When we fly, we try to purchase the least expensive ticket available, and we did so when we bought our round-trip tickets for a Florida trip in January.
Then we realized that we had more than 350,000 Frequent Flyer miles, and decided to trade some of them in for First Class tickets. Unfortunately, there are only a very limited number of those seats to be had on each flight, and there were none available on our San Jose to Dallas and Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale flights.
There were seats available on both flights coming home, but they would cost us not only 30,000 miles, and $150 each to move us to the front of the plane.
My wife Carmen and I have separate Frequent Flyer accounts, since she flies to Montreal each year, and had accumulated more than 30,000 miles on her own. She has been inundated with credit card solicitation mailings to upgrade her card from “plebian” to “platinum.” If her application was accepted, she would not only get the upgrade, but also 50,000 bonus miles as long as she charged $2,000 during a three-month period, and there would be no $82 annual fee for the first year.
She filled out and mailed in the form, was readily accepted, and easily spent the amount needed to receive the bonus miles. Carmen uses her credit card for everything, and the monthly invoice contains sums as low as 21¢ for duplication at Staples.
We used 30,000 of her free miles, charged the $300 upgrade fee, and flew home from Florida first class, all of the way. First class does offer many perks, including free checking of baggage, boarding the plane in the first group, sitting in wide, comfortable ersatz leather seats with plenty of leg room, being among the first to leave when we land, having attendants that smile and try to take care of our every legitimate need, and deliciously prepared warm food that we don’t have to purchase.
I was particularly pleased that at the start of our first-class flights, we were each given a nosh of a variety of warm nuts that filled a small ceramic white bowl. I have never had warm nuts on a flight before, but wonder if the price paid to get this first-class treat was really worth it. Since we intend to spend all of our accumulated Frequent Flyer miles on only First Class tickets, I may have to get used to such amenities.
Disturbing News for First-Class Travelers
It was reported that in January, that instead of cattle rustlers, many farmers in California’s Central Valley have had their nut crops regularly rustled. Apparently, nut rustlers surreptitiously sneak into the ranches in the middle of the night with huge trucks, and recently stole more than $400,000 worth of walnuts, $100,000 of almonds, and a like amount of pistachios.