A Baby Boomer Flying Business on a Budget?

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I have always booked overseas flights using my frequent flyer points and have always maintained I’d rather have two trips travelling economy class than just one trip travelling business. Currently, an economy flight to Europe will cost you 60,000 points plus $292 in extra fees. For just 128,000 points and an extra $360, you can fly business. Is it worth it?

After many economy class flights to Europe on points, I have learnt some tricks to make economy travel more comfortable. Read

Tips On Booking International Flights For Baby Boomers

However, travelling business class takes flying to Europe to a whole new level.

After just having travelled business class all the way to Vienna via Dubai with Emirates, I now know how those celebrities arrive in Australia after those long haul flights looking like they’ve just stepped out of a magazine. I, however, having always travelled economy, usually arrive at my destination looking, and feeling, like a stale, smelly lump of bread.

The pros of flying business.

Number 1: I booked business class for one reason. So I could fly with my legs elevated and avoid the swelling that plagues me on long flights. Actually plagues me anytime I sit on a bus or a truck or a train for more than a few hours. So that’s the main pro for me. I arrived in Vienna with perfect legs!

Number 2: I was unaware of was the express entry through security. None of this lining up for business class travellers! My carry-on even had an Emirates Business label attached to it, as well as an express voucher I was given, just to prove I wasn’t an impostor.

Number 3: Flying business class also allowed me entry to the Emirates Business Lounge. I had visited the Qantas Club with complimentary one-use vouchers before but what I hadn’t counted on was the sheer luxury of the Emirates lounge. And the food! I stared in disbelief as my eyes gazed hungrily on the delicious buffet. I had eaten nothing since breakfast! Not to mention the bar! What do I choose? Moët or Veuve Clicquot? Or whatever takes your fancy?

Number 4: Before I even boarded the aircraft, I had access to the private entry into the aircraft directly from the lounge: no waiting in line here either. Who even knew such a thing existed?

Number 5: And the one I was most looking forward to, and the only reason I booked business, was putting my legs up. I didn’t have a seat – I had a bed- complete with mattress, pillow and blanket! As soon as we had taken off, I lay it flat and slept for 7 hours!

Number 6: Because of the quality and the quantity of food provided both on the aircraft and in the lounges, I didn’t have to spend a cent the whole journey, not even on a cup of coffee. I guess I’d have saved at least $200 by not having to purchase airport food.

Are there any cons?

So enough of the pros. What about the cons? Well, the obvious one is the $360 extra upfront. One other was a lack of conversation. In economy, I usually chat with the person sitting next to me, but on occasion, I’ve encountered a non-talker, which makes for a very long flight! In my own little pod, I didn’t really miss the chatting.

For more of my travel ventures, visit Baby Boomers’ Budget Travel

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