Booking a flight is easy these days, but it can become a hard task if you cannot find what you are looking for or if you have too many choices. The following 13 tips may help you in the process of finding the cheapest Business Class ticket to your destination (read here my tips for finding cheap Business and First Class tickets).
Think I forgot one? Share your own tips in the comments section, or take my poll below.
- Book as early as possible. Time is the key to get the best Business & First Class deals as the prices are very high when you need to make a last-minute booking.
- Fly during the school holidays as business tends to slow down during this period and airlines cannot fill their Business/First Class seats, hence selling them at discounted prices.
- Be flexible: adding a couple of days before or after your planned travel dates may lower the fare.
- Add a Saturday night stay to reduce the fare further.
- Avoid peak business travel days like Monday (morning) and Friday (evening) since these are the most popular times for business people to fly, hereby increasing demand and limiting seat availability.
- Book your ticket on a Tuesday afternoon. A study by Farecompare found this was the best time to buy airline tickets as airliners most frequently release discounted tickets on Tuesdays.
- Use the airfare search engine Kayak, my personal favourite. The latter checks the price of your requested flight at tons of sites at once, including Orbitz and Cheaptickets, and allows flexibility in your travel dates. However, Kayak does not display all prices, so do not forget to check other airfare search engines and online ticket-sellers as well: Hipmunk, Momondo, Hotwire, Skyscanner, Expedia, and Travelocity.
- Matrix is the ITA software that powers Kayak, Orbitz, Cheaptickets and lots of airlines and travel agent’s tools. But you can skip all their ads and come-ons and search Matrix itself for the no-nonsense scoop of flying cheap.
- Search for cheap fares on the airline’s official website. This is an often-overlooked tip, but well worth doing as airlines can host private Business/First Class sales that are only accessible through their website.
- Make use of the websites Flyfirst, Skylux Travel and Etravelbid which all focus on Business/First Class deals. Etravelbid works particularly well for last-minute travellers, since it negotiates discounted Business Class fares (even up to the day before departure) with no advance-purchase or Saturday night-stay requirements.
- Make use of corporate code travel discounts that your company may have negotiated directly with the airline.
- Sign up for a premium credit card. Some premium credit cards (e.g. American Express) offer two-for-one specials on airline tickets in Business or First Class.
- Fly for free or get a complimentary upgrade from Economy to Business or First Class by joining the loyalty program of an airline.
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Consider upgrading if you receive an email offer 3-7 days before your flight. Many airlines offer upgrade bidding (my favorite is Air India), but Qatar Airways offers a fixed price with no uncertainty. The airline emails passengers a week before their flight with an offer to upgrade to Business Class if there is space available.
I have had luck opting into the last-minute upgrade deals offered at the airline check-in kiosk. These offers are often available when checking-in online 24 hours in advance.
I have found using a group like EasyPoint can secure tickets at half the price, since they buy them with CC points. Very much a concierge style service
Hello and warmest greetings from Sumatra, Indonesia…..
Its nice to found your page as I just a beginer for the worldwide travel in my 40’s (LOL). How do I get more your advices to use our frequent miles ( I am Silver Member of Garuda indonesia Frequent Flyer) like amount of miles can be used.
My friend is going on a business trip. I like how you mention booking as early as possible to get the best prices. Thank you for the advice. I’ll provide this information to him so he can book a flight in first class.
With Lufthansa and Air India.. they have a option to bid for on – air upgrade (you don’t get the ground amenities). They are cheap… and you can range your bid. The lower the bid the probabilistic the outcome is. The chances go up when you bid the highest amount (still cheaper compared to a full fare ticket) and you are flying on non – peak days (mid week etc).
Etihad also allows you to bid for upper class seats as well
I’ve seen that Easy Point offers very low prices for the business flights but is it a secure firm? And what are these CC points?
Is it the moment to buy longhaul business flights or wait to buy low prices or special offers?The business classes are empty because many countries are closed.I have a business flight to do to Auckland in March/April 2021 and the prices are not yet reduced..except Qatar ! Must I wait more?Thanks