31 July 2019

How to Get Business Class Flights Without the Price Tag

When faced with a tight budget, it can be a challenge to meet the travel requirements of your boss or colleagues.

To help you along the way, we’ve identified a few tricks that savvy office admins can use to book business class flights without having to pay the full price tag.

Booking business class flights without the price tag

1. Sign up to a free business travel loyalty programme

Many airline groups now offer frequent business flyer loyalty programmes whereby you can earn points for your whole business with every flight. This points system acts as a great money-saver if you find yourself consistently booking with the same airline group and allows for travel booking to be made efficiently and easily.

Users then have the opportunity to redeem free perks once enough points are earned, including cabin upgrades to business class!

2. Online auction or ‘offers’

Check if your desired airline offers online auctions or ‘offers’, as this allows users to make a blind bid in an attempt to get a business class upgrade for a great deal on their original, economy class fare. Some airlines also offer the option of paying for a fixed price upgrade upon check-in.

An alternative to online auctions is to submit an ‘offer’ for your upgrade. For example, Lufthansa offers travel bookers the chance to upgrade by entering the price they’re prepared to pay and awaiting confirmation that their offer has been approved. 

Neither of these options is a surefire way of getting an upgrade, but when you do win, it’s one of the easiest ways to get more affordable business class tickets.

Still looking for further ways to save money for your business? Check out our article.

3. Be flexible with your booking

If your colleagues can afford to be flexible in terms of when they fly out, then searching for deals by the best month can often reveal some real bargains. You might also consider researching alternative airports to land at (and which airlines fly there), rather than sticking to your colleagues’ preferred yet potentially more expensive choices.

Being flexible when it comes to bad weather and flight cancellations can work in your favour too, as airlines will be pleased to know that you’re happy to wait a day or two to fly out and may reward your patience. Rather than standing in a long queue for the desk, call the airline and politely explain that you’re happy to be flexible — in return for some recompense.

4. Fly outside of peak times and book early

The school, Christmas, Easter, and bank holidays are always going to nudge up airline ticket prices, so try and book your flight around these peak times.

If your colleague’s trip coincides with one of these holidays, make sure you book early enough in order to get a lower-priced ticket.

Perhaps there’s an annual conference at the same venue each year? Simply wait when your preferred airline releases travel times for those dates and away you go.

Flight booked, but feel like you’re missing something? Make sure your co-worker’s trip is fully prepared for with these best practises.

5. Upgrade late

On the flip side to booking early is upgrading late. Airlines hate to lose money by flying with empty seats, so cheap upgrade offers can appear when a cabin is underbooked. Even up to an hour or so before take-off, when most passengers have already checked in, you can ask at the desk what the cheapest upgrade rate is as airlines will be eager to move those unsold seats.

Alternatively, you can consistently monitor the ‘manage my bookings’ section of your airline’s website or app for earlier chances to upgrade.

6. Travel alone

There’s more of a chance that a single seat will be available for an upgrade than multiple seats, especially if there’s no preference to a window or aisle location. It also helps if you’re a member of the airline’s frequent flyer club, as they’re more likely to reward your loyalty.

Business class flights: the same experience at a lower price

Business class flights can be expensive at the best of times, and following a strict budget can add to the challenge. Sure, it’s easier if you’ve been made aware of business trips well in advance, but unpredictable, last-minute meetings can also arise and it’s up to you to make sure everything runs smoothly.

That’s why we’ve collated this list to help you get business class flights without the price tag, whatever the situation.

By actioning these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to saving your business money, whilst at the same time delighting your colleagues and bosses by providing them with a great business travel experience and service.

Looking to redeem your points to get a free reward and save your business money? Take a look at Lufthansa Group’s PartnerPlusBenefit programme and explore the range of perks on offer, including the free cabin upgrade.

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