After ringing in the new year, you may have resolutions to increase your traveling or to treat yourself to the finer things in life more often. One of the best ways to do both simultaneously is by spoiling yourself with business-class seats for your next flight. If you’ve never tried business class, you may not even know what you’re missing: delicious gourmet meals, free champagne, and seats that are actually plush and comfortable. Now that we’ve got your attention on the glorious travels of the business class elite, you may be wondering how you can travel in such luxury without spending a fortune. We’re here to help with our guide to finding the best deals for your next splurge!
1.) Redeem points or miles for business class
One of the best ways to score great deals is to use your points or reward miles to upgrade your ticket to a business class seat. While you’d still have to pay for the original ticket, you’re not paying for your upgrade; and oftentimes, upgrades cost much less in points redemption than booking a flight outright so you can sometimes do 2 or more upgrades for the same amount of points as booking an economy-class ticket.
2.) Watch fares like a hawk & be flexible
Almost like the stock market, fares for business class seats fluctuate drastically, and sometimes within a matter of hours. If you’re diligent and have flexible plans, you can end up paying notably less than the person seated next to you. Subscribe to your favorite airline’s newsletter to be alerted to sales and promotions as soon as they go live. It is also beneficial to download apps like Hopper and SkyScanner, both of which monitor flight prices and notify you when prices change. Also, this is unconventional advice, but has yielded us some great savings over the years: call the airline daily to see if there are any changes to prices on the flights you want. This works especially well if you’re friendly and can build a rapport with a specific agent.
4.) Try flying with a budget airline
Although budget airlines don’t have the typical business-class experience of the big-name airlines, their “premium-economy” experience is still a huge step up from economy and it comes at a much more affordable price-point. You can still enjoy free snacks and premium beverages and more comfortable seating arrangements.
5.) Bid on an upgrade via auction sites
Just like some cruise line’s will offer up opportunities to bid on room upgrades a few weeks before sailing, certain airlines allow economy passengers to place blind bids on any unsold seats in a higher class up to 10 days before departure. Most are invitation-only for select passengers, but if you’re one of the lucky chosen ones, you could score a business-class seat for much less than any other avenue!
6.) Dress the part
If you weren’t able to secure a business class seat before heading to the airport, there’s one last trick you can try before giving up hope. Dress nicely and ask politely at check-in if there are any first-class seats available for upgrade. Airlines usually over-book their seats to account for the inevitable no-shows and sometimes it can work out in your favor, particularly if you already look and act the part of a business traveler.