Paying Extra for a Flight for the Convenience of a Better Seat

I’ll be visiting family for Christmas, and I just bought my plane tickets online. I know that I should have bought them earlier, but I only had to pay for my return flight because I was able to buy my departure ticket using points I saved.

I have some self-imposed rules when choosing flights:

1) Avoid red-eyes if possible because of my inability to sleep for longer than 10 minutes at a time on planes.

2) When flying from the East Coast to the West Coast (where my hometown is), try to choose a flight that will land before 9 p.m. (to help with jet lag).

3) Pay the extra money for direct flights—time is money and I’d rather spend an extra $50 to not have to land in another city and wait for a connecting flight.