Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > MilesBuzz
Reload this Page >

Are discount business class fares making this less fun for you?

Are discount business class fares making this less fun for you?

Old May 21, 15, 8:47 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,813
Are discount business class fares making this less fun for you?

I have been looking at ways to spend points, and I used to think that the aspirational way to redeem your points was to fly premium international cabins. But as I notice lately, price wars are breaking out on trans-atlantic routes (and other routes). And the use of my miles there seems to be in question now, if you ask me.

Example
130k Virgin Elevate Points to fly ORD-OGG in first, when first is $1380~

80k points + taxes to fly ORD-CDG, when business is $1700~

And then I started to price out discount premium international cabins - and it isn't that unreasonable all of a sudden. Especially in comparison to paying taxes + a ton of points for a weak $1700 in savings? Have premium fares always been this cheap? Are these fares keeping your point coffers full, when you might otherwise spend them?
factory81 is offline  
Old May 21, 15, 10:50 am
  #2  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,499
They're great, they're temporary low summer fares, and I grab 'em when their useful.

And miles are still quite usable, often on routes that don't offer discounted fares (USA-Australia at under $8k for Business is something we're not likely to see) or a heck of a lot more for First), aspirational destinations, First, etc. One must be flexible and know how to search (doggedly) for options, but I've used AA miles for two people to / from Australia in Business, not the easiest to find, four times.
JDiver is offline  
Old May 21, 15, 12:19 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: #1 LGA, #2 JFK, #Never EWR
Programs: Riteaid wellness+ Gold, PlanetFitness Preferred Black, Hyatt Cubic Zirconia, Hallmark Crown Platinum
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
(USA-Australia at under $8k for Business is something we're not likely to see) .
Guess you are not counting USA-HNL-Australia on a lovely HA recliner?
IIIIIIIIIIllllllllll is offline  
Old May 21, 15, 1:38 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator, Information Desk, Ambassador, Alaska Airlines
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ANC, MRI
Programs: AS MVP Gold75K, AS 1MM, Maika`i Card, AGR, HH Gold, Hertz PC, Marriott LTG, SPG Gold, CO, 7H, BA, 8E
Posts: 41,222
As this isn't specific to the Information Desk we'll try this out in another forum.

~beckoa, co-moderator Information Desk
beckoa is online now  
Old May 21, 15, 7:28 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,977
Why less fun? You get to save miles. But you mention who offers $1700 business ORD-CDG, so I don't know if you get to also earn miles. (If you get to earn a good amount of miles, that may be fun too!)

But another to consider is that many of these business fares sales only work from a handful of cities. So you're posting about this ORD- and that ORD- because you're based near ORD (presumably), but someone who's based at a less major airport is often going to find no sales that work from their home airport.

For example, South-America-based LAN periodically offers business sales to EXE and SCL and LIM, but only from MIA, LAX, and I think one more city (that they fly their own metal out of). If you happen to live near one of those airports, great. If you don't, maybe not as great.
sdsearch is offline  
Old May 21, 15, 9:21 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: BOS/PVD, LIM, PTY
Programs: US CP, DL PM, UA Silver, HU/TJ Air Gold, Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat (Yay!)
Posts: 2,694
Business class redemptions aren't worth it for me to Europe anymore, especially considering in based on the East Coast.

125,000 Delta miles makes a lot more sense flying LAX-LHR-some expensive small city that it does flying JFK-LHR where I have 3 hours to sleep after the meal service.

I always find redemptions to have great value to Asia, even buying the miles for $2500 or so during a promotion is better than buying the ticket outright most of the time.
benzemalyonnais is offline  
Old May 21, 15, 10:24 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ORF
Programs: Amex Plat, AA, BA Silver, WN, SPG Gold, Choice Platinum, HHonors Gold, IHG Spire, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 3,388
For me, it makes the game even more fun. The airline game has always forced a lot of folks to make a choice: chase status, chase rewards. Hotels not so much since most chains count reward stays towards status.

Not airlines. Now, however, for someone making a decent amount of money but not rich, the current climate can make it easy to earn rewards (easy enough--more money to spend, more appealing a customer for a bank, and easier for the cardholder to make minimum spends without having to dip into MS to a great degree) but also easy to earn status (biz class seats are generally going to get you there faster than almost any sort of coach seat and the lower prices often will tempt a purchase rather than a reward).

With where I am in my life, the game has actually become more fun to play.
lwildernorva is offline  
Old May 22, 15, 3:08 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT PLT, AA LT PLT, HH GLD, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 24,975
If I used to be able to fly A to B for X points, and I now can fly A to B for X points - no, it's not "less fun". Having other, better options should be a positive.

I guess I chalk this up to the "I got a high value" fascination that I never understand. I'd rather go somewhere I want to go than brag about the "cents per point" I redeemed. My award trip to Paris isn't made any less fun because my calculation is lower.
CPRich is offline  
Old May 24, 15, 5:55 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,319
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
I guess I chalk this up to the "I got a high value" fascination that I never understand.
The worst part is when people equate price to value.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old May 25, 15, 4:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: WAS/NYC/LON
Programs: AA EXP, HH DIA, Hyatt DIA
Posts: 265
Having other people being able to enjoy these same flights (business int'l) makes the experience better for me not worse (more for everyone!).

The only downside would be if service levels drop, but I haven't seen that in my experience due to these fares.
ComplexAnalysis is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 2:12 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 7,983
Actually it's more fun. I have to earn the miles somehow and I take advantage of the low fares to do that in Business.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 8:26 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: IHG, SPG, Hyatt, AS, AC, BA, AA, VS
Posts: 3,201
For flights to Europe I think I generally agree that paying cash can make more sense. I just paid $1900 for BWI-MAD. That was thanks to the fare war between oneworld and SkyTeam last fall.

For trips to Asia I get the most out of my miles in F or C. Those 12+ hour flights are where I really appreciate flying up front and the price of those tickets is seldom cheap, notwithstanding occasional sales to certain destinations.

But it's always worthwhile to evaluate each journey on its own. If you're miles-rich and cash-poor then spending miles makes sense.
glennaa11 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 15, 12:37 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 11,998
Makes no difference, I can't make use of either one
Boraxo is offline  
Old Jun 2, 15, 12:58 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,977
Originally Posted by glennaa11 View Post
For flights to Europe I think I generally agree that paying cash can make more sense. I just paid $1900 for BWI-MAD. That was thanks to the fare war between oneworld and SkyTeam last fall.

For trips to Asia I get the most out of my miles in F or C. Those 12+ hour flights are where I really appreciate flying up front and the price of those tickets is seldom cheap, notwithstanding occasional sales to certain destinations.
But that implies you're based near BWI, which is much closer to MAD than to Asia. Those of us much further west in the USA don't seem to get anywhere near the same number of good cash business class prices to Europe (given that it's almost twice as far LAX-MAD as BWI-MAD), but OTOH sometimes decent cash business class sales to northeast Asia an be had from the West Coast but not East Coast.

So to where it works better cash vs miles can depend just as much on where you're based as anywhere else. And not just east vs west, but also hub airport vs small airport (LAN, for example, does business class sales only from 3 cities, and if you live nowhere near those, you either can't participate or have to stitch together a complicated connection that may need to be booked separately to take advantage of that sale, and your seat on that connection may have to be awful just so you can have a business class seat on the rest of journey).

Oh, and it can also depend on how far in advance you have to plan. If you have to snag miles awards 11 months out, that's way too early to know if there will be a cash business class sale. But the time you can see whether there's a cash business class sale, award seats may be gone.
sdsearch is offline  
Old Jun 8, 15, 11:33 pm
  #15  
Used to be 'Travelergcp'
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New Orleans
Programs: AA Gold, UA Silver, Marriott Plat
Posts: 2,004
I wouldn't say fun has anything to do with the decision. I have a cpm that I buy miles at, and a higher cpm that I redeem miles. If I'm considering a redemption for a ticket somewhere, but the revenue ticket is the equivalent cpm of where I would normally buy miles, then the revenue ticket wins.

This year has seen a lot of cheap premium cabin tickets, along with a decent amount of mistakes.
TravelerMSY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread