Is coach good enough – NO – the ride is just as important a part of the adventure to me!

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Note: I will be on vacation most of this week with my buddies in northern Michigan so I will have limited access to the blog and e-mail. I will be sure to follow up soon!


I ask you, does the above photo inspire you? Does your heart build with excitement about the upcoming ride? Do you feel like your vacation has now begun?


Maybe if you look at coach seats from another view. Look at all those shiny IFE screens. Does this cramped cabin look any better now? Does it make you giddy with glee for an 8 hr ride across the pond to Europe now?

No? I did not think so either but just checking. And the reason for this post. You see, there tend to be two schools of thought and they are nothing like each other. One of them is this – coach is just fine. They say:

  1. A coach seat is fine as the trip is short anyway
  2. Airline food is never that good and coach food works
  3. On long haul international flights IFE is about the same
  4. Drinks are often free in coach on international flights
  5. It takes a bunch less points in coach so more trips or more fly
  6. It is all about the destination not about how you get there.

I disagree with ALL of these either completely or at least to a large degree. Other bloggers hold up these items ON HIGH to be extolled, but let me break down why they really are hogwash and those who feel this way are flat out wrong. Here is why.

A coach seat, even a “good one” is nothing like a business or 1st class seat. Some say a biz or 1st seat is only marginally better than a seat in your car or sofa and you don’t want to spend hours on end there. I disagree. I like my leather sofa at home and spend a great deal of time on it. Plus, I always tell folks why I like flying this way is simple. I ask them, what do you do at home in your leather seat? They say, I watch videos, play on wifi, have a drink and a bite to eat. I then say, I do the same thing at 500MPH and very nice people bring me food and drink. That brings us to the next point – the food.

The coach meal experience is to me like a bad TV dinner. It is as my mom says: “överlevnads mat” or basically food you can survive on, but that’s it. Delta is well known for providing good quality food in business class. Starting with sparkling wine, a nice appetizer, a good dinner and dessert make a flight FUN! Plus the next meal is often nice too but less so in coach. Give me business anytime!

Next we have IFE. Not the same. Plus, in coach there is nothing like having a passenger behind you playing whack-a-mole on your seat back. Oh and the screen is SO much better in biz! Once again, the fun factor is way up in biz.

Now on to drinks. Yes, Delta has upgraded the offers in coach on international flights but the quality, at least when it comes to red wine, is SO much better up front (as well as the selection). If you like the hard stuff OK I agree it is a push.

I have more points than I can spend. It is SO simple to earn a ton of points. If you are being cheap with your points and flying coach you are not trying hard enough! Seriously! You are not playing the game the right way. Study up and stop saying coach is fine due to saving points!

When it comes to ALL about the destination, you are missing out. Yes, the destination is important and the reason for the travel, but in no way ALL important. You are missing out on a HUGE, MAJOR, MASSIVE fun part of your adventure that can add to the joy of the adventure if you are stuck back in coach.

So there you are. Now I know I am clearly coming from my point of view, but unless you agree with me you are missing out. There are SO many points to be had that if you are struggling to have enough points for some great trip – take a little more time and double the points you now have; it is so simple to do! – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.


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  1. I totally agree with all you said. In addition you feel so much better when you arrive and do not need two-three days to “recover” from the flight. Comfort in all phases of the vacation experience are very important.

  2. I agree. If I can manage to at all I will fly business or first on long hauls. Heck sometimes I book trips because I can fly in front. Short hauls under 2 hours don’t matter much either way. It’s like riding in a car. Would I rather take my Son’s Ford Fiesta or my Volvo S80. Well if I’m running up the street to the store I don’t mind taking his car. It might even be fun for a short period. If I’m driving across the country guess which I would choose? Other people would have other opinions. To me the difference between coach and first class on a long haul flight is like the difference between sitting in the backseat of a Yugo or in a custom van. Sure you might be able to sleep in either and maybe you have some IFE and food but it’s much better in F.

  3. Glad to hear you are going to enjoy Northern Michigan, or what I call “home”. Don’t miss Torch Lake or the Traverse City area. Summer is just starting here!

  4. Rene’, you’re “up north” and you didn’t invite any of your DTW readers?!!!!

  5. It’s all relative. When I was regularly doing 12+ hour flights to Australia and SE Asia in my last job, I always went Business or First. The extra comfort really made those long hauls palatable. But at the same time, domestic flights, even cross-country, seemed like short commuter hops by comparison, and Coach was OK for those.

  6. Last year I flew to Rio on US Airways business class. On the way home I flew AA coach. Difference in miles? 50k united miles to get there, 20k AA miles to get home. Yes business class was nice but for me, definitely not worth the extra miles. It was an overnight flight so while I may have been taken care of for an extra 3 hours, most of the time was spent sleeping. The seat didn’t totally lay flat so the sleep I got was maybe 40% more than a normal seat. You get a lot more/better food but to me it seemed like I ended up eating more than I normally would have. I try to eat healthy so I definitely didn’t need a giant sundae after an already big meal, especially since I was going to the beach after I landed! By the way, I still ate the sundae 🙂

    I’ve flown coach to Europe a few times and I honestly don’t see a problem with it. For me riding in an airplane isn’t some grand experience. When I show people pictures of my trip or tell them stories, no one cares about the flight unless something out of the norm happened.

    And while I have plenty of miles/points, I find myself using them less and less, and instead just finding mistake fares. I am a single traveller so I don’t necessarily care where I go as much. This year alone I flew to paris for $550 and I am going back to Brazil for another $550. I will easily ride coach for 2 trips to the other side of the globe for a total of $1100.

  7. I just returned home from a trip to Germany where the return included a 40 hour visit to Hong Kong. I was able to get off the plane in HKG at 1600 and actually explore Kowloon until 2200 only because I slept for 9 hours in Business class. Had I been sitting in economy I would have dozed fitfully and not been able to make the most of my short stay.

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