Monday, June 16, 2008

The joy of flying first class

High gasoline prices have brought in a new type of luxury to me - first class air travel.  Additionally, I guess all those flights out of detroit and sticking to Northwest through the years are finally paying off for me. 

I have been an elite member in Northwest for the last two years and I realized that I have been flying first class (free upgrades) more often now. My explanation for this is that as airfares are increasing due to higher gasoline prices, firms are cutting down on discretionary business travel.  As a result, "have-to-fly" economy folks like me with elite status are getting frequent upgrades to first class. I cannot say if my theory is perfect, but honestly, I don't care. 

Keep 'em scotches coming.


Xtended Partition said...

Cant really agree with you on that pal.. But i would say its partially true too.
Lot of it depends on the time of travel. Being a freq traveler I can relay some of my thoughts around this. Monday mornings (6,7,8am), weekday(mon-thur) evenings (5,6pm), thursday & friday noon to evening flights are packed with Business travelers. With almost 100k miles already in the belt for 08, I still wait till the brink to get upgraded..
Having said that, when i take my wife along (rare traveler), we choose non peak moments, and she gets upgraded too(weekday afternoon).. I guess a lot depends on timing..

Having said that, I notice a high business travel zone like Alpharetta,GA, MiamiDade, having their business hotels go partially full. 6-12 months ago there was no chance of getting a hotel of your choice (in a 4 mile radius & 8 hilton chains) if you dont make your booking 2days before (inspite of diamond/platinum status).. Now i can walk and a room of my choice is available.. Downturn is affecting people & spending. Bigger question is whats the correlation between gas prices and capital spending by non-direct business (like IT etc)..
thats a phd musing.

Mahima Hada said...

Partially, you might be right. But I disagree that high gasoline prices are the sole driver. The timing of your elite status could be another. I'd noticed a similar tendency where my silver membership with Jet Airways was concerned. The upgrades did not come as soon as I became a Silver member... they came after I maintained that status for a year or more. And I more inclined to agree with the comment above. Off-peak hours are good to travel in. :)