Think Business Class Flight Deals Don’t Exist? Think Again
Too tall to cram your knees into Economy? Can’t stand the thought of a 14-hour flight to Asia in a middle seat? Looking to make your next trip extra memorable with some top-notch treatment? Want to experience a lie-flat seat (aka a BED) on a plane?
You’re in the market for (or have already flown in) a business class seat for international travel. And if you’ve looked for these seats, you know they are typically anything but thrifty.
But that doesn’t mean deals don’t exist. While far rarer than the frequent flash sales we see on economy flights, big deals to fly business class do come around. You just have to be patient.
We are constantly searching for business class deals that are at least half off normal prices. And when we find them, we instantly notify our Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers.
Thrifty Tip: Not a Premium member yet? Try it out for 14 days free ($40 a year after that). If one of these Business Class fares we find can save you a few thousand, that annual membership will pay for itself for a lifetime!
All About Business Class Fares
Once you’ve flown business class, it’s hard to look at an Economy seat the same again. Champagne in your hand before the plane even takes off, great meals that can be on par with a nice night out on the ground, comfortable seats that turn into beds, and exceptional service all makes flying business class the best way to start (or end!) a vacation.
Thrifty Tip: Want photo proof of these awesome seats? Check out our business class flight reviews.
But when it comes to all these awesome amenities, the typical price tag isn’t cheap. Many business class fares will cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $23,000 or more round trip, depending on where you’re heading, and what airline and which “product” you’re flying. That’s where we come in!
Business Class…Flight Deals?
We won’t lie: They don’t come around often. But that doesn’t mean sales on business class fares don’t exist.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about how these fares work:
Just because economy airfare drops doesn’t mean the same happens with business class. In fact, they are rarely correlated. We get this question a lot: we’ll find a crazy cheap economy flight to Europe, and subscribers will ask if business class tickets have dropped in price, too. The answer is typically a resounding no. These fares are priced separately, and unfortunately, don’t often follow each other in price drops.
Airlines are far less likely to cut business class prices because business traffic is more stable than everyday vacationers. Airlines make much of their revenue on business class travelers, whose companies are happy to pay a premium to send their employees abroad in comfort. Business travel is a very important part of airlines’ revenue, and it’s something they can really count on.
This is why we don’t see business class deals as often as we see economy flight deals. It’s hard to say what triggers each business class deal, but it may be due to lower demand than anticipated from business travelers that opening up some availability on an airline and route.
Or … it could just be a mistake. While purposeful sales on business class fares exist, mistake fares are also the common culprit behind dirt-cheap pricing on business class. Sometimes airlines accidentally enter the wrong price or use the wrong currency conversion. With a business class fare, the savings here can be enormous. Just remember to act fast, book immediately, and keep in mind that the airline doesn’t always have to honor these mistakes.
Recent Biz Class Deals We’ve Found
The rarity of finding a business class fare for half the price is what makes our job so exciting! Finding lie-flat seats to international destinations for thousands less than usual makes these seats actually attainable for the casual (and thrifty!) traveler.
Though these are no longer available, here’s a look at some of the business class flight deals we found recently and sent to Premium subscribers.
1. SkyTeam Business Class from 100+ airports to Italy in lie-flat seats during Christmas from $1,344 (was $6,000)
This was one of the lowest business class fares we’ve ever posted to Europe, with incredibly rare Christmas and NYE availability! This biz class ticket included priority boarding, checked bags, lie–flat seats, Delta Sky Club lounge access, and business class food service as well as champagne.
2. jetBlue Mint Nonstop Fares to St. Lucia & St. Maarten from $620 (was $1350)
Want to fly to the Caribbean in style and comfort? This crazy hot deal was available flying jetBlue Mint! JetBlue Mint fares include priority boarding, checked bags, meals, and lie-flat seats… including some with a door!
To think you could fly in pure bliss for the price some pay to get to the Caribbean in economy…
With prices this affordable, you can cross jetBlue Mint off your bucket list and arrive to the islands in style!
3. [PREMIUM ECONOMY] Seattle to Singapore for $696 (5-star airline – Was: $1200)
If you don’t need the full luxury of a business class seat but dread the thought of flying to Asia in Economy, deals on Premium Economy like this one we found are just for you.
For under $700, you could fly on five-star Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific Premium Economy with lounge access, more legroom, wider seats, better meals and beverages, and priority boarding. It’s the definition of balling on a budget.
4. Cathay Pacific Business Class for $675 .. or First Class for $1,000!
Here’s where the deals get insane. And it’s all thanks to an airline’s mistake.
Back in late December, Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific accidentally sold premium cabin fares at massive discounts. Business class fares briefly sold for under $700 – down from the norm of $6,000 or more. And Cathay’s outstanding first class – one of the best in the world – could be had for roughly $1,000 round trip. It was one of the biggest mistake fares ever, as those tickets typically sell for $20,000 or more.
The one hitch was that these round-trip mistake were for flights from Vietnam to the U.S. and back. Still, it was a massive deal for those travelers who were fast enough to book them. And amazingly, Cathay Pacific decided to honor the fares!
Curious what else we’ve found recently? Here are some of the other business class deals we’ve seen in the last few months:
- Chicago / NYC / DC to SE Asia & South Africa from $2476 (5-star airline – Was: $5500)
- 50+ cities to Havana, Cuba from $406 (Delta – Was: $850)
- Boston & NYC to Aruba / Grenada from $718 (jetBlue Mint – Was: $1350)
- Delta SkyMiles Sale to Taipei, Taiwan for 85k one-way (Flying China Airlines – Was: $3500)
- 5 cities to Asia from $2271 (5-star airline – Was: $4400)
- 8 cities to Lima, Peru from $886 (Delta / lie-flat – Was: $2000)
- San Francisco to SE Asia from $1446 (lie-flat / inc’l nonstop – Was: $3000)
- Atlanta to New Delhi, India for $2362 (5-star airline – Was: $4000)
- 9 cities to Reykjavik, Iceland from $809 (Nonstop / Summer – Was: $1600+)
Position to Book a Business Class Flight Deal
Whether it’s a sweet business class flight deal half off normal prices or a mistake fare saving you thousands (like the ones we saw earlier this year!), you’ll want to book no matter where you live. While we did find a nationwide business class deal this past month, that’s extremely rare. Typically, we only see business class deals out of major hubs. This is where the power of positioning flights come into play.
The key to taking advantage is being open to business class fares from any U.S. city, then booking a cheap positioning flight from your home airport to the biz class fare departure city. For example, I’d gladly book a cheap $100 flight (or drive) to Chicago, New York, or Atlanta to save $6,000 on a sweet lie-flat seat.
If you wait for a business class deal from your home airport to come your way, you may be waiting a long time. Book a positioning flight and make it happen instead.
If you’re a Thrifty Traveler Premium subscriber and have your departure cities filter set to only your home airport, you might want to consider adding larger hubs that are near you or cheap to fly to. When the savings are this good, it pays to position!
Make These Business Class Deals Free
Instead of a cheap business class fare, what about a free one? You don’t need to know about award charts, search for award availability, or have miles with the specific airline you want to fly to make this happen. You can take these cheap cash fares we find through Thrifty Traveler Premium and book them completely with points.
The key is using flexible points currencies like Venture miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a cash fare without handing over a dime. Use your Capital One Venture card to pay for a business class fare and use the Purchase Eraser to erase the cost from your statement, or one of your Chase Sapphire cards to book a cheap business class fare completely with points. Bonus: You’ll still earn miles on these flights!
You don’t have to be a high-flying business traveler to afford a business class experience. With occasional cheap fares like these (or points to make them free!), you can make it happen.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.