Against my better judgment (and the advice of Lucky), I booked a MR on United from Philadelphia to Moscow next weekend—out Saturday via Dulles, two hours on the ground in Moscow, and right back to Philadelphia.
I am sitting on quite a few vouchers from various sources, had no plans for the weekend, and most importantly, have two systemwide upgrades that expire at the end of the month. I looked into flying to Geneva—$130 less—but there was no confirmable upgrade space and only a few revenue Business Class seats still for sale. If the past is any indication of the future, I probably would have cleared at the gate and saved some money, but I did not want to sweat out an upgrade on a transatlantic flight.
I’ll earn about 11,000 EQMs for the trip and 22,000 RDMs. For $671 ($71 out of pocket after using one of my recent overnight bump vouchers), that is a terrible deal. I could have done a MR to Southern California for under $300 r/t that would have earned me around 8,000 EQMs. Plus, with multi-segment domestic runs there is a better probability of bumps and other problems that I eagerly hope for when I am flying for fun.
But hear out my logic; I chose this pricey MR because:
- I like long flights—especially in international Business Class.
- I hate to see SWUs go to waste and upgrading PHL-ORD-SEA-SFO-QLA is not the same as upgrading IAD-DME.
- For UA’s sake I hope they are no longer doing it, but travelers on Flyertalk have reported that UA is doling out vouchers like candy for flights in which the IFE is turned off “due to safety concerns.” Wouldn’t it be something if my trip paid for itself? (Note: I am not expecting any compensation)
- With a 9.5-hour flight to DME in a lie-flat seat, I should be able to get a good night’s rest, as opposed to a redeye in domestic First.
- DME-IAD is an 11-hour flight, giving me a great deal of uninterrupted time to get ahead on my law school reading and outlining.
- The food is better (marginally) on international flights and I will have access to the Envoy Lounge in PHL.
So what do you think? Did I just waste $671? I’m still feeling a little bit guilty for blowing my $600 voucher on an overnight MR (unfortunately, my visa to Russia has expired or I’d stay a day), but I hope I will be able to report back next Sunday it was well worth it.