When it ALMOST makes sense to pay the higher mileage award level for a flight

Joel Widzer claimed a premium level first class award on a domestic flight from LA to Dallas. While that strikes me as a little crazy for a midcon flight, I can’t criticize him too much.

For the very first time I recently claimed a premium first class award on a domestic flight. It was a last-minute transcon, I was paying out of my own pocket, and the flight would have cost about $1500 in coach. Plus I knew I wouldn’t get an upgrade. I had to fly on one specific return flight, and there was only one first class seat left for sale.

Claiming the premium award allowed me to pull a seat from revenue inventory and take that last first class seat.

Still, it was a questionable use of miles defensible only based on the fact that I have a very large stash of miles (what am I saving them for, they’ll never be worth as much tomorrow as they are today) and I’m spoiled and have a terrible aversion to coach.

Some would argue I should have sucked it up and flown coach for half the miles. But the set that includes ‘some’ would not include ‘me’.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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