Getting the best deal on business class airfares does not require special talent. Talking with airline representatives or having certain credit cards are just a few ways travellers can receive discounted business travel rates. Here are some features that make business class so desirable:
Seating rivals first class comfort with wider, reclining units.
Passengers receive five-star cuisine in lieu of standard airline food. Alcoholic beverages are complimentary.
Some airlines offer individual entertainment centres broadcasting basic cable channels like the cable news network (CNN).
Additional rewards include special onboard social lounges, concierge-type services and onboard business lounges equipped with facsimile (fax) machines. Some airlines provide access to special airport lounges during flight layovers. Business class is available on flights lasting over six hours to any passenger that purchases a ticket.
All the rewards come at a price. According to USA Today, business class airfare is 2 to 10 times more expensive than coach rates. Here are some methods to snagging discounted business-class rates without much hassle.
Talk Directly with Airlines
Sometimes airlines offer great deals on business class airfare. Depending on the destination, passengers receive up to 50 per cent off standard rates. Airline purchases can be highly restrictive with travel limitations based on minimum stays and advanced-purchase periods. Ticket purchases directly from airlines may allow passengers to utilise frequent flyer miles for greater discounts.
Research Consolidator Agencies
Consolidator agencies work with airlines to sell discounted tickets through travel agencies. Some offer public sales via specialized websites where customers enter an itinerary for ticket rates, call offices directly for information or bid for pricing. The companies offer tremendous discounts on first and business class airfare. Tickets are non-refundable and follow in-direct routing. Some consolidator tickets are not eligible for frequent flyer points and may include a host of surcharges.
Approach Coupon Brokers with Caution
The most questionable method of obtaining cheap airfare involves the services of coupon brokers. Brokers arrange deals between people looking to buy and sell frequent flyer miles. Buyers pay two or three cents per mile while sellers receive one cent for every mile sold. In theory, buyers use miles to reduce ticket costs and receive free upgrades. Airlines frown upon this practice and have the right to cancel reservations for anyone caught travelling with brokered miles.
Put Premium Credit Cards to Work
American Express (Amex) Platinum and Carte Blanche are two well-known credit cards that offer deals on business class travel. Cardholders that purchase one ticket from specified airlines receive another ticket following the same itinerary at no cost. Companion tickets are not eligible for frequent flyer miles and travellers are responsible for associated taxes and fees.
The above methods are highly effective in obtaining discounted airfare, but passengers must remember flexibility is important. Flyers who travel during off-peak times of the day or year receive noticeable savings. An open mind is essential to getting the best deal on business class airfares.
Getting the Best Deal on Business Class Airfares