How to Fly First Class or Business Class for Less

Опубликовал Admin
23-10-2020, 01:10
First Class and Business Class air travel is expensive and can run to thousands of dollars for an international round trip. Here are a few tips to help you cut the cost of flying in the premium cabins.


  1. Be flexible with your actual travel dates and book in advance to get the cheaper fares. Many online booking engines such as Orbitz and Travelocity have flexible date search tools which are very helpful in tracking down the lowest available airfare over a set period of time. Always select "lowest fare" when doing an airfare search online.
  2. Never book too close to your departure day as you will probably then have to pay the full published fare which can be very expensive. First class full fare tickets are generally only bought by corporate travellers on business.
  3. Avoid peak business travel days like Monday and Friday. Add a Saturday night stay to reduce the fare further.
  4. Experiment with your departure airport for your trip – this may sometimes throw out a lower fare. Many online booking engines such as Orbitz will allow you to check prices from nearby airports.
  5. Consider ground transportation costs, especially if your departure airport is some distance away. If you fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on a higher fare you will get complimentary chauffeur driven cars at both ends. For example, passengers to Los Angeles can be driven to any desired location in California.
  6. Flying through a hub connection airport is often cheaper than flying non-stop - but does any saving justify the extra inconvenience? Good deals can also be found booking overnight ‘red-eye’ flights - those comfortable first class seats will help you sleep better!
  7. Check the price of your flight online with a number of major booking engines to ensure you cover all the GDS's (Global Distribution Systems) - these are the 4 mainframe databases which power the airfare market worldwide - Sabre, Worldspan, Galileo and Amadeus. Some online agents are biased towards a single GDS so you will want to cover all your bases by checking elsewhere. Then double check any prices found directly at the airline websites.
  8. With codeshare flights (for example, Lufthansa and USAir, be aware that the same flight may be priced differently on the sites of the codesharing airlines.
  9. Phone your travel agent to see if they can beat your online quote. Also use a specialist business class / first class consolidator who will have access to many unpublished airfares not available elsewhere. Generally, using a consolidator is optimal when booking around 4 to 8 weeks in advance.


  • If available buy a premium economy seat - this is a class between coach and business class on an international flight. You are more likely to get a free upgrade if the flight happens to be overbooked due to the very limited number of premium economy seats.
  • Ask if you can purchase an upgrade to business class at the airport. This can be done at check-in, at the gate or in the frequent flyer lounge. Airlines can offer one-way upgrades on international flights for as little as $200 – this is significantly cheaper than booking a business class or first class ticket outright.
  • Also consider flying with some of the more off-beat airlines such as Air India, Iceland Air and Kuwait Airways – they all fly between the US and the UK and will undercut the business class cabins of the major carriers by up to 60%.
  • If flying from the West coast to Asia, consider one of the Asian carriers such as EVA, China Airlines and Korean - they often have very good value deals. Chinatown consolidators are another source of low airfares to Asia.
  • If commercial airlines are too 'low brow' for you and you wish to fly by executive business jet then get a quote on an “empty leg�? fare which can save you up to 75% off the normal jet charter fare. Alternatively, consider a fractional ownership program which can be more cost effective for a group of travellers than buying full fare first class tickets.
  • Buy an economy class ticket and then use your frequent flyer miles to purchase an upgrade to business or first class.
  • Always join your airline’s frequent flyer program. If you can attain elite status you will enjoy special perks such as free lounge access, upgrade priority and seating privileges. Some airlines in the US will automatically upgrade elite members to first class if there is space available.
  • Stay informed! Watch out for occasional special offer business class fares available on the major airlines - you should always be signed up to their mailing lists.
  • Check out a trans-Atlantic ‘all-business class’ carrier such as La Compagnie. It operates 74 seat Boeing 757 from New York to London and Paris and can have prices a little more than an economy fare.
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