How to fly business class for the price of economy

In an ideal world, we’d all love to travel in business class. Business offers leg space, delicious food, the ability to sleep in an appropriate horizontal position and, most importantly, Champagne on tap – which all culminate in a very civilized flight experience. Sadly, money doesn’t grow on trees. But fear not: it is possible to swindle business class seats, minus the business price tag. Here’s how:

airplane seat

1. Join a frequent fliers program

Airlines offer upgrades to their most loyal flyers. To join a frequent flyer program, simply sign up online. If you don’t actually fly that often, get an airline credit card that gives you reward points for purchases- most credit cards will reward you a certain amount of points for money spent. The advantage of accruing miles via your credit card is that it generally gives results quicker than using a loyalty program; not everyone flies constantly but you’re probably going to be using your card every day. However, it is worth considering that these credit cards may charge an annual fee and of course, the benefits are maximized only if you pay off your balance on time.

2. Use your air miles for upgrades

If you’ve racked up air miles but not enough to earn elite status on your loyalty program, or you don’t have quite enough for a free flight, spend those points on an upgrade instead.

3. Check for last minute updates

Depending on availability, you can sometimes upgrade your ticket at a discounted rate roughly six hours before your flight time. Call your airline to see if any seats are available last minute in business class; the cost involved can be as little as 150pp.

4. Keep your finger on the airline pulse

Business class seats frequently go on sale, so keep your eye out for them by signing up to newsletter updates with your favorite airlines.

5. Consider your flight dates carefully

The prices of business class seats are dictated by supply and demand, so you’re more likely to secure a better price if you fly at a time other business class customers are not looking to travel. Beware of flying at weekends and school holidays!