I’m obsessed with Christmas and always collect some kitsch bauble or other from the places I travel to.  It started with trips to Solvang, Calif. Before we lived full time in California, we would come out to visit in November when it was cold in London, and we’d drive up the coast to visit Solvang. It’s one of those Nordic-influenced American towns, where there are Danish pastries the size of small family cars, and it also has a year-round Christmas shop, Jule Hus. We'd go there and get little reindeers. Now we have all these kitsch things from around the world in our house at Christmas; it comes from my mother, who, in particular, has a thing for the naffest possible Christmas decorations. My brother got her one from Lourdes, which was an LED Jesus: You plugged him in, and he opened his arms and his heart flashed, then popped out. My sister lives in Singapore now, so she brings [more] back for us. A lot of the flashy ones, you plug in and stand on a sideboard like that. The best ones are from Asia. 

Many airlines allow upgrade auctions, and sometimes they can actually offer some bargain gems which will get you business class for less. Systems like PlusGrade allow you to enter your booking details and bid for an upgrade using cash. It’s important to remember what’s “worth it” and more importantly, what’s not – but sometimes if you get a fantastic economy deal, it can make perfect sense to spend a bit and win an upgrade auction to business class. Flat beds are really nice, after all. Before you book, check if your airline offers upgrade auctions, and take it from there…


She continues, “Once you meet your minimum spend, which is usually around $3,000, think about getting a second card for your business, spouse or even yourself, especially one with transferable points like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Chase card offers 40,000 miles on sign-up so that would be enough when combined with a 50,000 mile bonus on an airline card for one first-class round-trip ticket to London or Paris.” 
“You can get earned and courtesy upgrades if you’re an elite frequent flyer, but an ordinary person, turning up at the check-in podium at the gate, and hoping to get upgraded — those days have departed,” says David Rowell, founder of The Travel Insider. “The computerized customer relationship software that all airlines have these days lists every passenger on every flight in terms of upgrade priority, and no matter where you are on that list, you’re not going to get an upgrade until everyone above you on the list has been given upgrades first.”
Another way to join is to get a BA American Express card, which automatically lets you in. It's also one of the best-paying reward schemes on the market, paying points for normal spending on the card, and if you hit a certain amount, giving a free 'companion flight' on top. Always set up a direct debit to pay it off in full each month – otherwise it's 22.9% representative APR. See the Airline Credit Cards guide for more details.
Buy an extra seat. One interesting tactic to find yourself some breathing room offered by Petersen might appeal to folks traveling on very cheap sale fares: buy two coach tickets. Say you find one of these $100 roundtrip fares to Florida or the like; the airlines that offer these usually make up the difference in fees for checked bags, movies, food and other extras. However, if you don’t need headphones or to check a second bag, you can skip all those charges, and get yourself a heap of legroom for $50 — less than the cost of most premium seats.
*All the above listed fares are round-trip first class airfares per adult person in CAD, and include all taxes, fees and applicable surcharges. Fares are based on weekday travel Monday through Thursday all year round. Maximum stay allowed is 6 months. Transatlantic eastbound fares and to the USA originate from Toronto. Transpacific westbound fares originate from Vancouver or Calgary. The fares are subject to seat availability in the corresponding booking inventory. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights and dates. The fares are non-refundable, non-exchangeable, and non-transferable. The fares and their governing rules are subject to change without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Airline-imposed baggage fees are not included and may apply. Savings of up to 50% off are indicated off the full un-restricted (i.e. refundable) published “F” first class airfares of major scheduled airlines. Savings may vary based on availability, advance purchase, minimum stay, travel dates, and blackout dates and may change without notice.
Just be nice is my advice. So many people are so nasty to the agents at the desks and to the flight attendants. It’s not their fault the flight is delayed due to weather, that’s the hazards of flying in the winter. Mother Nature is unpredictable. Plan for the worst and hope for the best but always be nice. I used to travel with a friend that worked for an airline. Her advice was be nice and go with the flow. Only take a carry on bag because it is much easier to change flights and accommodate you and your fellow companions. Always say please and thank you to the agents and attendants, you just might make their day a little brighter in this crazy go go go world.
British writer Tilly Bagshawe is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen novels. Her first, Adored, was a Jackie Collins-style blockbusting bodice-ripper, and she has since gone on to pen several page-turning hits in the same style. She’s also written multiple officially sanctioned novels in the style of Sidney Sheldon. Her latest book is the first in a murder mystery series set in her beloved British countryside: Murder at the Mill (Trapeze), which Bagshawe wrote under her pen name, M.B. Shaw.
Historically, first-class air travel has been very expensive. First-class long-haul fares regularly[citation needed] exceed $10,000[which?] per person round trip, as opposed to $4,000–5,000 international business class tickets and $1,000–2,000 economy class tickets. With the emergence of frequent flyer programmes however, passengers have been able to upgrade their business- or economy-class tickets through membership in elite frequent-flyer programs and through the policies of some airlines that allow business and economy-class passengers to purchase last-minute upgrades on a space-available basis. Some airlines also offer upgrading to first class as a bonus to their employees.
Senior Marketing Manager Douglas Cook left it to his mum to get mad. He explains: “My dad had been working in Australia for a month and my mum, my brother and I were flying out to meet him. Qantas overbooked our first flight, made us wait for another, and then at our change disclosed they had done exactly the same thing on our connecting flight. My mum lost her rag, as we were now going to be days late meeting my dad. In the end they put us on a Singapore Airlines flight in first class, which as you might imagine was lovely, and as it left earlier and made good time meant we weren’t that late after all!”

But Matrix can show you the discounted fares too (as many frequent fliers and travel hackers know). Matrix, as we've mentioned before, is the Google-owned software that powers the most popular travel search engines, as well as many airlines and travel agents' tools. To find the discounted fares, all you have to do is choose "Business class or higher" in the search box. The Y-Up fares are rolled into the search results and show the seats as first class.

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.

4. Use Elite or Airline Credit Cards. Some of the mid-tier cards offer travel rewards, but the elite travel cards are where to find the real perks. Cards such as American Express Platinum, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and some of the co-branded cards like the Delta SkyMiles American Express card or the United MileagePlus Explorer Card offer big bonuses if you sign up and spend a certain amount within a short period of time.


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.
Philippine Airlines – Dedicated first class or the "Maharlika Class" cabins was withdrawn in mid- 2000's. During the second half of 2006, PAL announced a cabin reconfiguration project for its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-300 aircraft. The airline spent US$85.7 million to remove all first class seats and increase the size of its business and economy seats, leading to the aforementioned new seats; as well as add personal screens with audio and video on-demand (AVOD) across both cabin classes.
Certainly it wasn’t all chance that brought first-class upgrades floating one’s way, and a heavy battery of hard and soft tactics arose to increase your chances. Dress neatly, speak politely, fly the same airline regularly, inquire when offering your frequent flier number to the telephone booking person, stand a little taller at check-in if you can (for the tall-person sympathy upgrade), volunteer to give up your economy seat so a family might sit together, volunteer to be bumped on an overbooked flight.
Today, with profits essentially non-existent, airlines are oftentimes not releasing Premium seating for flight upgrades until an hour (or even minutes) before the flight's departure, hoping to sell those seats at full cash value. Only at this point do the airlines release the empty (non-purchased) Premium seats to their frequent flyers who use miles to get the award or the flight upgrade. So it becomes a race among frequent travelers to position themselves to obtain one of the coveted few Premium seats. And everyone you speak with seems to have their own method and strategy for getting into position to take advantage of these hard to come by flight upgrades.
A longtime expat, Bagshawe estimates that she flies around 100,000 miles per year as she shuttles between the U.K. and her current base in Los Angeles, where she lives with husband Robin Nydes and four children. Her carrier of choice: Virgin Atlantic. “I’m quite a fearful flyer and I often think, when I get on a plane, ‘Are these the people I want to die with in a plume of smoke?’ she laughs, “And the cabin crew are so nice, always laughing. It has the best entertainment system, especially children, and they bring fab ice lollies in the middle of the flight, which is one of my children’s favorite things.”
Last updated on Thursday 01/03/2019 at 05:00 AM, the fares mentioned below are for Round Trip flight tickets and inclusive of fuel surcharges, service fee and taxes. Based on historical data, these fares are subject to change without prior notice and cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking. Kindly go through our terms and conditions before booking.
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. 

The first upgrade tip is to consider using your accumulated miles for flight upgrades as far in advance as possible (flights are often posted up to 330 days prior to scheduled departure). Even this far out the airlines will usually make available at least a couple of seats for mileage upgrades but not for awards. This is important to understand. Consider purchasing an inexpensive coach ticket and use your miles to upgrade. An additional benefit to doing this is you will earn qualified miles for the paid coach ticket (you receive zero credit on a Premium seat using miles exclusively). If you want or need to use your awards miles for securing a ticket (without an actual ticket purchase), you should follow the same rules of checking the availability as far out as possible.

If the flight is relatively empty, your chances are slim. Even though seats in business class may also be empty, the airlines don’t usually upgrade people for no reason. If the flight is full, your chances are better. Airlines carefully plan how much they oversell flights, and their inventory departments are not upset if people need to be upgraded to accommodate everybody on the flight. Therefore, on a full flight the airlines sometimes are forced to upgrade people. In this scenario, if you have a good story, you may be lucky. Remember, of course, that business or first class may already be full from prebooked elite-level upgrades.
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.
Don't count your chickens...these are politicians talking after all. However...as the saying goes...there is a tide in the affairs of men...and Brexit has (you can argue over the degree) generated the earthquake that prompted and impels this tide. The EU centre could have moved Brexit off the table if only they had not been so arrogant, obdurate and brutish when - and ever since - David Cameron laid claim to certain 'changes' in the EU structures. That said DC himself (apparently) nudged and winked all long the way that his was a 'performance' necessitated by his party's manifesto and that in truth the U centre need not concern themselves...Brexit/leave would not win the vote. Oops. And: According to the party, 44,000 EU officials and 11,000 employees cost over €8billion a year – 4,000 of those officials earn more than €290,000 a year, which is more than the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s salary. So the EU is far more than a gravy train, it's steeped in graft, gluttony, vanity and imperiousness and you don't dislodge that kind of entity easily....nor do you get out of the club without being subject to the kind of spiteful battering we've seen come out of Brussels this past 18 months.
2. Remain Loyal. Airline loyalty programs aren't what they used to be. Even if you’re a frequent traveler, the perks you receive aren't nearly what they once were. All the same, those miles will add up and eventually you can use them for a free upgrade. But watch the expiration dates and make sure to read all e-mails that come from the airline. Don’t let points expire.
Certainly it wasn’t all chance that brought first-class upgrades floating one’s way, and a heavy battery of hard and soft tactics arose to increase your chances. Dress neatly, speak politely, fly the same airline regularly, inquire when offering your frequent flier number to the telephone booking person, stand a little taller at check-in if you can (for the tall-person sympathy upgrade), volunteer to give up your economy seat so a family might sit together, volunteer to be bumped on an overbooked flight.
Don’t get me wrong — when I am filing past the first few rows of seats on my way to the back of the plane, those big leather seats with folks already drinking wine in them have a strong allure. But those seats come with a cost, whether in cash or in miles, and on domestic flights you don’t get all that much more than the folks in coach — it’s usually the same meals, albeit for “free,” the same headphones with the same movies or DirecTV, and the same limited seat incline.
Another way to join is to get a BA American Express card, which automatically lets you in. It's also one of the best-paying reward schemes on the market, paying points for normal spending on the card, and if you hit a certain amount, giving a free 'companion flight' on top. Always set up a direct debit to pay it off in full each month – otherwise it's 22.9% representative APR. See the Airline Credit Cards guide for more details.
First Class cabins seek to create a home away from home (especially if your home includes round-the-clock attentive service!) Optimal comfort is delivered by sumptuous seats that convert to luxurious fully-flat beds with Egyptian cotton bedding. The seats have power outlets and there are wider screens to enjoy a vast range of entertainment options. It truly is a different world up here.
Nothing screams unprepared for Business Class like being under-dressed. If you plan on scoring Business Class or Premium Economy seats, wear business casual clothes to the airport and bring a comfortable change of clothes to put on once your flight takes off. Surveys show that well-dressed travellers are most likely to score a move to a superior class. This means no jeans, athletic shoes or other casual attire. Airlines are more willing to upgrade passengers who look as though they will fit-in with those who willingly paid the extra money.
Last updated on Thursday 01/03/2019 at 05:00 AM, the fares mentioned above are for Round Trip flight tickets and inclusive of fuel surcharges, service fee and taxes. Based on historical data, these fares are subject to change without prior notice and cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking. Kindly go through our terms and conditions before booking.

But Matrix can show you the discounted fares too (as many frequent fliers and travel hackers know). Matrix, as we've mentioned before, is the Google-owned software that powers the most popular travel search engines, as well as many airlines and travel agents' tools. To find the discounted fares, all you have to do is choose "Business class or higher" in the search box. The Y-Up fares are rolled into the search results and show the seats as first class.
Fare Buzz is another airfare search engine in the web, providing its services since 1994. A peculiar feature of Fare Buzz searching website is its blog, where you can find various astonishing articles about traveling and tourism. The website always offers top flight deals to different destinations, for example, business class flight from Boston to Zurich for $1977. Other searching features such as car, hotels and vacations are also available. It is also recommended to use its City Guide feature, providing rather interesting and useful information of what-to-do in the city you have selected.
David Rowell, who writes The Travel Insider, notes that “it is enormously harder to get upgrades these days than it used to be. Well, correction, it is harder to get undeserved upgrades these days. The procedure for getting upgrades that one is entitled to has become almost 100 percent automatic and hands-off, and with all flights being full in both cabins, there isn’t much ‘wiggle room’ for people to exploit.”

Getting to top levels like 'Gold' or 'Premier' (varies by airline) gives you huge status at check-in, putting you at the front of the queue for any spare expensive seats, and sometimes even equals an upgrade every time one's available. Of course, to get there you need to fly regularly and airlines can make it tricky to accrue points on discounted flights.
Ask your consultant about the specific First Class benefits on your airline of choice. Flying First Class, you can expect to receive express check-in and baggage check, complimentary lounge access, luxurious seats that often convert into fully flat beds, gourmet food, premium beverages and a highly personalised level of customer service. Enjoy a welcome champagne and refresher towel on boarding and on select airlines use the exclusive sit down bar for First Class passengers.

If it’s your first time flying first class, you're in for a treat. Sit back, relax and leave it to the cabin crew to make your first class travel experience one to remember. Just like us, they’re travel experts, ensuring your trip will be awesome beyond your widlest dreams. Treat yourself to first class treatment today and enjoy a taste of luxury with lastminute.com.

Not always airlines spread the word about first class ticket sales. Sometimes, upgrades are available to customers who only book their tickets on the website. They offer you discounted first class seats after you’ve already reserved one in coach class. Offers might pop up as you book a flight or check in for it so remember to constantly monitor your reservation online.


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Be late without reserving your seat: if you’re lucky and if the flight is overbooked, you might just be able to bag a premium class ticket. However, Joe Sarre, Senior Product Manager in APAC says it “works well at busy times, but it’s a dangerous game! If you’re too late you might miss the check-in time, or they might have already sorted their overbooking problems by giving upgrades to the passengers ahead.” Love flying by the seat of your pants? Check out our top tips for bagging a last-minute holiday.

The second upgrade tip is to check the upgrade availability frequently. Although upgrade seats may not be available at the time you purchased the coach ticket the inventory for upgrades is constantly changing, right up until the time of departure. You can check with your airline every day or several times a week or you can use an alert service from some online services such as ExpertFlyer.com. ExpertFlyer.com now offers Flight Alerts, a service that allows you to program your actual flight or series of preferred flights for an upgrade or award. Flight Alerts will automatically search for open availability and notify you immediately once it locates a seat. The notification can be sent to three (3) different addresses including personal or work email, cell phone or PDA so no matter where you are or what you're doing, you will be notified the moment Flight Alerts finds the Premium seat you're looking for. Flight Alerts, or a similar notification program, can also assist you in finding seats using only awards miles.

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