Poll: Hobo first class vs Polaris

Old Oct 20, 17, 1:43 pm
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Poll: Hobo first class vs Polaris

So on long TATL (from SFO say) flights I typically request an upgrade and if I get it with 20K miles and $650 I find it great value.

Last week I didn't get the upgrade but the kind check in agent offered an alternative: "Hobo" first class (3 vacant adjcent seats in E+) for free.

And you know what, it wasn't that different in terms of sleeping comfort. I could put the pillow on the arm rest near the window and with a slight bend in my leg (I'm 6 foot) I slept 8+ hours. Best of all at the end of it I had $650 in my pocket and thanks to the excellent lounge at SFO I had some good food as well.

So this has me rethinking. If you were offered "Hobo" first class for free vs Polaris for $20K Miles and $650 which would you choose?
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Old Oct 20, 17, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by PsuedoEuropeanGuy View Post
So on long TATL (from SFO say) flights I typically request an upgrade and if I get it with 20K miles and $650 I find it great value.

Last week I didn't get the upgrade but the kind check in agent offered an alternative: "Hobo" first class (3 vacant adjcent seats in E+) for free.

And you know what, it wasn't that different in terms of sleeping comfort. I could put the pillow on the arm rest near the window and with a slight bend in my leg (I'm 6 foot) I slept 8+ hours. Best of all at the end of it I had $650 in my pocket and thanks to the excellent lounge at SFO I had some good food as well.

So this has me rethinking. If you were offered "Hobo" first class for free vs Polaris for $20K Miles and $650 which would you choose?
2 e+ seats. heck 1 e+ seat. 20k and 650 can get me two-three roundtrips in n america, or roundtrips for 3 friends. no brainer.

now if we were talking br or nh or tk business class there would be some thought
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Old Oct 20, 17, 1:49 pm
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There were times in my life when on long flights I lucked out with 3 empty seats (once I had 5!) and I do think it's comparable to Business class. I really don't care that much about the food AND in Hobo Class you got THREE pillows right?

There are times when I paid for Business class which is cramped full (777 8 across) and I peek through the curtain and economy is pretty empty and folks are stretching out.

Read an article last night about Delta letting you buy a 2nd seat - even when you are not 'of a certain size' giving you a middle empty if it's 3 across or 2 seats to yourself if two. Some hoops to jump through (like you have to check in both yourself and your alternate self) but I'd do it over business on an 8 hour or less flight?

12 to 14 hours I'd need the Hobo 3 seat option . . . .

I'd even pay a bit extra to have a row to myself?
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Old Oct 20, 17, 1:52 pm
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I would prefer a J seat to three E+ seats, but not strongly. I would keep the upgrade&co-pay if given a blocked row in E+ but it's worth remembering that this is basically as much real estate on the plane as a J seat.

I guess sometimes it could be worth considering trying to get two EXTRASEATs when the J/Y price difference is like 10x.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:06 pm
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On the flights I have taken of 8+ hours, Hobo Class was simply not available. There might have been some empty middle seats, but I did not see them.
I have not had a successful award upgrade process on a flight over 6 hours in the last two years and I have had to call on one of them to get my money back.
So, while RPUs have worked, I cannot get upgraded to even Hobo Class on long flights.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:18 pm
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Air NZ offers the "Sky Couch"
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:34 pm
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Hobo in a heartbeat. UA J food is far from gourmet, and I'm not a big drinker. If I can lie down I am happy. And use the money I saved for some good meals at my destination, or stick it in my pocket for another trip. BTW, this is the first time I heard 3 Y seats together referred to as Hobo Class. I had always referred to it as Redneck First Class.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by seenitall View Post
If I can lie down I am happy.
The big drawback is that 3 Y seats across is quite a bit shorter than a flatbed J seat (3x Y is less than 60"). 2-5-2 was perfect for this.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:41 pm
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Up until the infant arrived, I was starting to get REALLY good at ghetto lie flat. There are all kinds of tricks.

Scan the seat map relentlessly before boarding, refresh it constantly, stake out your location on empty seats with a coat/bag in an open set of 3 4 or 5 seats, etc., etc. Figure out how to safely wear a seatbelt while asleep. Jury-rig the pillows so you can lie down comfortably. Choose between left/middle/right in a 3-3-3 config (there are pros and cons). There's a lot you can do to get a reasonably comfy sleep (I get almost as much sleep in ghetto lie-flat Y as in UA J).
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by JVPhoto View Post
Air NZ offers the "Sky Couch"
It would be nice for UA to offer something similar.

But this whole conversation has me wondering: If I buy two or three seats, do I get credit for 2x or 3x the PQM and segments? What about RDM? Does the spend beyond a single seat count towards PQD?
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Old Oct 20, 17, 3:14 pm
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The risk here is that although there might be 3 free seats at check-in, unless the check-in agent actually blocks the seats (which they can still do, but very rarely will) you've got absolutely no guarantee that one or even both of the seats next to you won't be taken after you've checked in - especially if there are people standing by.

Originally Posted by jtet View Post
But this whole conversation has me wondering: If I buy two or three seats, do I get credit for 2x or 3x the PQM and segments? What about RDM? Does the spend beyond a single seat count towards PQD?
Answered in How to buy an extra seat? "EXTRASEAT" for paid or award flights - basically RDM and PQD, but not PQM.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 3:23 pm
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Hobo first, waaat? I thought the technical term was redneck first!
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Old Oct 20, 17, 3:28 pm
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I flew in J from GUM-NRT a couple years ago and happily downgraded myself to hobo class on the 2-5-2 sUA 777.
No brainer!
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Old Oct 20, 17, 4:03 pm
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Sounds great...USED to regularly get 3 or more seats across the pacific (SYD-LAX)... but I wouldn't even chance it these days.... don't think Ive seen empty rows on ANY flights in some years..

Very route dependent I expect.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 4:03 pm
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I used to always request (before the internet) an aisle seat on the 2nd to last middle row. Often worked. Planes are so packed these days, though . . .
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