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Tips on getting best Business Class ticket price

Tips on getting best Business Class ticket price

Old Mar 24, 19, 2:54 pm
  #1  
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Red face Tips on getting best Business Class ticket price

I am going to buy (personal, not business) two Business Class tickets for early 2020. One RT from East Coast to London in January. One RT SFO to Singapore in February or March. Dates are a bit flexible. Flying out of Nashville I have found that it will be cheaper for me to buy a RT to SFO separately as business class BNA - SIN is $2000 more than SFO - SIN.

1. I understand no one can predict the future but is there a better time of year for me to buy these tickets or do they remain pretty much the same price. Is there a way to track JUST United Business Class fares?

2. Is it possible to fly one way Business Class and the return Economy on the same PNR for a reasonable price (half economy plus half business class?) Or would they just make it two one way fares?

No status and am not looking to upgrade. Just buying the tickets outright. We are 10 - 12 months out. Is that too soon to buy them?

Thanks much . . . . itchy feet but can't afford to go anywhere this year . . . . .
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:18 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal View Post
1. I understand no one can predict the future but is there a better time of year for me to buy these tickets or do they remain pretty much the same price. Is there a way to track JUST United Business Class fares?
Just check regularly. A sale can happen at any time. Also, check multiple origins and destinations. For example, you may find better fares from Toronto or Vancouver than from Nashville or from the gateway city directly.

Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal View Post
2. Is it possible to fly one way Business Class and the return Economy on the same PNR for a reasonable price (half economy plus half business class?) Or would they just make it two one way fares?
In most cases, you can combine business class and economy on a half-round-trip basis. However, that may not apply to all fares, so you'll have to check and see what will price.

Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal View Post
We are 10 - 12 months out. Is that too soon to buy them?
Probably, but if you see a price that you like, go for it. It would be unusual, but not unprecedented, for UA to open up discount inventory this far in advance. (Note that you can only ticket UA flights about 330-335 days prior to departure).
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:22 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal View Post
I am going to buy (personal, not business) two Business Class tickets for early 2020. One RT from East Coast to London in January. One RT SFO to Singapore in February or March. Dates are a bit flexible. Flying out of Nashville I have found that it will be cheaper for me to buy a RT to SFO separately as business class BNA - SIN is $2000 more than SFO - SIN.

1. I understand no one can predict the future but is there a better time of year for me to buy these tickets or do they remain pretty much the same price. Is there a way to track JUST United Business Class fares?

2. Is it possible to fly one way Business Class and the return Economy on the same PNR for a reasonable price (half economy plus half business class?) Or would they just make it two one way fares?

No status and am not looking to upgrade. Just buying the tickets outright. We are 10 - 12 months out. Is that too soon to buy them?

Thanks much . . . . itchy feet but can't afford to go anywhere this year . . . . .
In my experience prices are lower for business class if booked far out. I have also seen better pricing with stays over 15 days. Occasionally you will also see specials around the holidays to Europe. Usually the booking window lasts until the end of the 1st week of January, after that prices usually increase.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:29 pm
  #4  
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Only looking at United flights?
Looking at other airlines will open more opportunities.

Economy fares can have a large % variation in pricing. Price comes 1st, 2nd & 3rd for many economy travellers when looking a ticket.
Business class fares have less % variation, as the price is often not the driving factor. Business class are often purchased with other peoples money (employer)
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:32 pm
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You may het a better deal if you buy a ticket to Frankfurt or Brussels and then a separate ticket to London
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:37 pm
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Watch Premium Fare Deals and consider a positioning flight. UA is generally not going to be the best prices business cabin carrier to London but AC and others may present an opportunity.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by FTLexMUC View Post
You may get a better deal if you buy a ticket to Frankfurt or Brussels and then a separate ticket to London
Or the Eurostar fast train Brussels to London.
UK has the APD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Passenger_Duty Business class traveller departing from most UK airports pay a far higher tax/duty. APD is not payable for arrivals or transits
Great Circle Mapper
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Business class fares have less % variation, as the price is often not the driving factor. Business class are often purchased with other peoples money (employer)
This really isn't true at all.

Business class pricing looks different than economy pricing, sure, but there is a distinct market for discount business class travel. UA -- and most other airlines -- will periodically open sale inventory that is 50%+ off of their regular business class price. It's usually seasonal, and done in a way so as not to cannibalize their price-insensitive sales -- they'll open the inventory for a few days, on a limited number of routes, and generally with enough of an advance purchase and minimum stay requirement to deter bookings for people booking for business.

However, keep in mind that UA has very limited ability to scale their business class offering to meet demand. So, if they can sell 60 J seats a day most of the time, but not all the time, they'll stick a 77W on the route to capture the peak demand and then offer discounts on off-peak days.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 3:45 pm
  #9  
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Also as most East Coast flights to UK/western Europe are relatively short 7-8 hours (barely longer than BOS-SFO transcon), consider Premium Plus / Premium Economy.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Only looking at United flights?
Looking at other airlines will open more opportunities.

Economy fares can have a large % variation in pricing. Price comes 1st, 2nd & 3rd for many economy travellers when looking a ticket.
Business class fares have less % variation, as the price is often not the driving factor. Business class are often purchased with other peoples money (employer)
This.

OP, unless you have deep affiliations toward UA, expand the field, and you may find a lot of good deals. Monitor premium fares subsection here on FT often. I have already traveled on 10 different airlines (on my own money) this year alone so far, largely thanks to FT (almost all premium cabin fares).

I feel like there are less and less good deals on UA nowadays; although I was fortunate having scored sub-$3K fares to SYD, $2K fares to multiple Asia destinations from the east coast when they existed.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 4:03 pm
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I've found Google Flights to be most useful when looking for fares
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Old Mar 24, 19, 5:20 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Also as most East Coast flights to UK/western Europe are relatively short 7-8 hours (barely longer than BOS-SFO transcon), consider Premium Plus / Premium Economy.
They are, almost without exception, overnight though

Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal View Post
I am going to buy (personal, not business) two Business Class tickets for early 2020. One RT from East Coast to London in January. One RT SFO to Singapore in February or March. Dates are a bit flexible. Flying out of Nashville I have found that it will be cheaper for me to buy a RT to SFO separately as business class BNA - SIN is $2000 more than SFO - SIN.

1. I understand no one can predict the future but is there a better time of year for me to buy these tickets or do they remain pretty much the same price. Is there a way to track JUST United Business Class fares?

2. Is it possible to fly one way Business Class and the return Economy on the same PNR for a reasonable price (half economy plus half business class?) Or would they just make it two one way fares?

No status and am not looking to upgrade. Just buying the tickets outright. We are 10 - 12 months out. Is that too soon to buy them?

Thanks much . . . . itchy feet but can't afford to go anywhere this year . . . . .
I would recommend doing two things:

(1) Familiarize yourself with the way fare tables work (using ITA or EF if you want to try out the subscription) to learn what the non-sale P fares are for your city pairs, and what restrictions they have. This will usually be an advance purchase between 60 and 120 days, and a minimum stay between Saturday and 14 days. These fares rarely change much, and are your backstop. No need to snap one up unless you're about to go within the AP window -- they will probably be in the $3.5-5k range r/t.

(2) Camp out in the Premium Fare Deals forum and snatch the deal that comes along that you like. Be prepared to need separate positioning tickets to take advantage of these fares. If nothing shows up in the next nine months (unlikely, although you might miss them as some deals go away in a matter of hours), pack it in and book the fare in (1) before it's out of scope, assuming you are willing to pay it.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 5:27 pm
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Do a little research to find the usual lowest price (Iím usually not flying LHR, but AMS, FRA, MUC, where about $2.8K is about the best paid business class RT), watch for it, and be ready to buy quickly if it appears. Also watch for upgrade space, if you have miles. And keep an eye on BA, which also has a lot of upgrade space. Right now, I think BA business food and service is better than UA.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 5:36 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Also as most East Coast flights to UK/western Europe are relatively short 7-8 hours (barely longer than BOS-SFO transcon), consider Premium Plus / Premium Economy.
They are, almost without exception, overnight though .
True but for many, they only get 3-4 hours sleep, something that is very doable in PP.
Yes you can do the PL and skip the on-plane meal and maybe get a bit more but for others the PP approach is an option for a significant price reduction.
Not suggesting this works for all but on your own penny and cost is a concern, it is an option. I would probably take a RT in PP over Business one way and standard 10-across economy the other way.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
They are, almost without exception, overnight though.
There are day flights from Washington, New York, chicago and Toronto to London, with the first two cities available also on UA. This is a great option if Business class is too expensive or not worthwhile for a very short nightís sleep.
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