How to Get a Business Class Seat for Less

First Class air travel is expensive and can run to thousands of dollars for an international round trip. Here are some tips to help you cut the cost of flying in the premium cabins.

KLM World Business Class on KL835 SIN-DPS. Photo: Andrew Wee/Flickr

Have you ever passed the business class section on the way to your tiny coach seat and dreamed of sitting in one of those spacious leather seats? You probably have, and there is no fault in that. Obviously, business class seats are a lot more comfortable than those in the economy section.

This fact is very important, especially if your rear end is going to enjoy being up in the air for twelve hours. However, it’s not only about the comfort of the seats. The distance between them is a lot bigger, the number of fellow passengers is a lot smaller, there is much more variety in food options, the alcohol is often free, and the quality of the service is, of course, much higher.

What you might not be aware of is that not all of those business class passengers sipping their champagne with haughty looks on their faces paid the full price. Some of them just got upgraded to first class deals having paid no more than you did for you economy seat. If you want to find out how you can get an upgrade, keep reading and take notes.

The number one way to get a business class seat it to simply buy an upgrade. However, unless you are in the elite club, this way is also the priciest one. If you fly frequently, you can earn the elite status and enjoy all kinds of different perks including inexpensive upgrades.

The elite status is also available for purchase, but you will have to maintain it, that is to fly often and long, so consider whether you fly frequently enough before making the purchase.

Getting to the airport a few hours earlier might be helpful if you want to get an upgrade. Check in at the airport kiosk and see whether there are any business class seats available. In case there are, you might be offered to buy an upgrade significantly cheaper.

Never fail to make use of the opportunities that may arise right before the flight.  Airlines overbook flights, as there are always those who don’t make it on the plane for some reason, and airline companies don’t want to lose any extra money if some seats end up empty.

But sometimes all passengers show up for the flight, which means that someone has to get bumped. If your travel dates are not fixed, you could be that person. But of course, you are going to ask for an upgrade for your next flight in exchange for your troubles.

Now let’s put upgrades aside and consider a few tips of how to buy a business class ticket for less money. First of all, try to be flexible with your travel dates and book tickets well in advance.

Many online booking services have tools enabling you to search for lowest fares over a certain period of time, so don’t forget to tick the “lowest fare” square. And try to avoid peak travel periods, like the period of time around Christmas, as well as peak business travel days, which are Mondays and Fridays.

If you fly often, it would probably make sense to pick a favorite airline company, whose destinations and the price-quality ratio suit you. Next time you are planning a trip, try booking a ticket with The website offers the lowest airfares on international and business class flights. They work with first-rate airlines to make sure your flight is perfect. Don’t waste your chance to fly business class for less.

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