On this premium-heavy blog in which topics of discussion range from caviar and champagne to upgrade phobia, let’s not lose sight of the fact that economy class usually does the job just fine.
I sort of poked fun about “surviving” economy class on a recent Lufthansa flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt, but the truth is I fly economy class fairly regularly. My other business and family obligations require me to make frequent trips to Europe and I don’t have a totally endless supply of miles or upgrades.
Thus, there have been several times this year–some I have written about, some I have not–that I have flown economy class to Europe. Last month, I flew from San Francisco to London and Milan to Newark in economy class on United. My tickets are always booked at the last possible moment, so on both of these flights I was not even able to score EconomyPlus seats. Instead, I had aisle seats in regular economy class (which I’ll take over a middle seat in EconomyPlus).
Economy Class is Just Fine, When Necessary
And as much as I always prefer to be in business or first class, I did fine. There was no upgrade phobia here because I did not even try to upgrade. See, upgrade phobia comes not so much because I need first class to survive or validate myself, but because it’s a game I have been playing for 15 years. Even if I could always easily afford the difference between business and economy class, I secretly like the thrill of the gamble you take when waiting for a complimentary space-available upgrade. While it causes stress on the one hand, the adrenaline rush you get when the upgrade actually clears and you didn’t pay a cent for it is a wonderful thing.
Anyway, let’s just take my United flight from Milan to Newark last Saturday. It was full, but the 767-400 offers 2-3-2 seating in economy and I wound up with a quiet, petite seatmate. Perfect. Flight attendants were in a great mood and the meal, a chicken breast with risotto, was surprisingly tasty…frankly better than some of the entrees I’ve had recently in Polaris Class.
I watched a couple of movies, the internet worked well for most of the flight, and I enjoyed a tasty turkey sandwich on pretzel bread prior to landing.
Oh, I was tired when I landed (and happy to fly business class to LA), but don’t ever think that I’m “too good” for the back of the plane…that’s just not the general focus of this blog. I think the other premium travel bloggers would agree. It’s part of the game.
Thanks for indulging me in this rambling post. I just think it is important to put things in context once in a while. I love the opportunity I have to fly around the world, mostly in premium cabins. At the same time, there are many times where I am just happy to take an economy class seat like most everyone else. Travel brings independence in any cabin.