Business Class cost :(

milmil
edited November 4 in Impact

Is it normal, common.. or Std , for business class to cost between 6 to 7K ? my trip from Seattle-Dubai-Lusaka-Cape Town-Dubai-Seattle it's 6,700..... Yes! I know.. I can hear you guys... Well.. It is Emirates! , but Honestly..I can have a great bottle of "Mont.. " in my house any time & I have a great Four Season Hotel mattress to sleep on.. that wasn't cheap and I can watch Tv, Which I don't at home as well....
7K? of course the seats are wider.. which and if ..I keep eating Chocolates, I might need , but a $6,700... That chair most have a direct phone line to call Brad Pitt... ( Clooney is marry and looking old :) )
Sorry, but as much & tempting business class looks... That money would be the cost of a trip with Tauck to Morocco for 10 days...
Capisce!

what do you guys think? How much are you willing to pay for Status?
I may have fancy shoes... but 7K for a seat on a plane that for $1700 will take me to the same place... sounds silly.

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Comments

  • mil,

    I have not flown that route, but have you considered the amount of time spent waiting for connections? Have you asked Tauck for what they can do? Do you want to spend less money and arrive at your destination exhausted or spend more money and arrive refreshed and ready for your adventure? I probably have not helped at all, but there are so many factors to consider. Is your mother traveling with you? Do you wish for her to be comfortable?

    Perhaps other forum members can provide better input. Good luck!

  • Mil - Is the price you’re citing for a refundable or non-refundable ticket? Refundable tickets are considerably more expensive. Also, to get a comparison of your price, just as a test, plug in other US cities instead of Seattle just to get a comparative price. You might find that some other city is considerably cheaper than Seattle. If that is the case then if you can find a way to that city cheaply, like using miles, then you can book two reservations, one from the cheap city and one to/from Seattle to the cheap city. That has some risk but can save you lots of money sometimes. If you find that your test cities are about the same price as from Seattle, then you probably are stuck with the 6k price for business or switch to Economy plus.

    Just some things to look at.

  • edited November 4

    Wow! Does that include the Proflight fare for the Lusaka to Livingstone leg?

    I forgot your departure date so just used random dates in early Sept 2022 and first searched for business class flights SEA - LVI + CPT - SEA using Expedia- it returned a lowest fare of $8500!!!! A Google Flights search yielded a lowest fare of $11,382!!!! Those can't be real prices, can they?

    Terminating your outbound route in Lusaka (LUN), SEA - LUN + CPT - SEA, yields better results using Google Flights ≈ $6400 on Qatar, Alaskan/Ethiopian, and UA/Ethiopian. An Expedia search yielded fares in the $7000 - $7500 range for various combinations of carriers. I couldn't get the flight to run on the Emirates website- they must not have service on one of the days I selected.

    I also didn't try anything exotic like using different US gateway airports.

    Bottom line, unfortunately, the fare you are being quoted for business looks to be about right. So your choice is either bite the bullet or choose another fare class. :/

    For ref, our J&E flights, in business class on Turkish Airlines and using Delta first to get to/from a US gateway airport came out to about $3100 p/p and that includes fees for changes we made to both.

  • jejejej! My dearest AlanS
    Yes! those are the prices..... and the price for the Prolight was 1 way , $277.00
    Yeap, my understanding was that business would run somewhere 3-4K and that is better... but not 7K.
    Unless the Sheik has a brother that will take me in... and pay for me! , this Gal is going ECONOMY! with her fancy shoes... and owning it!
    :)))

  • kfnknfzk Hi again...

    Actually the route its excellent
    Seattle- Dubai 14hours , done it 5 times.. no big deal. + we are staying 2 days.. before heading to Africa.

    Dubai- Lusaka it's 7 hours then on to Livingstone, after 2 hours layover.. no big deal.. I don't get tire while flying or while on transit.. too much excitement .
    Coming back it's what I know will be tough.... we fly from Cape to Dubai 9 hours-to Dubai with a layover of 3 and on to Seattle.. another 14 , but still less then my flight to Australia and I did survive..
    Maybe is not the typical airline for some.. but I believe is the best airline there is.... great service , always on time... no fights, or punching flight att. face.... great safety record.. , 2 pieces of checked luggage at 50lb each, etc... and even flying economy as long as you are not seating at the end by the tail.. seats are comfortable and service 100%.
    I did ask Tauck and they told me 8K for the trip - holding fee etc... I normally don't limit myself on money.. because I work my own.. but 7K is something to consider....
    My mother is not traveling with me on this one.... I'm going with a friend.
    So, I have made my mind... I rather spend $$ doing some crazy adventures , Spas etc.. during my trip then on a wider seat..

    Smiling Sam Hello.
    My friend is from PA and hers it's about $5,500 from JFK. I thought about flying to NY but it is too much hassle.
    My problem is not the route or the time.. I can handle it, it's just the principal of spending that much money , when you can spend it on something else, something that will give you joy, something educational, adventures..
    But it is what it is..... I guess at this point it's not a priority for me, but I was really surprised by the cost.

    Thanks you guys. Have a great night.

    AlanS...... where are you??? you're too quit :))

  • OK! so my post replying to kfnknfzk & Smiling Sam showed after AlanS came to the rescue! ! :))

  • edited November 4

    We are home. We decided our grandkids didn't need any help trick or treating this year. :D

    We started flying business just to check it out. Now as we age and find air travel more tiring, we'll probably never go back.

    One thing I didn't mention but that shocked me were the enroute times for the low business fares- 30 hours + . I think there may have been a few over 40 hours. I may have mentioned to you that we did our first overnight layover in Jo'burg on the way to B,SA,Z some years ago. It worked out perfectly- we got to Jo'burg about 5:30 pm retrieved our bags, then walked 100 yds to the InterContinental, had a snack, chilled for a bit, then hit the sack. After a good night's sleep we got up around 7:30 am walked to the terminal to check in and drop our bags before getting breakfast in the SA business lounge. We got to Livingstone rested and had energy for our microlight flight over the falls later that day. I am no longer adverse to overnight layovers. Two days? Not sure. :D

    Have you seen any and if not do you plan to check out any of the other Emirates- Abu Dhabi, especially, and Sharjah, etc.- during your layover in Dubai? Don't bother snorkeling- the water is pretty murky, at least it was when I was there, but you can try sailboarding.

  • edited November 4

    Mil: Our SFO-AMS-JRO, NBO-AMS-SFO business tickets are $7,800 each on Delta/KLM. We have done Africa in coach, coach comfort, business/first and I have decided that my knees and other parts cannot do it again in coach. As Alan knows, Ethiopian is not an option for us. I’m using the money we could not spend during the past months of the pandemic for our travel in 2022.

  • edited November 4

    Mil, we traveled for many years on long haul economy and then upped it to premium economy before we found we could afford business class these past few years. We’ve flown to Africa on economy. We’ve flown to Australia and then a separate time to New Zealand on premium economy. Even to India on Premium economy. Like you, we would rather have saved that business class money for another tour. Our solution was to fly out even earlier and be more rested by spending a few hundred dollars on an extra night in a hotel at the destination, getting over jet lag, taking it a bit easy, having a spa treatment. All much cheaper than the thousands extra on business class seats.
    Our Botswana tour next year, the slightly different one to yours, which we have also taken in the past, definitely does not cost as much as your business. Our issue is the long 22 hour layover where we might have to stay airside because of testing rules. But again, I’m not sure what you mean by Tauck charging a holding fee, I’ve never heard of such a thing….have you called back to talk to a different agent?
    Here I go about bags again. You will not be allowed to take more than one bag on this tour, you get the duffel for at least part of the tour, I’m sure that is what happens. So there is no advantage to being allowed two bags on business.
    I’d still be happy to see George Clooney on a flight even if he is looking a bit old. My latest celebrity siting a couple of weeks ago was Nick Nolte playing a homeless guy on a Philly movie set. Not exactly wonderful. Not as exciting as when we passed Hugh Jackman in NY or Mel Gibson a few rows in front of us at the theatre. I still can’t beat Mr B being on the same temple tour in Bangkok as Sofia Loren and Carlo Ponti many years ago.
    Oh, I bought a gorgeous pair of boots the other day and they cost me $189, that’s about my limit 😂😂 They wont be going to Africa or even Florida next week.

  • As a solo traveler, I fly business class on international flights. I feel that if something goes wrong, such as a missed connection (which actually happened at CDG once because I swear that we must have landed in Marseille and taxied to Paris), my problem will get more attention than if I were in coach. I like to be able to use the lounge before and between flights, and can usually get several hours' sleep on the lie-flat seat. I accept the cost as part of the cost of the trip. That said, I can usually fly (from BOS) to Europe for under $3,500, though my flight to New Zealand (on United) was around $6,000 and to Hanoi (on Emirates) was around $5,500. Emirates had the bonus of car service from my home to and from BOS (because I live within 50 miles) -- which saved me about $350 -- and a hotel room in Dubai for several hours.

  • MIL: I love traveling business class too. I just don’t like paying the price. I use airline points—esp for long-haul flights. I am willing to adapt my plans to get ‘super saver rates’. I study the options for several months in advance and as soon as the flights can be purchased, I get my tickets (usually one way at a time). I charge everything and accrue mileage on my cards. I do not use store credit cards (Bloomingdale’s etc). I read The Mileage Guy for pointers. Somehow ‘paying’ 80,000 or 120,000 points doesn’t seem so expensive!

  • This is the first I'm seeing this thread. How did I miss it yesterday? Hmm...

    Anyway, in my experience, biz is usually 3-4x cattle class. As flights fill up in certain classes of tickets, that ratio can go up or down. For me (from DEN) the typical price for European biz class flights are (were) 3-4K. I just started looking at DEN-CAI for my Egypt trip in late 2022, and surprisingly, with one stop at a Euro hub, it's in the 3+K range.

    I first flew biz ~5 years ago for my Tauck Aus/NZ tour (with one exception about 20 years ago). It's like power windows. Once you have it, you can't go back :) I tend to make my flight time cutoff for flying biz about 4 hours. However, I'll be flying to NYC in a few months, which is about 3.5 hours, and given all the airline craziness these days,, I plan to fly biz on that one, too.

  • It’s definitely an advantage to being a solo traveler when using air miles or card points. Even though we buy everything we can and pay bills with credit cards, we just don’t accrue enough points to keep getting flights on air miles. Any hints!

  • Just booked business class tickets for our trip to Egypt in early 2022. $ 4299.00 per ticket. Booked Monday night- same ticket Tuesday morning was $ 5600.00.

  • edited November 4

    British: Chase Sapphire Reserve gets you 3 Chase points for everything coded as travel like Tauck, cruises, hotels (and restaurants) which are our biggest ticket items. The Chase points are directly and immediately transferable (1:1) to a dozen or so airlines which works for us living 8 miles from a United international hub (Dulles). The cost is mitigated by having the first $300 coded travel each year rebated plus a raft of other features which, for us, make the effective cost 0 even before considering the value of the miles we transfer to United (1 Chase point = 1 United mile). It's a major reason we have made all our international trips in business class using miles.

    We also buy United miles on occasion when they are offered at less than 2 cents/mile (best offers are ~1.9 cents/mile). The math is easy. Business class to Europe (1 way) is ~80k miles. Even if we bought all of them, that's <$1600 which beats cash prices. Also, as has been especially important during the pandemic, cancellable until the day of travel with all the miles returned without any fee (current policy).

    It's all a big game which I like to think I play well.

    And, no, I don't own any Chase stock.

  • British
    10:02AM
    . . . . we just don’t accrue enough points to keep getting flights on air miles. Any hints!

    We don't either, though they come in handy if we plan to take a domestic connector flight (on Delta) to a US gateway for foreign carrier. Maybe we should change our last name to Bastian? :D:D

    mil is no stranger to business- she and her mom flew business class on emirates to J&E last month.

  • Portolan our Amex platinum gives five times points for travel but the annual fee just went up
    On my walk this morning, I watched several of my neighbors’ cleaners going into their homes….that’s where I save ones, I’m the cleaner, laundry person, odd job person, gardener and joint cook in this house 😂😂
    I better get started on today’s work

  • I too purchase points when United runs a promotion. I also apply for cards that offer large ‘signing up’ bonuses. In addition, I also accrue points with my business credit cards. Sometimes I make purchases thru the United portal when they offer large bonus (I.e. 10 or more points for every dollar spent). But I never use points for domestic flights. And I always get the cheapest level business seat (super saver)! And British: on occasion, I have even used my points for my kids and travel mates!

  • Egypt prices may seem like a ‘good deal’ compared to East/South Africa, but the latter is a ‘large’ continent farther away than Egypt.

  • milmil
    edited November 4

    Hello everyone. :))
    Yes, I have flown Biz. before... but never paid 7K- which, I understand if you have health/weight/ height/ knees issues.. but I don't, so it is a little to much, when I know is not needed and in coach I would only pay $1700.00 round trip.

    AlanS Hi , at first I did consider staying overnight @ the Inter-continental JNB-Tambo, but I realize the Dubai-Lusaka was a far better route , specially that British airlines no longer has the direct flight to Livingstone. my connection in Lusaka is only 2 hours.. and it is a small new airport, also for safety reasons they only allow 1 plane in at a time..
    By taking this flight in Lusaka I will be in at 5:00 pm at the hotel on the same day I left Dubai, so only one day flying and done!- ready for my Welcome back to Life Spa treatment. :))

    British, hi. I was just mentioning the Emirates checking suitcases allowance for economy.. I normally travel with only 1 and 95% under 45lb.- I sure would love to get a duffel bag again.. they are great and sure makes life easier in any safari trip.

    leedvid great deal! yes, in general Monday-Tuesday fares are lower... but lately not so much and it's going to get worst.

    Potolan, hello. I did looked into Delta-Klm flights and having 460K miles I had enough for 3 trips all together to Africa back & forth but their schedule it's not the best... I'll save my mileage for retirement time... :)) and Yes! it is a big game.. lots of options.. many combinations to play with... The life of a tourist... full of decisions and choices... Not Easy. :))

    Now coming back to Tauck's holding ticket fee... I heard that twice from 2 different agents... maybe is something new.. maybe not one has paid attention when the agent gives the breakdown of the fare... but it is there... a fee for holding your reservation till due date. maybe is not Tauck but imposed by the airline... but it is there!

    well.... I do appreciate all the info.- and new ideas... I've just broken the news to my friend... she's in a panic mood, but I told her I'm on the same plane... she can come back and talk to me... or I can buy her for $105 02 pair of great walkie-talkies :)))
    We'll see.

  • British: as I said, it's a game. The airline partners you can transfer AMEX points to miles don't include any that are useful here. With any of these programs, using them through the card's travel portal is a poor value, usually $1/100 points though if you go this route with Chase they give you give you a rate of $1.50/100 points. As I mentioned, we figure the other aspects of the Sapphire Reserve totally offset the $550 annual cost without the consideration of converting them to United miles.

    NancyCohen: you are definitely correct that using FF miles for anything but premium class international flights greatly diminishes the value received. I've rarely used them for less than an effective value of 3-4 cents per mile, so on that basis, the Chase card gives us an effective return of 10%+.

  • milmil
    edited November 4

    also, I was told by Emirates that I could pay $ 150.... if I wanted to get into the Biz. Lounge- 4 hours allowance. maybe if I paid $300 .. they will extended to 8 hours....

    How about that! That's all a girl needs! Champagne to me......

  • milmil
    edited November 4

    this is the kind of stuff I don't mind spending my money... I'm already drooling! about the elephants.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g298089-d10761700-Reviews-The_Elephant_Cafe-Livingstone_Southern_Province.html

  • We had contemplated that experience but in the end we decided too much to do and so little time. There used to be another similar dining with elephants experience in Livingstone, but think they closed up shop.

  • milmil
    edited November 4

    AlanS , I was just telling that to my co-worker... so many things to do and only 1.5 days- pre tour.. time.
    I want the elephants, the Spa, the cultural visit to the village and also stay at the hotel to see the animals and feed the giraffes.!
    I'll be up by 6am. for sure taking pics! and then around the hotel... no time to sleep.- I wish Tauck would change the welcome cocktail party & dinner for later.. like 7:00 pm - 5-6:00 pm it's too early.- it is always in the way....

  • edited November 5

    They don't want you to feed the zebra and there are not many giraffes- (they let you feed the vervet monkeys sugar packets at the entrance to the Royal Livingstone. When we were there we just saw two giraffe in the bush near the Avani Hotel during our walk to the falls across the bridge to Zimbabwe. We planned to eat lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe on the Zimbabwe side. It turned out to be a passport stamping trip only (we had Kaza univisas), because after we got there we learned the cafe was inside the Zimbabwe park and we would have to pay full price to enter to reach the cafe. We walked back and ate lunch by the pool at the Avani.

    Also, several years ago, a Tauck couple was seriously injured on the grounds of the Royal Livingstone when a giraffe, went a little bonkers and neck slapped both of them. They had to be medevaced and the giraffe relocated.

  • Mil, please keep your distance from all the wildlife. The giraffe incident happened just before we went. We could not leave our room at one time because there was a giraffe literally standing outside our door. We had to call security as the hotel suggested people do and a guy came with a golf cart to pick us up. Plenty of zebras are around, they look cute but don’t get too near, they give nasty kicks that can break your legs and bites too….you’ll see them doing that on Safari especially if rival males are around.
    Mil, why don’t you go even earlier pre tour so you can do all the extras? If it’s a matter of choice and it was me, I’d forgo the elephant experience since it’s so common to see elephants right next to the trucks. We had a matriarch stand about a foot from our vehicle one time and look the TD in the eye. Another time, a young male wrapped his trunk around the bar by the open roof of our vehicle and was there for several minutes just looking me in the eye, I have great pictures. Yes, I chatted to him! On the Elegant South Africa tour, they took us to a place where we could feed and pet the elephants, I don’t know whether they still go there on that tour, ours was quite some time ago. You might want to do that tour too!

  • Will be using British Air vouchers To fly to Amman for J&E tour Nov 1 - 13, 2022. Stopping enroute in Amsterdam to see friends and get ahead of jet lag. We added one extra night at end at Mena House and will be returning home nonstop on Monday, November 14 on Egyptair to Dulles. If it holds , the Egyptair flight on Mondays are only $1429 for Business. The nonstop is Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Mondays are a great price. Also, don't know if schedule works for Tauck Africa trips, but United has a nonstop from Newark, New Jersey to Johannesburg. Worked out really well for us in early September when we spent 10 days in camps in Botswana's Okavango Delta. (Arranged through Africa Adventure Travel.) Stayed overnight for one night each going and returning at The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg. About 30 minutes from the airport, but small, intimate, and very relaxing. Delicious meals there too.

  • British hi.
    we thought about getting 2 pre -nights instead of 1, but we got the Prolight air tickets from Lusaka to Livingstone , before I finded out , that this tour has a pre-meeting at 3:00 pm ( Day 1 ) and then drinks & dinner at the train...at least this is what happen on a tour back in 2019. Maybe by 2022 things will hopefully will change and the entire afternoon will stay free till 6:00 pm .
    Yes, I read about the Giraffe incident ... scary! and even Zebras, no one should get to close to them... they are wild animals and freak out easily.
    I actually can pass on other animals but the Ellies, Hippos and Cats are my thing.
    Ellies being #1!

  • Video pics from my trip to K&T 2018.

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