How to Get Cheap First Class Airline Tickets

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First class seating, when available, is located in the front of a plane and is usually not comprised of more than 16 seats. There are many benefits to flying first class, including larger seats, attentive service, meals, a first-class bathroom, and sometimes private TV monitors. Flying first class is especially comfortable on long trips. There are a few ways to obtain first class seats at discounted prices.

  • Many customers can purchase first-class airline tickets by asking for a "Y-up" fare, which is airline code for discounted first class or business class seats. You must contact the airline directly to request this type of fare.

  • Ask for an upgrade. Many customers may qualify to upgrade their coach seats to first class for free by simply calling the airline and asking for an upgraded seat. The airline has nothing to lose by upgrading the ticket if first class is not full. It is advisable to wait until the day of the flight to ask for the upgrade. Most airlines will not upgrade customers who didn't purchase the coach seat at full price. This means that purchasing a coach seat through a discount website or other service may disqualify you from an upgrade to first class.

  • Book ahead. Many airlines sell seats at a cheaper rate to those who book their flights 30 to 60 days in advance. A customer could save up to 50% by purchasing a first class ticket in advance.

  • Purchase tickets from a bulk discounter. There are many companies on the Internet that purchase airline tickets in bulk and can therefore resell them at a greater discount to customers. These bulk tickets include first class tickets. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity and FareBuzz are good resources for buying discounted first class airfare.

  • Build up frequent flyer miles; they can earn you a free or discounted spot in first class. To earn frequent flyer miles, you must always fly with the same carrier (or carriers recognized within the program). Call the carrier directly or check their websites for more information.

  • Try an airline you've never heard of. Smaller carriers sometimes offer cheaper first class tickets than many of the more popular carriers. Do some research and find a smaller airline that travels to your destination. Also, compare first class tickets among the more popular airlines. You might find a significant difference in first class ticket prices from one airline to the next.

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  • Photo Credit Airplane image by Roy L. from Fotolia.com
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