Everyone who has ever been upgraded to business class understands that it’s the only way to fly. It’s much more comfortable than coach, and there’s better food and more entertainment choices. Unfortunately, all these amenities come with a cost; a cost that not everyone can afford. Here’s how to fly business class without the cost of business class. Read about 30 ways to get cheap first class tickets now.
Become an Elite
Many airlines offer their loyal flyers upgrades. If you’re not someone racking up air miles by flying then you could still achieve elite status on a frequent flyer program by using a co-branded airline credit card. These cards award miles when you make purchases with them. While plenty of them offer this perk, you should find cards that allow you to collect elite qualifying miles (EQMs). A card you can use for this is the Platinum Delta Skylines American Express. This card treats you to 5,000 EQMs for spending $1,000 in the first three months, and 10,000 EQMs if you spend over $25,000 a year. There are also cards, such as the American Express Platinum Card, that offer two-for-one business class tickets.
Use Miles for Upgrades
If you’ve racked up plenty of miles that won’t get you elite status, you can still use them to get a premium ticket for less. You could take 30,000 miles and use them to turn a $400 coach ticket into a $4,000 business class ticket. Just be warned that you will have to spend money and miles. Check back with the airline about four days before departure if you can’t see any upgrades as this is when they move the upgrades back into the inventory.
Consider Getting Upgraded at the Airport
If an airline has any room left when you get to the airport they may offer you a better seat at a discounted rate. These sales tend to go up around six hours before take-off, so give the airline a call before leaving for the airport to see if there are any deals on offer. There are some airlines that offer cheap upgrades all the way up until when you board the plane.
Take Advantage of Sales
There is such a thing as a sale on premium cabin fares. You just need to keep an eye out for them. Consider signing up to the First Class Flyer Newsletter. It costs you $197 a year, but is filled with plenty of information about airline sales and other tips and tricks to getting cheap flights. Airlines also issue alerts about sales through their email newsletters, so don’t delete them as spam straight away.
Choose the Right Time to Fly
If you want to find an affordable upgrade or cheap business class fares then you should travel at times business-class flyers aren’t. Many business class flyers leave on Saturdays and Sundays. Cheap flights are also yours for the taking on Christmas and Thanksgiving as the business class people choose to stay at home.
Let Yourself Be Bumped
If you don’t mind when you get to your destination, then you can volunteer to get bumped from a flight. This gives you better leverage when it comes to asking for better deals. If people aren’t stepping up as volunteers, you can request that you be given a first-class seat with the next flight. You might be a little late, but that’s what the airport lounge and your American Express Platinum card is for.