If you are one of the 80 million people who, according to thepointsguy.com1, traveled in 2016 and helped international tourism see a boost of more than eight percent, you can most likely attest to traveling challenges and the discomforts that come along with not being amongst the elite class of travelers. Elite class being the frequent Business and First class travelers, who unlike their coach riding counterparts, have the privilege of basking in the luxuries of long international travel. It doesn’t make any of the economy seat riders any less important in the overall context of existence in the world, but from the perspective of airlines, yeah you may be a little less important. In a society run by Capitalism, justifiably less important from a bottom line perspective.
Economy seats are pretty much the minimum required seats an airline is legally obligated to have on its fleet of planes. So you could imagine, once lobbyist hired by airlines get involved with their propensity to get regulations that stand in the way of more money deregulated, what coach travelers are left with are chairs with padding and a seat belt. Once again, this isn’t a negative reflection of the airline industry or people who ride in upper class. From a business perspective, you have to take care of the people are spending the money. They are the ones with the money to burn, and you want them to burn as much of it while you have their attention as possible. So in the case of business and airlines, yes business class and first class are treated as the VIPs during flights.
For individuals who do not make the income that would warrant them a coveted seat in First or Business class, there seems to be no end to our extreme flight discomfort in sight. Ridiculously expensive meals and drinks that aren’t worth a quarter of the price, is the only menu us coach riders are going to be able to enjoy. Or so we thought. Once a little digging was done, the differences between the different class of flights can be dissected and some very little known tricks can be discovered to sitting your rear in one of the most comfortable, luxurious seats on the plane, for no more than you already planned on paying. Or not paying, depending on how you view your frugalness. This is what travelers in the U.K. have already discovered and they are upgrading to business class for very cheap. Once thing many travelers were unaware of, was that Business class isn’t that far beyond coach and you really don’t notice the differences with domestic flights, but you’ll notice between international flights. Same goes for Business class vs. First class.
According to investopedia.com2, the differences between first class and business class are not as significant as those between coach and first or business. In general, first class costs about twice as much as business class. What this means for coach travelers is even though you may not be able to afford First class, you may be able to afford Business class, and enjoy many of the same amenities as those in First Class, without the First class price tag. Here are some great ways UK travelers are winning the traveling game and traveling in cheaper business class.
Bid on Discounted Tickets
Many travelers or soon to be travelers don’t really know about the hidden tickets online. There are discounted tickets that are not widely advertised and are sold for a very short amount of time. Opening a free account or tracker on sites like Skyscanner or SkyAuction will allow for notifications to be sent to you directly when flights you are interested in becomes available. Some sites allow you to bid on available tickets at lower costs. You get to decide what you’d like to pay for business class seats and if it is accepted, you’re off to the races. Bidders have seen up to 10% off Business class seats, which in some cases, puts them at a cheaper cost than coach seats.
Book One-Way Flights
People automatically assume you have to book roundtrip travel to save on costs. That is far from the truth. In many cases, you’ll actually save a lot more by buying one way tickets. This is because when you buy roundtrip, those seats are seat to your destination and back. However, one way seats are only set in one direction. So coming back, may be a completely different seating situation and different plane. A plane that may have a lot more empty seats. They want to fill seats and make money off the seats that haven’t been filled. Inexpensive one way business class seats are far easier to come by than inexpensive roundtrip business class seats.
Book Tickets at the Right Time
There is a right time to buy plane flights, and the low season is the best time to look for cheap tickets. People tend to travel when the weather is better and more tourist frequent popular destinations. So when those people aren’t traveling, that is the best time to find your business class tickets. As mentioned earlier, Flight trackers and tracking agents are free of charge and offered by discounted airline sites that will keep an eye on airfare for you. When the price drops to where you can afford to pay, you’ll know it and you’ll be ready to buy.
Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs
Airlines tend to have incentives for travelers who frequently use their airlines. These are often known as loyalty programs. They offer points that could use as money off of future flights. This could go towards the cost of your business class tickets. If you can put some points towards your flight, your out of pocket costs will be more affordable than astronomical.
Search Online for a Cheap Upgrade
When all else fails, run a Google search for cheap upgrades to business class. There is always something out there to help you save on airline costs.