I’m back from a little interlude. I have traveled the world and now have a lot more to share with you. Since we have last talked I have been to two very exotic places: Fort Wayne, IN and Sydney, Australia. Let’s leave Fort Wayne to your imagination and simply address the economics of a trip to the other side of the world.
I don’t mind flying. It doesn’t bother me at all….until now. I don’t know if you have ever been on a 15 hour flight, but if you haven’t, then I suggest you don’t unless you can fly at least business class. You see, I sat in my coach seat for 15 hours trying to figure out how the American airline industry is struggling. We were packed in like sardines, there was no entertainment, and I ate a chicken/fish type dish for a 4am dinner. I completely understand that I was very fortunate to be going to Australia in the first place, but when you are jammed on to a flying city for 15 hours you really start questioning your existence. I told Mrs. Planner that I would rectify this situation on the way home. I told her we would check into upgrading to a better seat.
Sometimes your promises to your spouse in the heat of the moment don’t really pan out. I called the airline to inquire about upgrading our seats on the way home. It was going to cost $8,000 per ticket to go business class and $30,000 per ticket to go first class. $30,000 TO GO FIRST CLASS! Okay, so what you are saying is that I pay the airline the same amount of money that I made my first year out of college in order to lay down on a plane and have a flight attendant hand me a hot towel? Needless to say we stayed in coach and we survived. It is slightly unnerving to think about people 50 feet in front of you having the time of their life while I am crowbarred between my wife and a lunch lady from Montgomery, AL who can’t get enough of Sudoku.
Bottom line: don’t pay to fly first class to Australia. It doesn’t make sense.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.