Mileage Runs Are Your Best Bet
Mileage runs, to put it simply, are flights you take solely for the purpose of earning miles. So if you’re a few thousand miles short of the next level in your airline’s program, a mileage run could be the answer. Say you have 25,000 miles but need 30,000 for Platinum status, and an upgrade to first class is one of the perks.
You can find these deals on sites like Flyertalk and Mileage Run Deals. For example: a recent post on Mileage Run Deals offered a round-trip flight from New York City (JFK) to Tampa (TPA) for $165 — and you’d earn 4,719 miles in the process. Sure that’s not enough miles for first class on its own, but it’s a start.
Be sure to check out The Ultimate Guide on How to Rock a 1st-Class Flight: Tips for how to get first class plane tickets.
Getting a first-class flight ticket is a challenge for many travelers, but it is not impossible. In fact, there are a number of ways to get the best seats in the plane. Here are some tips on how to get first class plane tickets.
1. Check with airlines: You can try searching online for airlines that have cheap first class tickets. These types of tickets can only be bought directly from the airline website or at the ticket counter at the airport. If you find an affordable fare, consider buying it as soon as possible because these fares tend to sell quickly.
2. Use frequent flyer miles: Another great way of getting a first class plane ticket is through frequent flyer miles. The higher your status with an airline, the more likely it will be that you will be able to book a first class ticket with that airline. If you are not a member of an airline’s loyalty program, check out their websites to see if they have any special deals or promotions that may help you get a free seat upgrade.
3. Join an online auction site: There are several online auction sites where people sell their unused travel vouchers and free tickets. This is a great way to get discounted fares and seats on flights that may not be available when you go to the airport
I’ve had the chance to fly several times first class on both domestic and international flights. Amazingly, the experience did not come with a million dollar price tag. In fact, I’ve paid as little as $15 for my ticket. How? With miles, of course!
This guide will take you through the entire process of how to get first class plane tickets (and business class). We’ll start by explaining what “first class” really means, and then look at some of the ways you can get first class plane tickets for cheap or even free.
By the end of this guide, you’ll hopefully have a good idea of how to score a cheap or free flight in first class.
Being in a first class cabin is a way of life. It’s an experience that many frequent fliers dream about and most passengers will never get the chance to enjoy. After flying more than 500,000 miles annually for over 10 years, I’ve perfected the art of getting first class plane tickets.
I have used every trick in the book to get upgrades and free first class tickets from airlines. I share my best tips on how you can use these tricks, tactics and travel hacks too.
Getting a free upgrade to first class is not as common as it once was. Airlines are now charging more for premium seats and awarding fewer upgrades than ever before. But there are still some ways that you might be able to score a free upgrade to first class or at least get some other perks with your flight ticket purchase.
Flying first class is a luxury experience that offers pampering and the ability to work in quiet, comfortable surroundings. To maximize your enjoyment of the experience and get the most out of your investment, it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare for a first-class flight.
Before Your Flight
Airlines take care to maintain their first-class lounges, providing refreshments and drinks as well as high-speed Internet access. The décor is elegant and relaxing, offering passengers a place to unwind or continue working before their flights. You should arrive at least an hour early so you can enjoy the lounge and take advantage of its amenities.
Before boarding, first-class passengers are given priority over economy class passengers. If there is any kind of delay, you are more likely to be notified immediately rather than being left wondering what’s happening with your flight. It’s also possible that if your flight is oversold, you will be accommodated on another flight rather than bumped from your original flight.
When you board your plane, you have priority over other travelers who may be waiting for their seats. A flight attendant will escort you to your seat and offer you drinks and snacks as you settle in for your trip
How to get a first class seat at economy prices
So, what’s the secret? We’ve taken a look at some of the best ways to get a taste of luxury on your next flight – without paying through the nose.
1. Dress up
Dress smartly, and you might be able to bag an upgrade from economy to first class. We know it sounds obvious, but it’s worth trying. This is especially true if you’re flying with an airline like Emirates (which has a ‘no jeans’ policy for economy flights) or Cathay Pacific (which has a ‘smart casual’ dress code for anyone wishing to use the lounge).
2. Play the loyalty card
If you’re a frequent flyer with an airline, or you have an airline-branded credit card, you could be in luck when it comes to bagging a free upgrade. If you’re loyal to one particular airline, make sure they know about it – and try to fly with them as much as possible if you want to improve your chances of getting upgraded.
3. Be brave enough to ask…
We can’t stress this enough: if you don’t ask, you won’t know! Airlines are usually pretty strict about who they give upgrades to – but it can’t
Sadly, there are no tricks to find cheaper first class tickets. That’s because the airlines have made it more difficult than ever for a regular Joe to get first class upgrades for free.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t book the occasional first class flight! In fact, if you’re willing to travel “off-peak” or during less popular times of the year, you might be surprised at just how affordable some first class tickets are — not $1,000+ expensive but actually affordable.
Booking First Class Off-Peak
The key to booking flights in first class is timing. If you want a first class ticket for your next trip, try booking months in advance or last minute. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and get a great deal on a first class flight — even if you didn’t plan ahead!