price of economy) ?
Thanks so much for any help!
I receive email from American Express and Cook Travel. I have not personally used them as I redeem miles, but Cook Travel uses Consolidators and advertise low fares in Busines Class... (?) What's low to them might not be low to you. It can't hurt to inquire.
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Old Sep 9, 10, 12:31 pm   #5
 
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Yes! I do have an idea. You could fly Opensky from New York or Washington DC to Paris. Your profile doesn't say where you live, but you could buy a round trip ticket into one of those cities in economy class and then get business class seats for about $1200 all the way to Paris and back.

Another option would be look at Air France's premium economy seats (these cost slightly more than economy). While not as comfy as business class, people report that they are very comfortable- much more so than economy seats.

Good luck! I hope you two have a wonderful trip together.
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Old Sep 9, 10, 2:35 pm   #6
 
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Have you contacted one of the charitable foundations that specialize in helping the terminally ill with special wishes? Perhaps one of them might be able to help with making the arrangements that would be the most comfortable for your husband.

Hope you have a memorable trip!
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Old Sep 9, 10, 3:46 pm   #7
 
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You could wait and see if US Airways does another 100% bonus on purchased miles. You could buy the miles required for Business Class to Europe for about $1500 + booking taxes roundtrip per person! Then redeem them on any Star Alliance airline EXCEPT US Airways
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Old Sep 9, 10, 8:05 pm   #8
 
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Oh and let us not forget that many of the airlines are having business class sales to Europe from many cities Thanksgiving week and the following week as well. These advance purchase fares are available for about $1500 -$2000 from just about any city in the U.S. Seats are limited and these fares require advance purchase.

Another option would be to buy more than one economy seat and then use the extra seat or two to stretch out.

Good Luck!
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Old Sep 10, 10, 1:06 pm   #9
 
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Check out flyopenskies.com if you live anywhere near Washington DC or NYC. Welcome to Flyertalk and good luck. I hope you find something affordable.

Bobette
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