7 Tips on How To Get the Best Business Class Ticket Deals

It's time to get out of the cramped economy class section of the airplane. Let's upgrade to business class. Roomy seats, exceptional service and gourmet meals. What's not to like? Well, the price can be a little too steep.

Is there a way to go business without having to bankrupt yourself? You've probably heard stories of people flying business class to Europe without having to spend a pretty penny. And it's not just luck. We have collected 7 lifehacks used by thrifty fliers that will help you snag the most coveted seats on the plane at a discount.

Use Price Tracking Software

If you like to travel a lot, get a Skyscanner or a similar app that monitors plane ticket prices and deals. When you open the app you can enter all the necessary information, including the places of departure and destination, planned flight dates, the number of passengers, and, finally, the business class option. You'll get a list of all publicly available offers from different airlines.

You can be more lax with your approach, choosing different places of departure. It's often cheaper traveling to an airport farther from your home and booking a flight from there. If you don't have set dates use the Explore option that lets you find the best deals of the month. Business class seats offered by the same airline are often cheaper during different days or weeks.

Join Airline Loyalty Programs

Most airlines offer special programs for frequent fliers or attentive customers. Don't forget to sign up for their newsletters, and follow the companies on Facebook or Twitter. You'll be one of the first customers to receive timed discounted deals. Loyalty programs allow you to exchange miles and points for upgrades or award tickets. The most common option is to use the points to upgrade your economy ticket. The airline might require you to pay some additional fees, but it is still much cheaper that buying a business class seat.

Use a Concierge Service

While price tracking apps get you only publicly available offers, signing up with a reputable concierge service may get you even a better deal. Such services often have access to unpublished rates. For example, if you plan on upgrading from premium economy to business class, Voyagu promises to find you deals at a 30% discount. Before choosing a concierge booking service, compare the prices and look for client testimonials. Companies that value their reputation provide full information and even offer you an option to try their service before you become a regular customer. If you are constantly short on time, or need to travel a lot for business purposes, a concierge service can become a lifesaver.

Participate in Upgrade Auctions

This method somewhat relies on luck but thousands of travelers manage to use upgrade auctions to get a business class seat at a fraction of the cost. First, you need to purchase an economy or premium economy ticket eligible for an upgrade in advance. A couple days before your flight you might receive an email or social media message with an invitation to the auction. You and other passengers will then bid on available business class seats. The starting bids are usually low, and the person who bids the highest wins the prize.

A fixed price offer is a popular alternative to upgrade auctions. Sometimes airlines will email you an offer a few days before your flight or let you upgrade during check-in. This option is usually more expensive than auctions but it still offers you the full luxury of flying business at a reduced price.

Generally, you won't be able to use your miles or points for these upgrades. However, if you are a loyal customer and a frequent flier, you'll be given priority.

Scavenge for Mistake Fares

While it's yet another method that depends on luck you can turn it to your advantage if you are attentive and have a lot of free time. Airlines make mistakes all the time. Some of them are due to human error, others are caused by software glitches. There are rumors that some airlines publish these mistake fares on purpose to entice customers to visit their websites more often.

With mistake fares, it's impossible to choose a specific destination or travel time. They are usually offered months in advance to random locations around the world. If you are an adventurous type, try the mistake fare roulette, and see how your luck pans out.

Try Split Ticketing

Often buying two separate business class tickets is cheaper that buying a single ticket. If you are planning a long plane journey, consider stopping at a third point “in the middle” to switch the planes. For example, flying from Bali to London while making a stop in Qatar is often cheaper than going the straight route. If you are not pressed for time, you can spend some hours or even a few days at the split point location to do some shopping and sightseeing.

Stay Away From Poor Advice

There are antiquated “lifehacks” that people still share with each other like dressing nicely or trying to compliment or tip a check-in agent. They never work. If you hear rumors about airlines giving free upgrades, they are most likely to be insubstantial. And please don't beg an airline employee for an upgrade directly unless you wont everybody to feel uncomfortable. Use other tips on the list to increase your chances of flying business at a discounted price.

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