From flat-lying seats to swanky airport lounges to unlimited complimentary cocktails business class perks may seem out of reach for many travelers, but they don’t have to be. There are a few tips and tricks to score business class seats more affordably than you might think. Find out how to land the best seats on the plane without spending outlandishly.
Flexibility Is Key
It pays to be flexible. By searching for deals by the best month, you can get cheap business class flights to your chosen destination much more easily. Alternatively, it might be that you need to be flexible with your destination. Different airlines have business class sales at different times — if your dates are set in stone, having a look at a variety of companies and cities can help get you discount business class airfares. To help you, Skyscanner has the capability to search for the cheapest flights on any route in any class.
Bid for An Upgrade in An Auction
To get cheap business class tickets, it can pay to fly with an airline that offers an auction system to its economy passengers. Many airlines offer online auctions allowing economy class passengers to bid for a low-cost upgrade to business or first class, offering a great deal on the original fare.
Use Frequent Flyer Loyalty Programs for Free Upgrades
Frequent flyers are able to get points every time they fly and one of the perks is that these miles can be spent on a seat upgrade. Travelers can go from economy to business class without paying any additional fare. Airline branded credit cards are another way to accrue points on purchases that can eventually be exchanged for flights. These are particularly handy if you’re a business owner using a credit card to manage large transactions. Many will also offer attractive point bonuses on sign-up, often enough for domestic flight, so it pays to shop around for the best deal.
The chances of multiple seats being available for an upgrade are slimmer than a single chair being free. It’s no guarantee, but if you’re traveling alone you’ve got more chance of getting that free upgrade.
Subscribe to Airline Newsletters
Subscribing to airline newsletters is one of the best ways to find out about business class sales. Deals like ‘companion flies free’ or early bird special fares are typically offered to subscribers and frequent flyers first. Make sure to follow your favorite carriers as many airlines advertise deals on their social media pages.
Fly with a Cheaper Airline
Travelers might have better luck booking reasonable business class seats with lesser-known, regional, or low-cost airlines. For example, the Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air, has a product called WOW Biz – the best possible seat is extra wide and features a foot rest. Passengers can enjoy plenty of other premium perks like complimentary checked luggage, a free inflight meal, and priority boarding. JetBlue’s Mint seats may be one of the best premium offerings in the sky — particularly when you consider the price tag.
It’s possible to score one-way Mint-class flights from New York City to the Caribbean for under $300.
Airlines have one goal – fill every seat on the plane and charge as much as you can for each seat. So when it comes to upgrades, it’s easy to assume that the only way to get one is to attempt to wield your status or offer your miles. But, one flight attendant has said that if you’re on a plane on which there are some empty seats, it’s still possible to get upgraded:
Wait until you’re on the plane because gate agents don’t care. But once you’re on and that door is closed, make sure you have something to give your flight attendant…give me candy and I’ll give you whatever you want. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. We don’t keep count of those mini bottles of alcohol. If there are seats open in business class, and it’s not going to affect me negatively, or there are first class seats open and I can still eat my first class meal if I put you up there, I’ll put you up there. As long as you’re nice to me, no problem.