Flying in business class is a luxury that not everyone can afford. However, you can do your homework and use correct tactics to unlock the opportunity to travel in premium class without having to pay thousands of euros. Here are the first three tips to get you started; more advanced techniques will be unveiled in later posts.
1. Follow airfare sale campaigns
Many airlines often sell out their premium economy or business class seats at quite affordable rates during the sale season - especially during the spring time. Since the start time of the campaigns varies every year, it's important to subscribe to airlines' special offer email lists and check the websites often to make sure you get the cheapest business class deals available. For example Qatar Airways had multiple such campaigns during the spring 2017 (read more from our blog post). Also remember to monitor air travel enthusiast forums such as Flyertalk’s Premium Fare Deal page.
2. Be flexible - think outside your regular departure city
The price of premium economy and business-class seats vary depending on the country. One can use this to get some amazing flight deals by choosing to start the trip from a different city than their home town (the fancy name of this technique is airfare geo-arbitrage). For example, if your home town is London, you could check flights departing from Dublin, Paris or Amsterdam. If you live in Scandinavia or central Europe, flying from Budapest, Prague or Berlin might offer you some affordable options.
Nonstop return flight from London to Los Angeles in November 2017 costs about $4500, but changing the departure city to Dublin (with a stop in London or Philadelphia) drops the price to $2300.
3. Learn to use Google Flights
Google Flights is an excellent tool to quickly find cheap business-class flights, especially when it comes to availability. Google Flights searches all but the smallest airlines, as well as the largest online travel agencies (OTAs) like Orbitz, Expedia and CheapOair. It gives you an opportunity to check multiple departure and destination cities with one search, which is really helpful when utilizing airfare geo-arbitrage. Google Flights might not always find the absolute cheapest prices, but it's definitely a great tool to start your searches. Using Google Flights is super easy, check our 4-minute Google Flights tutorial and you are ready to search cheap flights and save thousands of euros.
4. Bonus Tip – watch out for last-minute special offers
Airlines might offer you last-minute upgrades when checking in online or at the airport kiosk. If you're not offered a discounted upgrade, it doesn't hurt to ask when you check in.