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Ready to start flying Business/First -- how do I do this at a reasonable cost?

Ready to start flying Business/First -- how do I do this at a reasonable cost?

Old Mar 31, 2024, 10:56 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19
Ready to start flying Business/First -- how do I do this at a reasonable cost?

I hope the Information Desk is open for even questions as dumb and uninformed as this one. It seems like something I should be able to figure out just by reading up a bit, but all the threads and blogs feel like their audience already knows what's up. I don't; I just know that I'm ready to move up to front of the plane for long international flights but the 5X and 10X multiples that I see feel like too much. I've got some flexibility in when (and even where) I fly, so what are some good techniques to find reasonably priced first/business seats?

I can start chasing points and use them for first/business seats (or maybe for upgrades on economy seats that I've purchased?)
I could select some routes that I want to fly and put a price alert in Google Flights
I can use the Google Flights "Explore" feature and select Business/First -- does this generally do a good job?
I see some OTA that specialize in business/first, and I could ask them to quote of flights that I want to take
I guess Scott's (Going) gives alerts on premium cabin flights if you're a paying subscriber?

What do y'all recommend?

Last edited by mc510; Mar 31, 2024 at 10:57 am Reason: spelling
mc510 is offline  
Old Mar 31, 2024, 12:02 pm
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: BSL
Programs: AA (EXP); among others :)
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read the "Premium Fare deals" forum on here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premium-fare-deals-740/
If you live in the US, join the credit card points gravy train and use the points acquired that way for award seats or upgrades. This is the cheapest way for most people
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bhomburg is offline  
Old Mar 31, 2024, 4:05 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
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Where do you want to travel from/to? What ffp's are you a member of now?

Awards in business/first can be very hard to get.

Upgrades are never guaranteed. And often only on the airline of your ffp. Cross airline some times possible but can need an expensive base fare and t&c's. USA and non USA airlines have very different approaches to upgrades.

Some of those OTA that specialize in business/first are selling awards using other people ff miles. Not in accordance with ffp t&c's.

If it was that easy we would all be flying up front and not down the back is cramped seats.
samplat and SPN Lifer like this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2024, 12:52 pm
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 57
Sometimes (although rarely) there are relative bargains in business class fares. Sometimes (rarely) you can accumulate enough FF points to get an award.

Otherwise pay the piper what he asks. And consider premium economy.
malbik is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2024, 1:15 pm
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mc510 , it would help to know from which city you would be starting your travel.

If you are able and willing to travel during low-demand periods, you can sometimes get very reasonable international Business Class award redemptions with AA miles. But not everybody wants to go to Europe in March.

In addition to getting Barclays and Citi AAdvantage credit cards, if you have a lot of idle cash, you could park it in a Bask Bank "mileage" account, which earns AAdvantage miles rather than cash interest.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2024, 9:18 pm
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I use Google flights. For example, If I want to go to Europe I set the origin to my potential departure airports (for me, LAX, SNA, ONT, SAN), set the destination to Europe, put in my dates, and look at the map for the low prices. Vary the dates, zoom in so that you don’t miss the smaller cities, use the price graph and date grid features. Consider open jaw itineraries, although Google flights isn’t particularly helpful with this.

Also consider departure airports other than your local airports. Airports with a lot of competition, like LAX or JFK, may be substantially cheaper.
jbeckett is offline  

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