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You Know How Sometimes an Idea Seems Good at the Time…

My company allows us to fly to Europe in business class, which is quite nice of them. That said, those tickets can cost in the $7,000 range, and God knows I am not worth spending $7,000 on. Also, it kinda makes me physically ill to spend $7,000 on an airplane ticket.

So when I go to Amsterdam more often than not I fly to Frankfurt, where business class tickets are generally in the $3,000-$3,500 range and I buy a cheap coach ticket for the short hop to Amsterdam from there.

I’m going in about a week and flights were ridiculously expensive again – even Frankfurt flights were absurd. But I’ve now convinced myself that traveling in coach is a fate worse than death (even though it isn’t, especially since I can grab an exit row seat on United). So I decided to buy a coach seat over, upgrade using a United systemwide upgrade and come back via this incredibly-stupid-in-hindsight routing:

Amsterdam to Frankfurt on Lufthansa; Frankfurt to Zurich on Lufthansa; Zurich to JFK on SWISS.

There are several reasons why that is ridiculous. First, the Amsterdam-Frankfurt leg leaves at 7 o’clock in the morning, the morning after we have some sort of social event in the office. I will be a mess. Second, when I booked it hopping around Europe sounded kinda exotic. But then when I thought about it, it occurred to me that this would be like one of my European counterparts flying home JFK-Pittsburgh-Charlotte-Amsterdam, which just sounds incredibly stupid. I am that incredibly stupid guy.

On a plus note, I get to fly SWISS’ business class, which I understand is fantastic. However, my journey home will take 15 hours in business class, instead of 8 on the nonstop in coach. I believe the extra 7 hours will negate the enjoyment I would normally have flying coach.

Also, I believe I saved $4,000 compared to my colleagues who are flying nonstop. That is no consolation.

Anyone every do anything ridiculous like this?

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  1. I have done this and did not think it was ridiculous. I do like European airports. They are different and you do get a taste for being in Europe. Granted I may have a positive view of this because of no missed connections and no congestion….

  2. Why not just do an openjaw JFK-FRA ZUR-JFK and then use KLM FRA-AMS-ZUR and skip having to go via FRA on the way back?

    A company I used to work for had a similar privilege if you flew long haul more than 3 times in a year, but had the option you could fly business or split the difference as cash and fly coach.

    • I love the companies that split the difference – I would jam my ass back in coach for that (probably).

      For whatever reason (b/c int’l routing rules are wacky), JFK-FRA Zurich-JFK was very expensive.

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