That’s expensive: How to book cheaper business class tickets

Being bumped up to business class is many a traveler’s dream. Because who could ever afford an actual ticket? This is why many still grudgingly make do with budget airlines like Ryanair, sacrificing additional luggage and legroom.

But, according to a survey conducted by the flight search engine Skyscanner, many passengers would prefer more room and a bit of pampering on their flights.

More and more travelers are even prepared to pay a higher price for business class tickets than before the pandemic, Skyscanner’s German branch found.

However, business class tickets don’t have to be expensive, according to Skyscanner travel expert Friederike Burge. Here are her five tips on saving money when booking them.

1. Try to be flexible with dates

In order to find the best offers, it helps to select a flexible departure date and airport, says Burge. Booking websites often allow you to set a price alert that will immediately inform you about falling prices or special offers.

2. Also search for ‘premium economy’ flights

Low-cost airlines also offer different categories and should also be included in the search. Their business class rather compares to “premium economy” seats on regular airlines, but the tickets will probably be cheaper.

3. Bid in an online auction

It may be worth having a look at online auctions for a seat upgrade when already at the airport. Many airlines now offer live bidding for remaining first class or business class seats for passengers who already have an economy class ticket. While you may be able to snatch a cheaper business class seat this way, the scheme is increasingly replacing free upgrades.

4. Use frequent flyer points

It goes without saying that this is still the most desirable option. Frequent flyers can often convert their points into a free upgrade. Airlines also often offer credit cards which help you to accumulate points more quickly, says Burge.

5. Look for special deals

Subscribing to an airline’s newsletter is a good way to stay on top of any special offers, according to the expert. Early bird prices, for example, are often first offered to subscribers or regulars.

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