The perks of flying business class instead of economy are incredible: extra privacy, ample legroom, free cocktails, and free food.
While coach airfare can be found for under $100, a single business class ticket costs as much as 200% more according to USA Today. Fortunately, it’s super common for airlines to undersell business class flights, leaving them desperate to get rid of their unsold inventory, leaving incredible deals on the table if you look in the right places.
Here’s how to turn our economy class ticket into a business class seat for cheap.
1. Bid on Discounted Tickets
Cheap upgrades can’t be found on airline websites; you have to search for them.
Airlines will work with special third-party websites, allowing customers who’ve purchased economy tickets to bid for open business class seats in an online auction. Just bid the price you’re willing to pay. You’ll compete with other customers, and the winning bid gets upgraded.
Instead of paying $1,000 or more, some passengers have upgraded their domestic flights for less than $50 each way!
To find these online auctions, you need to search for cheap business class tickets the week before your flight. A quick online search will show you if any auctions are offering the chance to get discounted business class upgrades. And you can use our provided search option at the end of this list to get started.
2. Search for One-Way Flights
Up your odds of scoring business class for less: search for 2 one-way flights instead of 1 round-trip. On some domestic routes, first-class fares can be just $100 more than coach.
The key is research: you need to search for these cheap business class tickets online.
Airlines typically markup the cost of one-way tickets by anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars. However, some airlines will offer limited-time deals on 2 one-way legs in business class–and you can only get these fares if you know when they’re happening. Search online before booking to catch a one-way sale.
3. Look for Less Popular Airlines
The biggest names in air travel have the highest business class fares in the world. Fortunately, low-cost airlines are becoming popular; travelers just don’t know their names.
British Airways, Norwegian Airlines, and KLM are just a few airlines that many never book. However, these less popular airlines offer business class airfare for the price of an economy ticket.
To find these lesser-known deals from unfamiliar airlines, you need to do your research online. They won’t be widely advertised, but a quick search can lead you to surprisingly low luxury fares.
Search Online for Discounted Upgrades
Want to get a cheap business class upgrade? The lowest prices on business class fares often appear without warning. You just need to continue looking and stay on your toes.
The only way to catch cheap business class upgrades is to search online. Watch prices like a hawk, regularly checking out the latest deals from airlines around the world. You can also search sites like BusinessClassConsolidator.com or BusinessClassGuru.com, which will show you the latest routes with big business class upgrade discounts.
To book business class for less: search, search, search. Deals, and upgrade offers are always changing, and you have to search available options yourself. The airlines won’t tell you they’re hiding cheap upgrades!
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.