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If you didn't have status, would you pay for premium cabin?

If you didn't have status, would you pay for premium cabin?

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Old Apr 5, 19, 1:21 pm
  #1  
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If you didn't have status, would you pay for premium cabin?

I've had top-tier or near-top-tier status on one or more airlines for over a decade. I have always said that the most important benefits of that status are the flexibility and IRROPS consideration. Upgrades, getting a free drink, boarding early, extra bags when I need to check them, etc., are all nice - but the real value to me are things like same-day flight changes and the ability to get myself where I'm going when flights are disrupted.

For the most part, schedule flexibility and help during IRROPS are also available to premium cabin pax even if they don't have status. (Generally - Please don't make this a thread about Paid F vs. Status/Upgrades or whatever).

On occasion, I have needed to fly an airline on which I have no status. It has been tempting to purchase a premium fare, to make sure I'm OK in case I encounter delays or disruptions. I have almost never given into that temptation, and a couple of times it burned me.

So is it worth it for a non-status pax to pay up for a premium cabin ticket in order to get these benefits?
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Old Apr 5, 19, 1:42 pm
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Yes. All those things are secondary. I mostly want to stretch out on a long flight
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Old Apr 5, 19, 1:56 pm
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Yes, especially if the flight is over water.

The rat race to retain elite status has no implication of premium award seat booking for me.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 2:17 pm
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No, never have. LAX-SYD, IST-IAD, etc., with family, have all been fine - certainly not worth thousands of dollars for more room, IME.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 2:31 pm
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No status here but got really spoiled back when AA used to be generous with mileage + copay upgrades (nice while it lasted) and now I pay the premium to fly in the front. Granted, I’m not flying as much as I used to but often Coach feels like a Greyhound bus but with less room.

Also, I’m no spring chicken and appreciate any small comforts I can get. I have the flexibility to hunt for good Business class fares or to book far enough ahead to get them.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 2:47 pm
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I pay for First if the difference from Economy is less than $100 per hour of flight.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 3:30 pm
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I'd have to make a LOT more money before I ever consider anything but cattle class.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 3:56 pm
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I think you are asserting that as a premium passenger, no matter what kind of fare you booked, you get priority during IRROPS. I'm not sure that is correct. You may have priority due to a higher fare class, but you can have a low fare class with a premium booking anyway. And elites get treated better in general , with special phone lines and etc, that even passengers in premium without status don't get.

And in terms of IRROPS I feel that it all depends on your interaction with the agent. If you have everything planned out, alternatives flights researched and ready to be spoon-fed, then you may get your choice over someone who has higher status/premium fare. Also, it may be limiting on your premium fare as you have less options for IRROPS because you want to stay in premium classes.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 4:18 pm
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I have a few times. The last time was ~3 years ago when I few to Mexico for a friend's wedding. The cost between J and E- was like $120 which made it a no brainer. On my recent trip to Europe I did spend the extra 70 bucks to get an MCE seat which made the flight from ORD to LHR quite pleasant. We'll see how the exit row on the 380 is on my way home next week.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:02 pm
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Sometimes it's not any more. In those cases I jump on it. This past Dec AA BOS-CLT was $259 in Y or $299 in F on the date I needed. I don't have status with any OW carriers and expected I'd need to check a bag ($30) or box of Christmas gifts. In the end I just carried on, but the SDC options on the F fare and decent meal and space were well worth it.

But usually I find deals on the Premium Fares Forum (here on FT) or fly Y. When upgrades clear, great, but I can handle the back.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 1:53 am
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While most of our holiday flights are booked using points, we generally would pay the cash for business if we didnít have the points or couldnít find availability.

Unfortunately we are quite accustomed to it now that we would probably rather not holiday/holiday less frequently, given the travel, for us, is an exciting part of the journey.

Next flights are SQ first and JAL business on points; but then CX business over Christmas, paid.

It is a lot of money ($8k, paid) but economy was $4k, so I figure itís worth it.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 2:21 am
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Originally Posted by Boofer View Post

On occasion, I have needed to fly an airline on which I have no status. It has been tempting to purchase a premium fare, to make sure I'm OK in case I encounter delays or disruptions. I have almost never given into that temptation, and a couple of times it burned me.

So is it worth it for a non-status pax to pay up for a premium cabin ticket in order to get these benefits?
Since 2003 I have only bought full fare (refundable) J (or F as the case may be) tickets no matter where I go. Most flights are OneWorld but my choice of flights is all based on schedule and connections (e.g. not connect in MIA for Central America flights) on whatever airline works at the moment, including one way there on airline X and back on Y in *Alliance.

I have lifetime AA Gold, close to lifetime Platinum but other than accumulating more miles on flights all the services are provided on the J/F fares. Paid J/F flights offer all the same privileges without needing the elite level. From time to time I may do enough on an alliance to garner a higher elite level for a year but it buys nothing.

I may fly to Ireland soon. Aer Lingus seems to have their own program or something sort of aligned with Avios (which I don't have) but they fly non stop to Dublin and offer good J service. That's who I will fly. No or few points, unimportant vs. a non stop J flight with the affiliated services.

On AA awards I just get AAnytime awards. There are no decent SAAver awards anyway 99% of the time and J AAnytime awards are essentially the same as full fare J. You change/cancel and even no show without penalty.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 4:11 am
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Join Date: May 2010
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If I have the money I’ll pay for the cabin I want to fly in (or the seat I want to sit in.....).

if an upgrade happens so much the better, but I’m happy in cattle class for short domestics.... any longer and I happily pay up
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Old Apr 6, 19, 4:44 am
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Regardless of status, sometimes I pay. My next month's transcon is a paid F ticket and I've purchased TATL tickets in biz class. Upgrades are a crap shoot, even with miles, much less comp ones. If it is 3 hours or less of a flight, I won't pay unless the difference is minimal like $100.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:43 am
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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I always pay for J or F seats on long haul so FF status rarely means anything except when I travel on short hops in coach and, as it's FB, even that means very little except for lounge access. My status is but a happy bi-product of my preference for comfort. I Can't really afford it, especially as I need a new kitchen, but... you only live once*.

* and my back can't hack a 12 hour coach trip
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