Reader V.G. wrote in to ask for advice on which airline product to book for an upcoming award ticket.
For next week trip San Francisco – Delhi, I have 2 choices using United miles, both require 80,000 miles, but only 1 segment is in First class, other segment is in Business class.
Which one should I take, paying miles for First cabin but getting one segment [that’s just] in Business?
1. San Francisco Tokyo in ANA’s First Class B777-300ER
Tokyo – Delhi in ANA business class (no First cabin in flight) B767-300
2. San Francisco – Frankfurt in Lufthansa Business (First not available) A380-800 angle flat seats
Frankfurt – Delhi in Lufthansa First B747-8 aircraft
There is also the option to take Lufthansa Business class on both segments for 60,000 miles. Should I save 20,000 miles? I have over 1 million [Chase Ultimate Rewards] points.
..This is 1st time in premium cabin because normally traveling with family of 4 and have to settle for Economy cabin awards.
While perhaps the epitome of #firstworldproblems, I advised that this is actually a tough decision.
ANA’s first class is excellent. What I like about that itinerary is that the longer flight is in first class, whereas the Lufthansa itinerary has the longer flight segment (San Francisco – Frankfurt) in business.
I personally prefer the ANA first class inflight product over Lufthansa’s first class, but then I like Japanese food 🙂
What it comes down to for me is a longer flight in first class versus a shorter one weighing in favor of ANA, compared to the ability to access the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. (He’d have to exit the terminal in Frankfurt (proceeding through immigrations) and walk over to the first class terminal to do this.)
So if he wants that ground experience with the car ride to the plane as a rare treat for someone that usually flies economy, my advice was to go with Lufthansa. But if he values the greater amount of time in the air in comfort, ANA would be the choice.
If it were me I’d do ANA, but I’ve been to the Lufthansa First Class terminal many times. If I hadn’t ever done it, I’d probably pick Lufthansa. I’d definitely pay the extra 20,000 miles for that one-time experience plus the better flight from Frankfurt to Delhi, although others might disagree with that valuation. I think for someone with over a million Chase Ultimate Rewards points that’s easy.
Then, having made that choice, I’d keep my eye out for a first class award seat on the San Francisco – Frankfurt flight which could be rebooked into for no additional miles. A day before the flight it could well open if the cabin isn’t mostly sold out.
What would your advice have been?