Thanks to miles and points I have been able to travel the world in luxurious ways for a relatively small cost to myself. Flying First Class on some of the world’s top airlines for under $400 USD (though sometimes even a lot less) is amazing in my opinion, and sometimes it is important to step back and think about how miles and points have changed travels not only for us, but also for those around us.
A few weeks ago, I flew my longest flight in Economy in 4+ years. Ever since beginning to explore miles and points a few years ago, I haven’t had to fly Economy on flights longer than ~3.5 hours. I’m almost MVP with Alaska Airlines and lately have been flying a ton with them to build up some miles and elite status with the Seattle-based airline (mainly because they offer great deals from Seattle).
I’ve been primarily flying with Alaska down the coast to places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. so I hadn’t experienced “medium-haul” Economy yet. Well, a few weeks ago I decided to visit New York for the weekend mainly because Alaska had round-trip flights for a little over ~$200 USD… which is a great deal. The only part I wasn’t looking forward to was the actual five and a half hour flight in Economy.
Thankfully both flights from Seattle to New York and back were operated using Alaska’s Boeing 737-900 aircraft and therefore there was much more legroom than in some of their other aircraft – this is mostly due to the wonderful slimline Recaro seat which allows for catalogues to be placed next to the tray table and not in front of the passenger’s legs.
Ok, so I thought perhaps this may not be so bad and I will survive. Well, I did. And I’m not doing that again. Not only was the first flight overnight, it was just so uncomfortable to be sitting in those seats for more than three hours. Look, I’m 100% fine with flights up to three hours in Economy… but anything beyond that is just torture to my legs and body… I just can’t.
This brings me to my next point – ever since those flights, I’ve been appreciating my credit cards, miles, and Star Alliance Gold status even more, since as of a few weeks ago I was a “nobody” with Alaska Airlines.
In retrospect, I’m kind of happy that I did fly that long in Economy just because as of now I appreciate the way I can travel much, much more and before I was kind of just accustomed to it without ever thinking about how lucky I am.
Be thankful for your elite status and miles/points!