From meals created by Michelin-star chefs to onboard showers, first-class flying has changed spectacularly. Airlines have realised that people are willing to pay for first-class if the deal is reasonable enough. So, discounts are offered over the normal fares. The price has dropped for many travellers, but first class is still very expensive. What do you do if you value comfort, ease, and convenience while travelling? Fly first class for cheap. It’s not an impossible dream if you know some insider strategies. Here’s how to book an affordable first-class flight.
Don’t Upgrade Your Airline Seat
Tempting as it may be to invest in an economy or business class ticket and upgrade it to first class, don’t. At times, airlines push for unfair and deceptive practices. This is one of them. You’ll pay a fortune to get into first class. Or the airline will announce you on the day of departure that they’ll send you down to a lower grade. You won’t be kicked off the flight, but the experience won’t be what you imagined. If you want to fly like royalty, there are better ways of moving to the front of the plane. The rules can be bent.
Get an elite airline status. Frequent flyers earn special treatment because they’re good customers. The elite status comes with many perks like free upgrades, early boarding, and unrestrained access to airport lounges, to name a few. The good news is that most airlines are part of an alliance or network that agrees to honour each other’s customers. If you meet the minimum requirements, you become an elite member right away, and your flying experience becomes more enjoyable. Some airlines give elite status to non-members.
Book Far in Advance Your Trip
To save money on a first-class flight, book your trip far in advance, as prices are higher the days preceding the flight. You’ll have plenty of time to figure out what’s a good deal. This strategy works for coach seats, but many travellers don’t realise it applies to first-class tickets too. You know where you’re heading, so start looking at flight prices. If the prices are much lower than you were expecting, go ahead and buy. It’s recommended to book your flight between one and four months in advance. Some people book their flights as much as one years before their departure. There’s no reason to get your ticket so far in advance.
International flights are released at about the same time as domestic flights. Not surprisingly, they don’t follow the same rules. The prices of domestic flights tend to be higher when they come out. On the other hand, international flight prices are lower when they’re first released. The longer you wait, the higher the price you’ll get. If you’re trying to make it to, say, New York, you’ll be pleased to know that flights to the ‘Big Apple’ don’t experience the same fluctuations domestic flights do. Three months out is the last minute you want to be thinking of booking. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that each international market is different, so it has its unique red flags.
Use Points or Miles
If you have a bunch of points and miles in your account, put them to good use. Points and miles can be used to purchase upgrades. If you’re a frequent flyer, you can redeem your travel rewards at airlines within the same alliance/network. Pay for your travel experience and invest in your travel goals without resorting to cash. Stop using any payment method that doesn’t earn travel rewards. Use only your credit card. In case you didn’t already know, you can take your travel rewards with you everywhere you go and score a better seat.
Travel On Weekends
Travelling during the weekend can help you reduce the cost of flying. Saturdays and Saturdays are the best times to fly, as airlines have cheaper first-class fares. First-class seats are full during the weekdays. The last thing you want to do is to fly during the week. You can grab a premium seat, at a lower rate, on Saturdays and Sundays. The lounge will be less crowded, not to mention that the staff members will be more relaxed. The only downside to travelling during the weekend is the lack of choice. Most airlines schedule their flights during the busiest days of the week.
Use An Airline Search Engine
Airline search engines like Google Flights show the latest deals on first-class flights. There are many options to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a short hop or an international flight; the right website can help you score a seat in the front of the plane. The search engine will search far and wide to find the very best deals. You have to be careful since not everything is a deal. There are several aspects to take into account, such as the destination, the fare class, and travel dates. If the cost of flying first class is exorbitant, you’re better off using your points and miles.
Reach Out to The Experts for Help
Finally, yet importantly, reach out to the experts and have them arrange your flight. Use a reputable travel agent to book a first-class flight. They’ll simplify the planning process and provide invaluable advice. The travel agent will match you with a better product than you can find on the Internet. There’s no point in going directly to the airline. As a specialist in first-class flights, the travel agent has access to special fares and contracts. They’ll go the extra mile to help you save money. Your time is valuable, and you shouldn’t have to waste it.
When you use a travel agent, you get more than expected for the same price. By shifting gears to planning with an expert, you’re liberated from the pressure of choosing the best deal. What is more, their knowledge and experience help prevent potential issues. The travel agent will take care of all the details, including those that aren’t fun to plan. Flying first class doesn’t have to be an unattainable experience.