class airline tickets and ll pay

maybe you’re off on a business trip and the boss is footing the bill – or you need extra comfort for an older relative’s flight. whatever, you know you’ll pay – and pay big – for the superior service, free food and roomy seats in first.quick example: a round-trip on american airlines from new york to los angeles in may (thursday to thursday) costs about $480 for economy, but the same flight in first class is $2,130. if you can give yourself a week’s head-start in the booking process, you can reap significant savings.midweek and saturdays on some airlines: both american and delta had slightly lower first class domestic fares for wednesday and saturday travel, and american also showed cheaper first class on tuesdays.

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united’s first class fare differential was non-specific as to travel days.days to avoid: the most expensive days to fly on both american and delta are sunday and friday, and monday is also an expensive day on delta. read more in airline ticket prices: what a difference a day makes.bottom line: compare airfare prices even when shopping for the most expensive tickets.this sounds counterintuitive but some airlines actually offer first class at a discount during the coach booking process, which can be many times cheaper than searching directly for first class cabin fares. look soon for cheaper upgrade opportunities on the airlines’ phone apps.consider learning about advanced search techniques or using a travel agent: professionals and certain booking tools have access to so-called “up” discounted first class fares coded “y-up” or “k-up” like coach fares (but seats for up fares are physically located in in first class).these fares can be cheaper than ‘regular’ first class found online though not as cheap as in years past; the deals have dimmed thanks to massive merger consolidation of the last decade and the ensuing loss of competition.

may not have first class cabins and you don’t want to pay for something you will not get.for those with corporate booking departments: many large companies have pre-negotiated rates with airlines to save 10 to 20% off the open market.a break on change fees: the airlines i’ve been talking about charge $200 to change or cancel a flight, a fee you’ll pay even with first class tickets. for more on ticket shopping, see the cheapest way to buy two or more airline tickets.rick seaney is the ceo and cofounder of farecompare.

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