No. of Recommendations: 1
Best $125 we ever spent was an upgrade to Economy Plus on a Lufthansa(United) flight from Frankfurt to Houston. 11 hours in the air. Economy Preferred gets you extra legroom. Best $250 we ever spent was the same upgrade from San Francisco to Sydney, 15 hour flight.

I virtually always fly at least Econ Plus. Those extra few inches of legroom are worth their weight in plutonium. On the rare occasions I'm flying in Smushed Class for anything other than a puddle jumper, it's...challenging (and I'm short with short legs). Most airlines allow you the opportunity to upgrade from a regular coach seat after you've purchased, and sometimes the cost is very reasonable.

On most domestic flights, I don't find First Class to offer much more than Econ Plus. However, for international flights it's a huge difference (although if you can't get the upgrade discounted, it's Not Cheap). That said, on many international flights United's Business class has those layflat bed pods that make a huge difference, and to my mind "Global First" is really not much better than that, so if you're upgrading then you may not have to go all the way to the very bestest class. Be sure to check the type of plane and seating arrangements before going for an upgrade.

And yes, I've flown middle seat Economy from Athens to the States (on barely any sleep, no less), Business class with the layflat pod from Frankfurt to Houston (about 12 hours, very much worth it), Global first from DC to Frankfurt (slightly better than Business class but IMHO not really worth much extra cost), old style "lazy-boy recliner type seat" business on numerous occasions across the Atlantic and once across the Pacific (which is fine but much prefer the layflat bed myself), and First Class on many occasions domestically (usually on mid-size planes like 737's and Airbus 319s and 320s), as well as Econ Plus LOTS of times and smushed class when I can't avoid it.

-synchronicity
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