It has been nearly two weeks since my trip from Zürich to Los Angeles in first class. Many have asked me, now that I’ve had time to reflect, was it worth it?
Let’s put aside the lawsuit for a moment. Instead, let’s just assume I am paying for this fully myself (which I do not plan on ultimately doing…).
I’ll start by saying this. I received exactly what I expected, and more, from SWISS. As I wrote already, the flight was lovely. SWISS offers one of the best first class hard products in the world and the service onboard was not flawless, but exceptional. The food was also amazing.
> Read More: Amazing Flight in SWISS First Class!
I appreciated the chauffeur service to the first class lounge. The first class lounge was superb. A quiet breakfast with my family was greatly valued and the farm-to-table Swiss food in the lounge is even better than the onboard cuisine.
> Read More: SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich Review
I first class primarily because it was the most direct and comfortable way to get back to Los Angeles and precisely the flight I wanted for my family.
And even if I ultimately never get a penny back, I’d do it again under the right circumstance.
A Serious Financial Decision
But these sorts of financial decisions (and let’s face, paying thousands for airline tickets is a serious financial decision) do come down to an issue of cost and priority.
My son is 15 months old–that restless stage where he sleeps beautifully through the night but can squirm during the day. I wanted a first class suite so he could spread out and play without disturbing others. That’s what he did.
I wanted a suite with a closing door so he could sleep on one bed and my wife I could sit across from each other in the other suite and chat. It worked out even better: my son had his own suite because the cabin was only booked 5/8. I simply cannot underscore how important that was for me, perhaps even irrationally so if we are judging based upon a cost/benefit analysis. But aren’t we all guilty of that at some point in our lives?
Business class was full. Economy class was nearly full. While of course we could have “survived” in business class or economy class, that wasn’t the flight experience I wanted. That was not how I wanted to spend 12 hours. Anything else would not have been the same. Flying out of Frankfurt or Munich in Lufthansa First, which did not open anyway, would have required a long train trip, car ride, or additional flight. Flying through Toronto or Washington or Newark or Chicago would have been more stress-inducing.
I took a calculated risk and paid for the tickets. I’m a points and miles guy: it hurt. But I would never had done it if I could not sleep nights because of it or if I could not afford to pay off my credit card bill at the end of the month.
Ultimately, it does come down to an issue of financial priorities. I do think about where that money could have been better spent. The beauty of miles and points is that we can experience “champagne on a beer budget”. That was not the case here. And yet, I am reminded of Lufthansa’s former “All for this one moment” ad campaign.
This was one of those moments. And if you box me into a corner and force me to answer yes or no as to whether it was really worth it…
…I’d say YES.