So at least once a year, I fly home to the city of my birth to visit friends, family and to stuff my face with ALL. THE. SEAFOOD.
I stay with my mom and step dad and my mom has always insisted on paying for my flight. I’m over and done with changing planes and such, so I always pick a nonstop United or American flight. While flying has become stupid expensive, I also have to take into consideration the time it takes me to get to the airport, the time it takes me to get through security and all the other assorted things.
Generally, when doing a search for flights, I tend to pick ones that leave mid morning and the return flight for about mid afternoon.
(example, if a flight is leaving at say 10 am, I’m looking at walking out of my apartment around 7 am. Hence the huge OH FUCK NO in changing planes. It’s generally a 2 hour flight nonstop from point A to B)
I learned early on to wait to check in at the airport, because every so often, when I would check in, I’d get a little message on the computer screen that I could upgrade to first class for an extra $50 or so. Naturally I pounced.
I was hooked. Free booze, free food. Huge comfy seats and well, hey, it’s first class, right?
A couple of years ago, when I was researching flights, for pure shits and giggles, I found a flight where coach was around $300 and first class was $500. !!!!! In the past, flying first class from point A to B is twice that.
I had the money, so I picked first class, told my mom the coach fare and just paid the difference myself.
That was it. Game. Over.
Since then, my general rule of thumb is looking at coach and first class and if I can swing it, I’ll book first class and pay the difference (I’ve been lucky about 90% of the time, where the difference is maybe $200). There have been times where I’m stuck in coach, but those times have been few.
Two years ago, when I was flying down for my 50th birthday, the lady sitting next to me and I really hit it off (yes, I was in first class). We ordered champagne, and more champagne and had our flight person rolling with laughter. She had never been to my home town and I spent the flight giving her all the ins and outs and where to go/what to eat.
Right now I’m probably going down around the first or second week of September. First class and even coach prices are a tad on the WTF/give me your blood and first born side, so I’m going to wait a couple of months to see if prices go down. And I’ll be feeding my savings account just in case.
In general, I’ve found that booking flights about three months out give me the best prices so I’ve got about three months to keep an eye out. I have a price in mind and if I see either airline post that price within $20, I’ll pounce.
It’s so silly. And petty. But fuck me on a pogo stick, gimme that free booze and food any time.