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My 84 year old mother wants to go to Paris for Christmas...

My 84 year old mother wants to go to Paris for Christmas...

Old Oct 28, 19, 9:07 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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My 84 year old mother wants to go to Paris for Christmas...

After many years of taking care of my ailing father, she is now to free to go to Paris. She has always wanted to go. However, she is not in the greatest physical shape.

I am going to use my miles to upgrade her to business so it will be easier for her to cope with the flight. It is going to be a very long trip for her - 3 legs.

I have a few questions:
For her flight:

1. What do I look for to ensure the plane has the new(er) nice Polaris seats? Is that just Dreamliners?
One prospective flight is Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (I am 99% that is going to have the good seats)
The return flight is Boeing 767-300 (listed as Polaris - but does that necessarily mean it's going to have the better seats?

I would like to either use a GPU or miles + copay to try to sit with her. I am trying to pick flights that have quite a few seats still open in biz (to the degree that I can). That said, it's the holidays, so prob all bets are off.

Which is going to give me a better shot at the upgrade - the GPU or copay /miles?

Thank you!
Roar is offline  
Old Oct 28, 19, 9:12 pm
  #2  
 
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The 787-8s do not have the new Polaris seats, to guarantee a new Polaris seat you need either a 787-10 or 777-300 (although most 777-200's have been converted).
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:14 pm
  #3  
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Ah, OK. Thank you!
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:32 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Which is going to give me a better shot at the upgrade - the GPU or copay /miles?
There should be no difference.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:37 pm
  #5  
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OK. Thank you again.

I am looking at flights now. It looks like the connection is either going to be thru EWR or ORD.

Followup question:
Do you think both of those are going to be equally competitive with upgrades? (I am a 1k, but I have learned that I can still be WAY down the waitlist....)

My instinct is that ORD might be slightly less competitive, but would the threat of weather at that time of the year be a concern?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:38 pm
  #6  
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Where are you and she starting?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:41 pm
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Looks like EWR-CDG is a 787-10 (i.e., has new Polaris seats) while ORD-CDG is 767-300 (mostly older layflats).

Weather is a potential issue in either airport.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:53 pm
  #8  
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Yes. You are right! I wasn't paying close enough attention - I was only looking at the suffix. Thank you.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:37 pm
  #9  
 
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I took my 77-year-old mother to the UK this past spring. I ended up finding a flight which I could purchase with miles outright (better I think if the domestic and J tickets aren't on the same ticket—tho that opens a host of other problems). You'll never get the cheap miles biz fares to open domestically. And she paid for my Polaris flight with cash.

While I prefer the new seats, traveling with her was easier in the old ones than I think the new seats would have been. It was much easier to help her with operating the seats and grabbing things she dropped without the barrier in between us.

I also looked at Lufthansa and Air Canada. Because of price difference and because I'm so close to MM status I ended up going with UA. ... Also, for the way over, we ate dinner in the Polaris Lounge and skipped it on the plane, which was a great choice for getting rest and arriving somewhat rested.

Aside from that, you probably know this, but less is more. The fewer things we tried to do each day, the more we enjoyed them.

Have fun!
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:46 pm
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You will not regret taking this trip. I know from personal experience. For the rest of your life, you'll be so glad you did it.
Seriously.

Have a great time!
jsloan, narvik, M60_to_LGA and 5 others like this.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 4:19 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I took my mother in law (79) to India with my wife of course, several year ago
this is a women who basically had never really stepped foot out of a small town in MI
Booked both my wife and her mum in J on Air France (I left early for work)
She had a great time.. and today even after all these years, she still talks about the trip and the J experience

Have a great time... it is going to so much fun
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Old Oct 29, 19, 7:11 am
  #12  
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Typically over the winter holidays, they have reasonable business class fares. if it were my grandmother (91), not that she'd go, but I'd just pay outright and not worry about it.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 7:20 am
  #13  
 
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I took my mother to Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels 15 years ago when she was 55 (we actually left on her birthday). I didn't have the wherewithal to doing business class at that time but we have a fantastic trip nonetheless. I'm sure you'll enjoy your time and a statement upthread is the right one. Don't try to pack too much into each day. I might have run my mother a little ragged but we're both fast walkers and I wanted her to see as much as we could.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 7:48 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Typically over the winter holidays, they have reasonable business class fares. if it were my grandmother (91), not that she'd go, but I'd just pay outright and not worry about it.
Mostly this.

If you blindly waitlist an upgrade without being fairly experienced in the game, you are not going to end up flying in Business. You would be better off looking for saver award space (probably), or at least don't book something that doesn't have the upgrade available at booking.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 7:58 am
  #15  
 
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Have a wonderful trip! I took my mother to Europe for Christmas a couple years back in GlobalFirst before it was retired as a class of service. The flight attendants treated her VERY well.

I agree that the biz fares can be quite cheap over the holidays if you play around with dates.
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