If you have tried to get first-class or business-class seats on a aircraft, you know how really difficult it can be. Airfares are through the ceiling in costs that run into the thousands. Premium seats in first-class and business-class are reserved for the wealthy and business travelers.
Unless you luck out with a free upgrade, it can be time-consuming in finding ways to get these great seats. Here are a few tips from Fly Business Class Hong Kong that just might help you out!
Through Airline Sales:
Though not often, sometimes international flights will sell those premium seats at extremely reasonable prices. In many cases, the airlines are selling them cheaper in order to fill those seats or take customers away from their competitors.
British Airways is known for having airfare sales at various times of the year. Their best deals are around November through December for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. In 2012, some of these included Club World (business class) tickets from London to Seoul and back for £777. In 2015, BA Dublin-San Francisco could be purchased for €1,100 return.
KLM offers business-class deals to Suriname and the Antilles during the summer months. In 2016, an around flight from Amsterdam starts from €1,600.
Once in a while, American Airlines will offer some good deals including a flight from the US to South America and back for $1,000.
How To Get These Deals:
In order to take advantage of such deals, you must be in the airfare market. You will be able to watch for specials on air travel forums such as Flyertalk Premium Fare Deal. Get on airline emails through social media and the airlines’ websites.
Should you find a really cheap offer, you better grab it as quickly as possible because they do not stick around for very long.
There are a number of business-class consolidators in North America and the UK. Contacting a reputable consolidator can get you some really good deals. Keep in mind, depending on when you will be traveling, use a consolidator a good 2 months before you will be leaving.
Ensure your agent or consolidator is in good standing as a member of IATA (International) ABTA (UK), or ASTA (US).
Always make sure the price includes taxes and any ticket restrictions or cost changes. Always pay with a credit card that provides insurance in case something goes wrong.
Airfare Geo-Arbitrage offers business and first-class fares that vary quite a bit, depending on the itinerary and country. This is a great place to shop around for deals if you start with trips from cheaper airfare countries.
Problems can arise from economic conditions, foreign rates, or if an airline tries to poach passengers from outside their country of origin.
British Airways Club World:
As an example, a flight from London to Tokyo, you could possibly get a flight as cheap at 50% less. Also from other European cities such as Amsterdam, Milan, Stockholm, or Istanbul.
Lesser Known Airlines:
These airlines often undercut major carriers by offering much cheaper business-class fares. Their standards can vary in terms of seats, service features, and ground facilities.
For example – Direct flights from London to New York are the most popular international flights in the world. Over 4 million passengers travel this route and the skies are dominated by British Airways, American Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. Price for these flights will usually stay pretty high due to a direct routing and different flight time options. They only offer discounts during slower times of the year when they need to fill these seats.
Frequent Flyer Miles:
If you would like to pay less for premium seats, you should look into using frequent flyer miles. Outside of flying all the time, there are some ways to accumulate a decent amount of miles.
- Credit card bonuses
- Purchasing miles directly
- Using points programs with multiple airline transfer partners
A little-known practice is “travel hacking” is prominent in the US. This is because US banks and credit card companies offer significant mileage bonuses to those who sign up for frequent flyer credit cards. US travelers can apply for approximately 4 credit cards that offer enough bonus miles for long business-class flights. These bonus miles can rack up to quite a decent amount.
Talk to people who fly quite a bit and get some other suggestions. You’d be amazed what’s out there and understand what to watch out for.