The best deals to international destinations are often short lived, so alerts can get you in on the action. FirstClassFlyer.com has a monthly newsletter and curated fare alerts for paying subscribers. The Twitter feed of TheFlightDeal has nothing but low fare alerts, though most are for coach fares. And, if you want to do it yourself, the "Premium Fare Deals" forum on FlyerTalk is often the first source of some great offers.
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!”
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.
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.
Exclusive to London Heathrow Terminal 5, The First Wing helps you speed up the process through the airport and maximise moments of comfort, relaxation and indulgence. The dedicated space offers an enhanced, private check-in area, two exclusive security lanes, and a direct walkway that leads seamlessly into the Galleries First Lounge and then the Concorde Room. It is available if you're travelling in First, are an Executive Club Gold or a oneworld Emerald member.
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.
ASAP Tickets is not just another online booking tool. We value customer care and strive to ensure an enjoyable experience for our clients. By picking up the phone to speak to one of our agents, you have instant access to some of the best deals in first class available to any destination and on any airline offering first class cabin. However, we understand that your travel does not stop at purchasing a ticket, that’s why our agents are available to assist you every step of the way. Need a last minute ticket or assistance at the gate? Give us a call!
Not such a long time ago — and a very good time it was, some say — a “surprise” upgrade wasn’t the rare thing it is today. In fact, if you traveled enough, it was almost just a matter of time before a check-in or gate agent, or even a flight attendant, slipped you a boarding pass with a very low row number — a golden ticket of sorts for many travelers.
At Flight Centre, our First Class travel specialists can arrange flights and accommodation to suit your preferred travel style. First Class travel is perfect for those seeking the highest level of luxury and service from the moment they arrive at the airport to commence their trip. Chat to one of Flight Centre's First Class specialists about custom building the perfect luxury travel experience for your needs.
Another low-cost carrier that offers a more affordable business class is Jetstar Business. Called the ‘poor man’s business class’ by one reviewer, you can’t argue with low airfares. Leather seats that recline 20cm, with leg-rests and adjustable lumbar support increase the comfort factor. In business class, entertainment is provided via complimentary iPads (which economy class passengers have to pay for). You can also enjoy amenity kits, pillows and blankets.
And no, we don’t mean turning up at Stansted as the Blues Brothers. Leave the tracksuit at home and dress as if you’ve just been browsing the FT in the exec lounge – either full-on formal or business casual (pink herringbone shirt, beige chinos, tan brogues) does the job. Having gained a business class upgrade with her boyfriend to South Africa, Talent Acquisition Coordinator Fiona Nimmo advises “looking good, wearing your Sunday best and smiling”. For more holiday fashion tips, follow our guide on what to pack for every kind of trip.

How to book it for less than coach: As one Air France flight attendant told me on a recent trip, “There are no upgrades to la Première.” The airline doesn’t make it easy to get it free by using miles, either, but it is possible. To do so, you can use only Air France’s Flying Blue miles—and solely if you have elite status with the airline. The good news is, you need only a basic level of elite status to be eligible, so frequent fliers can credit a few weeks or months of travel to Flying Blue and they will be set. Flying Blue also transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, so it’s easy to pad your account with points from other programs.
If you don't have access to a service such as Flight Alerts, check in with the airlines 24 hours prior to departure. If an upgrade is still unavailable at this point, check in online at the airline's Web site. Most airlines establish a waitlist for upgrades at the airport. Priority is usually given to those who have checked-in the earliest and with online check-in available 24 hours prior to departure; this will greatly increase your chances of getting that elusive upgrade.
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