affordable first class flights

How to Get Cheap First Class Tickets

Before technology became a staple in everyday life, snagging cheap first class tickets was more common and easier to achieve. Once seat assignments were computerized, it became a lot harder for check-in agents or gate and flight attendants to hand out easy upgrades to the general public. In the past, first class upgrades were practically a given if you happened to spend as much time in the air as you did on the ground. Have no fear though, as cheap first class tickets don’t have to be a thing of the past. We’ve listed a few different ways below for you to increase your chances of flying first class.


how to get cheap first class tickets

One of the simplest ways to help you snag first class airline tickets is to dress the part! Although the business suit pictured here might not be necessary, it definitely couldn’t hurt to dress to impress if you’re looking to fly first class.

Be Presentable and Polite

The saying “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” springs to mind here! If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to score cheap first class tickets, winning over the attendant definitely couldn’t hurt. There’s a few things you can do simply by presenting yourself the right way, that can put the odds in your favor when you’re boarding your flight.

Before you make the trek to the airport for your trip, consider your wardrobe choice prior to running out the door. Who doesn’t love slipping into comfy sweatpants to soften the blow of having to get up obnoxiously early for your flight? If you’re hopeful for a chance in first class, you might want to re-think grabbing those yoga pants or basketball shorts, and go for something comfortable, yet presentable. Dress for the job you want, or in this case, the seat you want!

Beyond just dressing the part, you’ll also want to be friendly, polite, and reasonable with the attendant. If someone’s getting upgraded to first class, you can bet that it won’t be the person who’s trying to haggle with the attendant about which seat they’re getting, or why they can’t bring their pet with them. Your best bet is to be friendly and chatty, as well as direct in requesting that if there are available upgrades that you would like to be considered. Another simple and easy thing you can do is to make sure that you’re on time for boarding your flight!


Loyalty Programs

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to airline rewards programs. If you haven’t chosen one yet, be sure to review the different options to ensure the program you choose matches your flying habits and maximizes your chances of raking in the perks. You can check out this article from Travel Codex that breaks down and compares the different tiers of loyalty programs. If you’re already part of a rewards program now, check out the details and fine print to see how or if your rewards can lead to affordable first class flights.

Most airline loyalty programs offer you points/miles based on each dollar you spend, and you are placed in a certain tier or level depending on how much you fly with that airline. These tiers will decide what perks you have access to. If you’re not part of a program like this, and fly frequently, consider becoming a member. Once the miles start rolling in, you’ll be one step closer to scoring those affordable first class tickets.

One last thing to consider here is if you have any credit cards that offer travel benefits. If your card accrues any points that can be redeemed for airline tickets and travel expenses, it’s worth considering if they can be used towards your flight.


Straight to the Source

According to many travel savvy bloggers and experts, buying your points directly from the airline of your choice is probably the easiest way to get yourself into first class. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, it’s basically purchasing the points directly vs. trying to accrue them via a rewards program, credit card, etc. Most airlines offer this option, and you can find out more information directly from your airline’s website or with a simple Google search. For example, jetBlue and Delta both have pages on their website where you can purchase miles/points directly.

Be really careful with third party websites that offer points for any airline. These can be a scam, and most major airlines don’t allow or accept these types of points anyway. Your best bet is to go directly to the airline you’d like to travel with and purchase your points that way.

If you’re interested in going this route for cheap first class tickets, there might be a few ways you can take advantage of even more savings! If you receive promotional emails from any airlines, take a quick peek before sending them to your Trash or Junk folder. If airlines are having a sale or promotion, the deal you’ve been looking for might already be in your Inbox!

Stay on top of other opportunities for affordable flight upgrades by following popular travel blogs and websites that follow airline promotions and offers. If there’s an option to turn on alerts or get emails about these posts, definitely sign up! This way you won’t have to spend hours scouring the internet just so you can enjoy a little luxury on your next flight.


how to fly first class

Your gate or flight attendants can be a great resource for helping you upgrade to first class seats. Try asking them when you’re boarding the plane if there is any availability for upgrading your seat, and if you can be considered.


Last Minute Upgrades

Many of the options listed above for snagging affordable first class tickets require some extra time and planning on your end. If you find that you’re already at the airport or scouring the internet for offers and loyalty programs isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll probably want more direct options to fly first class. Let’s review a few options you can take advantage of right before you board your flight.

One of the easiest ways to upgrade to first class is to simply pay for the upgrade at check-in. Go ahead and ask your gate or flight attendant if there are first class seats available and what the cost of an upgrade would be. If there are seats available, this could be an easy option to get affordable first class tickets. Another option is to wait until after you’ve already boarded the plane. As you’re walking through the first class section of the place, take a look to see how many empty seats there are. It’s worth asking your flight attendant after you’ve boarded if there are any first class seats open and if you can upgrade right then and there.


And there you have it! Hopefully these tips will help you find affordable first class tickets for your next flight. Whether you’re a savvy internet sleuth hunting for the perfect deal or a last minute risk taker, you’ll have the information you need to cross flying first class off your bucket list. If you need any assistance with vital records, or aren’t sure what you need to bring with you for your trip, VitalChek and Official Travel Documents are great resources. Happy traveling!

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