Our family has a pretty large hoard of miles and points. We can afford to go just about anywhere we want in business or first class using these, but there is always a catch- there has to be availability. Recently we took a flight to London and back. It’s only about 8 hours in the air from Atlanta. While I would have preferred to fly in business class, we were able to find round trip tickets for only about 50k miles each in economy. Business class tickets for those dates were over 200k miles each. However we booked a large hotel suite in London. The trip and rest/sleep we got were amazing. So let me share my thoughts.
In this case instead of spending $150-$200 a night for a hotel room, or using points to cram into a single small European hotel room, or booking 2 hotels room with points, we booked a suite at the Hilton Paddington Station for about $300 a night. That extra $150 was the best money spent. I would much rather spend an additional $150 a night than to shell out the additional 150k points per person to get sleep on the plane. This additional $150 a night meant my kids each got their own bed, and my wife and I got our own room with a king size bed.
On a plane you may get a few hours of psuedo sleep if you are in a lay flat bed, but its not gonna be great. You are still going to be somewhat jet lagged. Then if you are crammed into a small single hotel room after that flight, you will probably not sleep well and end up getting on each others nerves.
If you fly economy though, you may get a nap while watching 8 hours worth of movies. While you will be jet lagged, you can actually get 8 hours of good sleep that night in your hotel suite. Even with kids.
For a flight below 10 hours for our family of 4, we can definitely do economy. If you can find saver level business class tickets, go for it. Of course we would rather fly in Business Class or First Class, but booking a suite has changed my thought on traveling a little bit. We don’t have to book our vacation around flight availability for premium seats. It’s much easier to find hotel availability for a suite at a reasonable price, than it is to fly in premium cabins at saver levels.
Do you book your vacations around premium flight availability, or does that matter to you?