Tips for booking the cheapest First & Business Class ticket
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 (for Economy Class tips, click here).
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.