Ask your travel agent. My own travel agent has a relationship with certain airlines that let her book her customers into preferred seats that are not released to everyone (usually toward the front of the plane, in exit rows and the like). She can also see upgrade availability fairly quickly, and many agents can add comments to your reservation that increase your chances of being chosen for an upgrade. Ask about these the next time you talk to your travel agent.
How to book it for less than coach: Good news for U.S.-based fliers: Cathay is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines Inc., so you can use AAdvantage miles for award tickets on the Asian carrier. That costs 110,000 miles each way from the airline’s hub in Hong Kong to the continental U.S., or 90,000 miles each way between Hong Kong and Europe. Have Alaska Airlines miles? You’re in even better luck. It costs only 70,000 Alaska miles for a one-way, first-class ticket between Asia and the U.S. or Europe. Pro tip: Cathay often opens up award seats at the last minute, so spontaneous travelers can be handsomely rewarded.
True first class only exists on premium commercial routes, so beware as a few airlines call their business class "first". It means the crème de la crème of comfort, both on the plane and at the airport. Often the seat can be replaced by a full bed with bedding. Massages may also be available, as well as the highest quality of personal concierge service.
Airline branded credit cards are another way to accrue points on purchases that can eventually be exchanged for flights. These are particularly handy if you’re a business owner using a credit card to manage large transactions. Many will also offer attractive point bonuses on sign-up, often enough for domestic flight, so it pays to shop around for the best deal.
Opt to take a flight during a less popular time, and even if you don’t secure an upgrade, you may be lucky enough to have empty seats beside you in economy. Many airlines over-subscribe flights, leaving midweek mornings and weekend evenings the best times to land an upgrade. Also consider flying on bank holidays as there tend to be less business class passengers travelling during that time.
Want people to think you’re filthy rich when you travel, without needing to actually innovate or disrupt an industry? Enter: flight deals. Every once in a while, crazy opportunities come along where you can book business class for less than you’d pay for economy. Don’t believe us? In the last two months, you could’ve flown business class from Los Angeles to Asia for $560 round trip; or Qatar Airways business class from Europe to Maldives or Malaysia for £700 round trip. That’s just recently! Here’s how to never miss a flight deal, and get in on the action for yourself.
Surprisingly as it may seem, low-cost carriers offer first-class sections in their cabins and some budget airlines even provide cheap business class fares. Obviously, their service is typically lower in quality than what’s offered by standard airlines. Yet if you don’t chase after ultimate luxury, you can buy first class tickets at relatively low prices.
If you use various air carriers, you should tie your credit card to a point accumulating program. Such programs as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and many others enable you to transfer points from different airliners. The credit card options have gainful earning structures even despite the barriers of some air carriers to accumulate miles.
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Elite airline status isn’t quite as hard to attain as you’ve been made to believe. There are even ways to secure it with as few as three flights. Three! You care about airline elite travel status not because you enjoy the self aggrandizing feeling of walking to the priority boarding lane, but because if there are any free upgrades to give out when check in or boarding starts, it’s usually going to one of these people. In fact, airlines in the U.S. like American, Delta and United give complimentary upgrades on domestic flights to elite flyers, so it happens on almost every flight to someone. Here are a few shortcuts to elite status…
When it comes to in-flight entertainment options, you again have the widest range of options to choose from. Almost every selection is offered complimentary with more than thousands of entertainment options to pick from. From the all time blockbusters to the most acclaimed documentaries, live stream television to hundreds of TV programs, from the recent music albums to the all time favorites, you have ample of options to choose from.
You see, there are normally a very few first class seats available at reduced rates. So instead of looking for cheap round-trip first class deals, you may purchase two one-way tickets on different airlines. Thus, your chances to find what you want double. Now, one-way trips generally cost the same as round trips. Especially on some domestic routes, there is usually no huge difference between prices for coach and first classes.
But these days, the number of discounted first- and business-class fares is on the rise, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. But how do you find them? It takes some planning ahead—and some creative searching—but it’s possible to uncover round-trip premium-cabin fares for less than $1,000 for domestic flights and less than $2,000 for international trips.
The way you look should tell anybody that you’re eligible for traveling first class. So manage to dress sharp and groom yourself properly. Since most people aren’t really concerned about how they look during long trips, a classy dressed traveler instantly draws the attention of people responsible for premium class sales. Wear business casual, act your best, and see the effect!