Is paying $1,000 for roundtrip business class worth it?

A few weeks back there was a $1,000 Aeromexico fare in business class, round trip between Orlando or New York-JFK and Santiago, Chile. I am usually at least aware when these sales are made public, but I have never come as close to buying a ticket as I was when this sale came up. While this shouldn’t be a legitimate reason to spend $1,000, I got a rush from the possibility of planning and booking a trip to the other side of the world all in a few hours. Besides the innocent rush, this deal looked maybe too good to pass up. But why was it so appealing…

  1. The schedule was wide open. Up until the busy summer travel period, there was really wide-open availability. While I don’t have the most strict work schedule, one of the easiest reasons to disregard something like this is because it doesn’t line up to your schedule. I was unable to use this excuse as I could really book whenever I wanted — a full week, a long weekend, etc.
  2. I could easily position myself at the origin. A lot of these sale fares seem to be out of the major airports in the US, usually New York or LA. But this one was out of Orlando as well. With my current work taking me to Tampa, I could easily get to Orlando whenever necessary and not really add much cost to the trip. Of course, I am looking at some transit time on both sides of a long flight but it sure beats out positioning flights.
  3. There are options to fly onboard Aeromexico’s brand new 787s. This once again may beg the question — is $1,000 worth it just to fly on a specific plane? The answer is simply, yes. According to many, the new Aeromexico business class product onboard their 787s is quite the upgrade from what they previously offered. I knew that, if anything, I would be getting a superior product for the somewhat substantial amount of money I had to shell out. Admittedly, long-haul business class is something I’ve never tried, so it would be pretty neat to test it out as well.
  4. I would be able to get a substantial amount of Skymiles to credit to my account. This is where I really tried to sell some travel companions on buying the ticket with me. Aeromexico is a member of the Sky Team alliance, which means that any miles earned on this flight could be credited to your Delta Skymiles account. With this being a fully paid, business class fare there is some serious potential for miles accrual — and medallion qualifying miles at that.

Based on the above chart and an estimated distance flown (flight is MCO-MEX-SCL) of 10,800 miles (5,400 miles each way, using direct-line distances), you’d be earning the following towards Delta Medallion elite status:

21,600 redeemable miles

21,600 Medallion Qualifying Miles (miles towards elite status)

$1,400 Medallion Qualifying Dollars

*A Diamond Medallion with Delta will earn an extra ~13,000 miles because of the Medallion Mileage Bonus, on top of the above mentioned accruals!

For me, being a Platinum Medallion, I would earn about 32,000 miles — something that would have me easily on my way to elite status in 2018. But even if you don’t fly frequently with Delta, 21,000 miles is enough for a round-trip flight between Orlando and LA…

Ultimately, you are looking at around a $300 flight with those miles, so in reality you are only paying $700 for two round trip tickets. A pretty remarkable deal.

5. The world is too big not too explore. This should maybe be at the top of the list. Yes the new plane is cool, the potential for some nifty travel hacking can be appealing, but the ultimate reason we are all so intrigued with this hobby is because of the places we get to see. There is so much out there that is just waiting to be explored. There are the big European cities, beautiful beaches, but Santiago, Chile seems like a place that needs a bit more recognition. With Patagonia right down the road, I will definitely keep it in mind for the future. And who knows, maybe this deal will come back — and I won’t be so hesitant when that time comes.

Bottom Line

If you haven’t already surmised, I am somewhat regretting taking advantage of this offer. While it is a substantial amount of money for me and probably most people my age, the price you would normally pay for such a route is at least double the amount. It also makes a ton of sense for me, being a frequent Delta traveler. And of course you have to take into account staying in hotels, getting around your destination, eating, activities, and more, but most importantly the experiences and people may never come around again. Needless to say, if such an offer comes again I won’t pass it up. Here’s to cheap premium fares!

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