Want to fly first-class but don’t want to break the bank? Are you wondering how to fly first-class for cheap? Read on to find out how you can.
If given a chance, I enjoy traveling first-class whenever I have the opportunity, but flying first-class is not always affordable, especially for foreign flights. My experience has shown me that it is possible to do so on a budget, as I’ve done it several times (mainly on international flights), and I’m going to share my secrets with you right now.
Read Also: How to Travel Like a Baller on a Budget
There’s simply something about having a little extra legroom while sipping on complimentary champagne that makes me feel good. Furthermore, if you are not a lover of champagne, sparkling water will suffice. While I typically prefer to save as much money as possible for my holidays, believe it or not, there are ways to get that first-class ticket without breaking the bank. However, while reserving first-class tickets will never be the cheapest option, there are ways to fly first-class without burning a hole in your bank account. Here are some suggestions:
Take Advantage of Those Airlines Credit Cards
This is the ideal option for people who travel a lot for business or travel regularly for pleasure. If you have a favorite airline, you should look into their co-branded credit cards or special deals the next time you wish to purchase cheap round-trip flights. Many of these cards provide substantial savings to people who are already planning to spend a particular amount in a short period of time. Although most credit cards charge annual fees, several of them also offer benefits that more than make up for the cost. A wide variety of activities, such as paying your mortgage, dining out, and even doctor’s appointments, can help you rack up points quickly and easily. You may put the money you’re presently spending toward your next major vacation in this manner.
Know When to Travel
When it comes to receiving the best value on first-class tickets, it is critical to book your trip at the appropriate time and date. Because business travelers typically fly during the week, purchasing a first-class ticket for the weekend (say, early Sunday morning) may be the most cost-effective solution for them. In addition, the earlier in the day you fly, the better off you’ll be in terms of airfare. To get the best deals on first-class flights, you’ll want to avoid traveling on Mondays and Tuesdays. Suppose you’re flying domestically during September or October when there aren’t as many holidays or vacations scheduled? In that case, you’ll be more likely to find low-cost first-class tickets—just make sure it’s a holiday-free month in the country you’re traveling to if you’re flying overseas.
Take Advantage of “Easy-Fare Tickets.”
Affectionately known as “Y-Up fares,” these little, inexpensive tickets are among the best-kept secrets in the world of airline ticket purchasing. Airlines cannot always sell all of the first-class tickets they have available. Consequently, they offer them at a reduced price rather than have vacant seats. These are ideal for special occasions, business travel, and last-minute emergency travel. They are also quite affordable. “How come I’ve never heard of this before?”, you might wonder. Because most of us aren’t looking for first-class tickets when we make our first reservations, we don’t see them very often, yet they are available! In essence, you’re receiving first-class tickets for the price of a coach ticket. They are not always the lowest choice available; they are more comparable to full-fare coach seats or standard, last-minute tickets in terms of price.
On the other hand, first-class tickets will still be available at a reasonable price. Ordinarily, these tickets are refundable and exchangeable; they are also typically one-way tickets unless otherwise specified. What’s the catch, you ask? You may have to dig a little deeper and conduct some research to locate them, but the effort may be well worth it.
Participate in Airline Loyalty Programs.
Participate in the frequent flyer program of your airline! Eventually, you’ll be able to accumulate enough miles or points to qualify for a free first-class flight with them. Cool bonuses, such as VIP airport lounge access or improved seats, can be added to your package. Check to ensure that the dates and prices haven’t passed their expiration dates. Whatever your travel habits are, whether you’re a frequent flyer or more of a once-a-year traveler, sticking with your favorite airline regularly will pay off in the long term.
Typically, upgrades are substantially more affordable when purchased at the last minute. However, even after boarding the plane, you may notice a few open seats; you could always ask a flight attendant if you might switch seats; after all, it wouldn’t hurt to ask! You just might find that first-class upgrades are sometimes free!
Choose Your Fare Wisely.
When first-class seats are available, they will generally be at the front of the plane. However, most budget airlines offer first-class fares that are cheaper than their economy or coach class tickets—but are not always any cheaper than full-fare economy tickets! If you’re looking for first-class flights on a tight budget, check to see if first-class upgrade vouchers can be used toward your purchase. This is typically when prices for first-class seats are cut in half. It’s best to book in advance, as these savings naturally will decrease closer to departure time. For example, perhaps you’d like to fly first class from New York City to Los Angeles? Check with your airline before you book first-class seats to see how much first-class upgrade vouchers are selling for at the time.
There you have it! When first-class flights are available for purchase, they can sometimes be surprisingly affordable—as little as 70 percent off of the original price with a first-class upgrade voucher! That’s a big difference from first-class tickets costing upwards of seven hundred dollars! Keep these tips in mind, and first-class flights will be within your reach.
The six tips listed above will help you fly first-class on a budget – but what about those times when all first-class tickets are sold out? In that case, start looking for airline deals by checking online travel agencies such as Expedia or Travelocity. These websites often list first-class tickets at a discount, and they typically offer first-class ticket coupons as well!
Let’s say you’ve already booked your coach seat; there are two additional methods to help you enjoy first-class without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade from basic economy to first-class.
Purchasing first-class upgrades with frequent flyer miles are one of the most affordable ways to enjoy first-class—and it will only cost you half (or less!) of what an average first-class ticket costs. If first-class isn’t sold out and you’re not traveling during peak season, upgrades could be very reasonably priced. The best part? You don’t need any special certificates or coupons. Just use your miles!
This is another first-class upgrade method, and it’s worth every penny! It’s also the way I tend to upgrade when traveling. Surprisingly, airlines offer first-class seat upgrades for purchase at the airport on the day of departure. These first-class seat upgrades will generally set you back $75 per person in coach or $275 per person in first class (so be sure to check your ticket prices before you shell out big bucks!), and I have to say that it’s completely worth it!
It’s really all about how much time you spend in the air—if your flight is only going to be a 2hr journey and all you’re going to do is watch a movie, perhaps this isn’t the most practical use of money; however if you’re looking for maximum comfort, first class is always an unbeatable option.