The luxury of traveling business class always seems to be reserved for affluent individuals and corporate travelers. With the fares ranging anywhere between thousands of dollars, it seems like a distant dream to afford them. Yet, with a few tips and some good knowledge, you too can fly business class.
Here are some methods to help you procure business class tickets at an affordable cost:
Keep an eye out for airfare sales
In a bid to sell empty seats or outdo the competition, international flight carriers will regularly offer sales for business class tickets at an affordable price. However, the trick here is to know the exact fare and time to take this opportunity.
Similar to stocks, business class ticket rates fluctuate and are time-constrained. The deal is worthless if left unsold. To ensure a profitable deal, you must be patient and keep an eye out for good offers.
For example, British Airways usually holds a business class ticket sale a couple of times in a year. This especially happens during the festive months of November and December. Similarly, Qatar Airways Q-suites are one of the best business class services. It has regular business class sales from Europe to Australia and Asia via Doha.
To be on top of business class airfare sales, get on FlyerTalk, a specialist air travel forum. Browse its deals for necessary information. Also, look out on business class deal websites like Premium-Flights. Further, check the airline’s website directly as they may have some great deals.
Another great way of navigating and finding a great deal is by resetting the country so that you can check for deals from various locations. In the end, the goal is to book a good deal as soon as possible. Getting a great business class deal is a time-sensitive matter.
Use a travel agent
Since travel agents partner with airlines, they generally have the unpublished business class prices. Get in touch with a travel agent at least a month or two prior to your intended departure.
However, before conducting any monetary transactions ensure that the travel agent or travel agency is legit. It should be a member of the industry trade bodies, such as the International Air Transport Association, Association of British Travel Agents, and American Society of Travel Agents.
Also, consider the following while dealing with travel agents:
- Review the cost for change and ticket restrictions
- Confirm the ticket with the airlines
- Ensure that the ticket fare is all inclusive of surcharges and taxes
- To avoid being duped, always use a credit or debit card to make the payment
Take advantage of geo-arbitrage
Flight tickets can vary significantly depending on the location the flight originates from. Using this method can leverage a great business class deal. Start your trip from a country or city that offers cheaper airfares. For example, consider flying from London to Tokyo on a round trip. The fare will be 50% cheaper if the starting location is Milan, Istanbul, Stockholm, or Amsterdam. You may have to pay for the flights to and fro from these airports, but the amount you save on the business class fare make this expenditure negligible.
Do note that in case you miss your originating flight, your entire booking would be canceled. Another advantage is that you will earn more flyer miles and probably acquire a frequent flyer status and benefits.
The arbitrage strategy works for almost all international carriers. Always look for offers on every international airline. To help you in your search, use the Google-owned ITA Matrix Airfare Search. This app allows you to search flights through multiple departure points. Click on the ‘Nearby’ option to add airports for the whole month.
Save by splitting tickets
Consider buying separate tickets for different legs of your journey. This will significantly reduce the business class fare. Make it a point to split the tickets from a less expensive country.
For instance, consider buying a business class fare from a point in Asia if you are traveling between Australia and Europe. Then, buy a positioning fare from Australia to Asia.
Remember to keep a substantial time gap between connections when booking separate tickets. Moreover, consider turning the connection to a stopover for a few days and enjoy the location.
Book tickets in less popular airlines
Often less popular and obscure airlines offer cheap rates and good deals on business class tickets. The service, ground facilities, and seats may vary in quality from big-name carriers. However, in their bid to sell and get more passengers, they heavily undercut renowned airline carriers. Take advantage of this and fly business class internationally with ease.