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How to find best deal on business/first class airfares?

How to find best deal on business/first class airfares?

Old Jan 4, 2013, 6:08 am
  #1  
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How to find best deal on business/first class airfares?

First, I want to fly business because I am burnt out of transatlantic flights and I cant bear the thought of spending 10 hours in a seat one size too small for my petite frame. For a while Economy+ helped, but now... business it is.

So I am unusally flexible and looking for a business class flight from very roughly the Pacific Northwest area to Europe.

I go to the ITA Matrix and Departing from: "SEA, PDX, LAX, SFO, YVR, YYC" destination: "PAR, AMS, LON, BRU, DUB, SNN, MAN, BHX" (just a random selection of European cities) Jun 20-Jul 3 +-2 days both finds... nothing useful. If I search SEA-DUB directly, for example, it finds a lot cheaper flights. I tried to corral in the search by removing the +-2 days, disallowing airport changes, removing airlines ~ts,FI,de+ even a few airports -- nothing. It never finds the same trips as I would search from just SEA to DUB.

But wait, there's more weirdness. I tried to search with ExpertFlyer and if I specify Aer Lingus for the SEA-DUB leg it finds a (relatively) cheap fare. If I don't specify EI, it doesn't find this fare!

So I have found a 3K+ SEA-ORD-DUB fare and I was thinking I do not need to fly on business to ORD, let's try ORD-DUB directly on Aer Lingus. It's so much more expensive that you could do an ORD-SEA return on UA (ticket 1) then a SEA-ORD-DUB (ticket 2, booked on Aer Lingus website, SEA-ORD is on UA) and that is STILL cheaper than booking ORD-DUB itself on Aer Lingus. I know hidden city ticketing can be cheaper, but let's face it: this is lunacy. Once again: ORD-(ua)-SEA-(ua)-ORD; SEA-(ua)-ORD-(ei)-DUB-(ei)-ORD-(ei)-SEA is cheaper than ORD-(ei)-DUB-(ei)-ORD. This does not help or harm me because I am not starting from ORD but if this would be SEA based, hell. What if I can save a thousand bucks by instead of buying a Seattle-London ticket I buy a Seattle-Boise and a Boise-London ticket? How does anyone ever find stuff like this when Matrix only finds cheap when specifying the city pairs (and even then it seems ExpertFlyer wins) and ExpertFlyer ony when city pairs AND the airline? You write a script and hammer ExpertFlyer to death by feeding it every possible trio of (an airport in the YVR-ORD-LAX triangle, an airport in Europe, airline)??

Last edited by chx1975; Jan 4, 2013 at 6:24 am
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by chx1975
But wait, there's more weirdness. I tried to search with ExpertFlyer and if I specify Aer Lingus for the SEA-DUB leg it finds a (relatively) cheap fare. If I don't specify EI, it doesn't find this fare!
For that city pair there are many more fares then the GDS can return to ExpertFlyer all at once. In those cases we are able to retrieve the 250 cheapest and 250 most expensive fares (you can tell if this happens when you see a big price jump in the middle of the list). Narrowing the search by airline, or by possibly specifying a validated depart and return date search, will narrow down the field to be below 500 fares where all of them will show.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 9:21 pm
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You might be onto something -- the non-airline specific search returns 497 items which is close enough to say 500. So then, what's your policy on scripting? (Edit: I understand your concerns about that: I am a website scalability consultant )

Last edited by chx1975; Jan 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by chx1975
So then, what's your policy on scripting? (Edit: I understand your concerns about that: I am a website scalability consultant )
As per our Terms of Use, we do not allow scripting, screen scraping, or any kind of automated searching.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:36 pm
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Given that SEA-DUB with a given , validated date does not return all the fares without specifying an airline and you forbid the automation of specifying an airline, how do you suggest then to use your fare search...? Edit: it does not seem to be possible to specify "business" from the search although it IS possible from the results but then it's too late because the results I care about are crowded out by the economy results I do not care about. Specifying business , it seems, would require specifying a class which is not allowed if I do not specify an airline. Checkmate. I guess this is the same for people who want economy results, their results are crowded out by the business results.
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 3:23 am
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Finding a tool to augment Kayak for Business class fare alerts

So I have check out Kayak and like the automated fare alerts but it doesn't have the full functionlity I'm looking for when setting alerts the business class tickets.

you can only set alerts for business class for exact dates.
      Just looking for a tool which can offer the same functionality as Kayak alerts but for business class tickets. Is there anything out there?

      ITA and KVS do not seem to offer this either.
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      Old Sep 12, 2013, 1:46 am
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      giving this a bump. If there is nothing out there then please let me know.
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      Old Sep 13, 2013, 12:47 pm
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      KVS
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      Originally Posted by kmcbrid2
      ITA and KVS do not seem to offer this either.
      Originally Posted by kmcbrid2
      giving this a bump. If there is nothing out there then please let me know.
      You have answered your own question.

      However, you can add the desired route(s) to [My Trips] in the KVS Tool and then periodically re-check for any new Business Class Fares across a 365-day range.
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      Old Sep 24, 2013, 2:18 pm
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      Hipmunk lets you set fare alerts for a range of days in business class.
      qofmiwok likes this.
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      Old Jan 15, 2015, 12:52 pm
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      How to find best deal on business/first class airfares?

      I used to go through travel agents for international airline tickets. Now with so much online tools etc, it is actually confusing. So, which is a better way to find good deals on business/first class airline tickets for international travel: TA, OTA, or direct with airline web site? apprecite any help, thanks.
      Yenny is offline  
      Old Feb 2, 2015, 12:12 am
        #11  
       
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      Buying business class outright - but still get cheap fares?

      I'm planning a rather complex trip to Istanbul in a few months, and I don't really want to play the "will my, won't my upgrade clear" game this time. So assuming I book business outright, are there still ways to find cheaper fares? Other than the obvious, of course - I use Kayak. But I'm not sure how Expert Tool etc. would be able to help me in this case....or am I missing something?
      Thanks.
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      Old Feb 2, 2015, 2:08 pm
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      ITA Travel tool

      Hey Mikity,

      If you're just interested in poking around for some potential cheaper fares google flights has the ability to do calendar view for specific length trips. (E.G. one week, 4 days, etc.) If you have specific dates in mind or need/want a flexible length trip comparison I would reccomend using ITA and specifying the fare classes for the airline you are interested in traveling. Since you mention that this is a complex booking you might be better served with ITA, especially if it involves multiple stopovers/layovers.

      Good Luck!
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      Old Feb 8, 2015, 4:50 pm
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      Google Cheap Flights? That's what I used to find less than outrageous one way LIS-SFO J flights (we're doing a transatlantic repositioning cruise SXM-LIS and finding one way reasonable flights SFO-MIA-SXM was much easier).
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      Old Feb 9, 2015, 1:00 am
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      Thanks, I guess cheap flights are cheap flights even when not flying Economy
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      Old Feb 23, 2016, 1:40 pm
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      Cheaper Business Class ticket sites

      I hope I have posted this in the appropriate category. I have been looking at several websites that offer discounted Business class tickets.

      I have several questions:

      Has anyone had any experiences using sites such as Cook Travel, flyinfinite, etc...? What are those experiences?

      Is there a site that you would recommend?

      Anything that you can contribute to this discussion is much appreciated. I tried a search for consolidators but that did not answer these questions.

      Thank you, Beth
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