How to Score First Class Tickets Deals
All of us dream about a first class style of traveling. Who wouldn’t want fast check-in, spacious reclining seats, plenty of leg room, great food, free drinks, and a few fellow passengers. This kind of amenities is as good as air traveling gets. Naturally, it comes at a price, but there are ways to travel in luxury and not pay too much for it.
You can buy various upgrades at the airport and pay a lot less than a first class ticket would cost you. Planning carefully and buying tickets way in advance will save you some money too. If you want to experience fancy traveling for cheap, you have to be flexible and be able to change your plans based on the ticket deal.
What are some ways people fly first class?
• Some just buy expensive tickets
• Some use their miles and points to upgrade
• Others use various ways to get that desired first class ticket
There are some sites that specialize in finding cheap first class tickets. Try searching on Cheapoair.com, onetravel.com, cheapfirstclass.com.
Besides these 3 main ones, there are some other companies that can help you find affordable luxury tickets. Consider ASAP Tickets and Fare Buzz. All of those mentioned companies work to find you great prices, help you organize your entire trip and accommodations, offer various mix and match connections, single and multiple-city itinerary, and many other services for businesses and individuals.
How much does the first class ticket cost?
This answer really depends on where you are flying from and to. Let’s take a very popular route from USA to Europe and compare different airline offers.
• Emirate Airlines is based in Dubai, has a great fleet of plane, is considered luxurious, and can offer a $2856 first class ticket on average.
• Korean Air is known for food and service. The average first class ticket is $2744.
• Delta is known for fancy linens, amenity kit, and business task management opportunities for $2687.
• KLM is elegant, serious, simple yet classy, and can be had for $2596.
• Virgin Atlantic Airways offers on-board entertainment and bed-like seats for $2744.
• British Airways will please you with service and amenities for $2698.
Seat upgrade for miles
If you like using various airlines for your travel needs, consider tying your credit card to a point accumulating program. Look into Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and various others that will allow you to transfer points from different airlines.
If you fly with some particular airlines all the time, get their frequent card and credit card to get all the miles you can.
When it comes to cashing your miles, you will have to be patient, as not all companies make transferring easily accessible and visible on the website. You might have to make a phone call to finish your transfer and upgrades.
Most of the upgrades are available in the middle of the day, week, or off-peak times. Second-tier airports are a good place to get upgrades.
There are even special services that do the research and point moving for you. Yes, they have their fees, but they definitely are very convenient.
27 ways to get first class tickets without fees
1. Become elite flier
If you are an elite flier, you will be on top of the standby upgrade list. If you want to become one of such respected clients, you can join frequent flier program of any airline. True elite clients get premium seats automatically, and with time you can become one of them. Fly with the airline often and earn their points.
2. Get the right credit card
All airlines offer credit cards for your everyday use that in turn accumulate points and miles that can be used to get upgrades. You will have to pay taxes, but still save a bunch.
3. Choose the right ticket type
There is a special ticket called Y-Up or K-UP. You will buy an economy class ticket with s special stand-by status, so you are very likely to get an upgrade with such a ticket. Inquire with the airline about the availability of those and see if it’s right for you. Keep in mind that some airlines will give upgrades to their elite customers first.
4. Always ask
If you look good and have a way of connecting to people, don’t be afraid to ask at the front desk if there are possibilities for an upgrade. You might hear a no, but that’s the worst outcome.
If your flight is overbooked and airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, offer them to give up your coach seat if you will get the first class seat on the next flight.
If you are flying and run into some inconveniences that are obviously the airline’s fault, ask for an upgrade for your next travel as a compensation for your troubles.
7. Buy an upgrade
If the airline does not sell all first class seats, it loses money. You can buy the upgrade at a great price right before the flight in such case. The information is usually available online or at the gate.
8. Become an employee or a friend
Airline employee family members and friends can sometimes get a buddy pass and fly for free or at a discounted rate. If you know somebody like that, see if you can get a buddy pass. Keep in mind that you might have to pay some taxes and fees and your upgrades will come at the last priority, but there is hope.
9. When to fly
Holidays are usually the time when first class travelers don’t fly, so you can get them for a good rate. Booking in advance can also get you a good deal on upgrades.
10. Be loyal
You can get a loyalty card, fly the airline often, and enjoy some perks. Loyal clients get discounts all the time. If you use the airline for all your travel needs, you will accumulate miles and will be able to easily transfer them to upgrades.
11. Arrive early
If the flight is undersold and there are some first class seats available, they are offered at a discount, but it’s usually 1-2 of them, so the first passengers get to claim them.
12. Arrive late
You can try not checking in ahead of time and arriving almost late. If all the economy seats are taken, but a few first class seats are still vacant, you might be bumped up. Just don’t be too late and miss the flight all together.
13. Get bonuses online
Sign up for the airline’s newsletter and keep an eye on discounts and special offers. Sometimes you can get notifications of cheap upgrades available just hours before the flight, so keep checking your email. Finally, you can bid on first class upgrades and get lucky.
14. Fly into rage
If your airline’s service is not perfect, you might want to act a bit upset and demand compensation. No company wants to lose the money, so they might try everything they can to make you happy. Or not.
15. Drama and acting
You can have a little cry and plead with staff hoping for sympathy and a nice upgrade. Use it if you are a good actor and are willing to go this route.
16. Special status
If you have a way to distinguish yourself from all others passengers, by all means, use it. Say you are a diplomat passport holder or an official, or a doctor – people like that are very likely to get an upgrade, so try it.
This option is by no means advised, but if you are overweight, you might get upgraded to a roomier first class seat. Please don’t sacrifice your health for a fancier seat though.
If you can distinguish yourself form all around you and look great, be polite, smile to everybody, you might get offered an upgrade a lot faster than just a random guy wondering the hallway.
If you look sharp and care about your grooming and appearance, you might look like you deserve the first class seat. Most people dress comfy for travel, so it’s not that difficult to be different. Wear business casual and act your best, always.
If you have – use it. Charm people with words and pleasantries, give compliments and receive rewards for that. Words can take you far in life and on a flight.
21. Pull strings
There is nothing wrong in trying to use your connections and trying to get a better seat. If you know somebody, don’t be shy about asking to give you a hand.
22. State your goal
You should ask for an upgrade carefully. Think why you might get one and state your case. Be nice and give personnel a reason to move you up.
23. Hire an agent
Travel agents know their way around the industry and can pull some strings to get you a deal on first class seats. They will be offered a discounted upgrade price before anybody else, so it definitely works in your interest.
24. Travel with a companion
Sometimes upgrades are given to lone travelers due to limited availability, but other times traveling with a family member might work in your advantage as a two-for-one purchase might be cheaper than 2 separate coach tickets.
25. Budget airlines
Some low-cost airlines have first class seats or at least an upgraded area that could be purchased at low cost. Sure, the perks won’t be as fancy as those from standard airlines, but you don’t have to be chasing the ultimate luxury all the time.
26. Upgrades on booking
Upgrades are limited, so airlines don’t always rush to distribute those offers. If you book directly on the company’s website, you might get an upgrade offer right after booking the coach seat or during the check-in process, so always be alert.
27. Save on short flights
If you don’t live on the East Coast, you are likely to buy a ticket from your town to the gateway city, like Atlanta. Most cheap first class tickets to Europe are from these gateway cities. Buy cheap coach seats on the short flight and splurge a bit more on the long leg over the ocean.