Flying business class is so much better than flying in coach! If you read my article on things you get in first or business class, you are well aware of all the perks you can enjoy when flying in style. Extra leg room, free food, and even comfy socks are just a few of the things you can get when flying business class. But how in the world are you going to afford a business class ticket? Lucky for you, flying business class isn’t always out of reach, even for budget travelers! Here’s how you can fly business class for an affordable price.
1 Pick a cheaper airline
Cheaper airline, cheaper tickets… cheaper business class! If you go for a really cheap airline, your business class ticket can cost the same as a coach ticket on a more expensive airline. Try checking the cost of business class on Frontier Airlines or another budget airline. While not all cheap airlines offer business class, the ones that do offer it for a lower price. Some airlines even offer a midway seating class that has some of the perks of business class but not the cost. Do your research, and you might find something awesome for a great price!
2 Bid to get an upgrade
Believe it or not, some airlines let you bid for upgrades! If any seats are left over after most people book, the remaining seats are often auctioned off online to the highest bidder. Generally, you can bid about a week ahead of time. Often, you can use either cash or frequent flyer points. Check your airline’s website to see if they allow upgrade bids after booking. It’s always worth it to try! If the bidding goes above your price range, then you can always let it go and try again next time.
3 Follow airlines on social media
If you follow airlines and booking sights on Facebook, you can stay abreast of all the deals and options offered. Often, airlines will post special deals and offers on their pages! Booking sights also often have deals. Sometimes, you can get an incredible deal on a last-minute ticket that hasn’t been booked yet. My friend flew to Sweden for only a couple hundred dollars by booking a deal like this! She did have to leave a few days after she bought the ticket, but hey, why not spend a few hundred for an incredible, spontaneous weekend abroad? You never know what opportunities could arise just by keeping your eye on social media.
4 Collect points
This is a very long process compared to simply purchasing a business class ticket or bidding for one. However, flying in style can be a nice treat that is well worth the wait! Save your frequent flyer points to earn a business class ticket. If you get a credit card that earns points, you can speed up the process. Bank of America has a travel rewards credit card that makes spending on credit actually benefit you in some way. If you’re really good at using travel rewards cards, you can do “travel hacking,” a method that allows you accrue an immense amount of points by juggling several credit cards. A word of warning: this is effective and legal, but it does hurt your credit. So don’t try unless you have great credit to begin with.
5 Book Early
How early? As early as possible! Usually, you can find any deals more than 150 days ahead of time, but book at least four weeks early and you’ll be likely to get the best prices out there. Don’t wait! Putting this off for even a few days can cost you an extra chunk of cash. By the way—be careful that you don’t repeatedly search for the same flights on the same IP address. Buy the first day that you search, or use a friend’s computer to do your research. Otherwise, the ticket prices will automatically be raised.
6 Dress like you’re flying business
Even if you don’t score a business class ticket ahead of time, you still have a couple chances to get a great ticket at the airport. So dress for success! If you come to the airport dressed like you’re on a business trip, you’ll be more likely to get an upgrade. True story! Airlines generally upgrade coach passengers to available business-class seats if they look like they fit the bill. Generally, this is offered to professional-looking adults who are flying alone. You never know—a little extra preparation the morning of your flight could get you all kind of perks!
7 Just ask
It might feel uncomfortable the first time you try, but you should do it every time you fly. Go to the counter and ask if there is any way you could get upgraded to business class—it is a great way to get awesome seats at the last minute! This is also the easiest way to get a business class seat. Always be polite, smile, and give eye contact. People are a lot more likely to treat you extra special if you treat them kindly. Of course, you should always treat people with respect, whether you can get anything from them or not. Still, it’s always nice when kindness pays in concrete ways.
As you can see, affording a business-class flight isn’t impossible! It might take a little work and some luck, too, but you may be able to score a great flight experience without paying the high costs. Who knows? Maybe your next trip will include complementary wine and Wi-Fi!