Save up to 60% on Business and First Class International Air
Enjoy an excellent
business class service, and at less than half the 'normal
price' when you fly on airlines such as Lot Polish Airlines
using Strategy 2.
1 of a 3 part series - click for Parts
The airlines are charging more
and more and more for their premium cabins, but providing less
and less and less (read about the disgraceful developments at BA
So why pay the ridiculous
prices they ask for their premium cabins when there are
perfectly legal ways that they themselves have created to allow
you to fly for very much less? Here are the first three of seven
'insider secrets' to help you save many thousands of dollars on
your future travel.
Strategy 1 : Reverse Direction
We all know that airfares
are not based on what it costs the airline to fly us where we're
going, but rather on how much it thinks it can extract from our
wallets. Sadly, airlines often seem to believe that US
passengers will happily pay much more for their travels than
will passengers from other countries.
However, you can use this
discriminatory practice to your advantage. When you're
traveling on business and first class tickets, buy only a
one-way ticket from the US to the international destination and
then buy a one-way ticket from the international destination
back to the US, thereby taking advantage of the lower fare that
applies from the other country.
Better still, if you know
you're going to be traveling again in the future, buy entire
roundtrip tickets from the other country, saving even more. The
chances are that these tickets will allow date changes at any
time and with no penalty, so you're not committing yourself to
actual travel dates, just to the fact that you will repeat the
journey some time in the next twelve months.
Here are some examples of
business class fares offered by leading airlines with nonstop
service (there are invariably cheaper fares for inconvenient
itineraries and less well known carriers - see the next
strategy). This table contrasts the US price with the foreign
price (also expressed in US dollars) for the exact same
itinerary but in the reverse direction :
US Price (OW/RT)
Foreign Price (OW/RT)
Save up to
Taking advantage of these
foreign fares is really easy, and in most cases, your local
travel agency can issue the tickets for you (you don't even need
to be in the foreign country to get the ticket). But, because
this is not the normal or default way of pricing itineraries,
you'll probably have to ask them to over-ride their normal CRS
Strategy 2 : Fly a Different
It pays to shop around!
Although air fares seem to be - by some amazing coincidence -
identical amongst all the major carriers within the US, you'll
find that some of the less well known airlines offer much lower
fares than the 'major' name brand airlines do on international
routes. Alternatively, even major name brand carriers will
discount on routes where their itinerary requires a connection
and they're competing against other major carriers who offer
Here are some examples
showing the business class fares typically charged by the major
carriers and then two of the lowest fares offered by carriers -
sometimes also major carriers (eg Singapore and Japan Airlines)
with less direct routes, or perhaps less well known carriers but
still of a high safety and service standard (all the other
airlines shown!) :
Strategy 3 : 'Noah's Ark'
Just like Noah loaded the
animals two by two, any time you're flying somewhere with a
second person - maybe a colleague or maybe a partner - you might
be able to take advantage of an American Express Platinum Card
'two for one' deal. Don't have an Amex Platinum card? No big
deal - call Amex and ask for one, and tell them you want to
immediately use it to book a two for one travel deal!
On many major international
routes, American Express has amazing deals with leading carriers
(for example, award winning Star Alliance member Air New
Zealand, for travel to New Zealand and Australia) that will
enable two people to fly for the price of one. If you both
needed to make the journey, then you've just saved 50% from the
regular published airfare!
BA's Shameful Curtailment of
Business Class Benefits
British Airways announced,
earlier this week, that it can no longer afford to provide
priority luggage service for its Business Class passengers!
Global Service Standards Manager Tony Mahood said management had
discovered a "substantial cost saving" by reducing the
production of brand luggage labels. Only first class passengers
will now receive a priority tag. (I wonder how soon they'll
discover another substantial cost saving - coach class meals.
And maybe coach class seating as well....)
Although at least one BA
senior manager described this as 'a blow to the reputation of
the company at a time when we are trying to attract passengers
back', an official BA spokesman resolutely claimed 'These are
hard times and hard times call for hard measures. We have to
look at all areas to see where we can make savings'.
Full story here.
Am I the only one to
consider this a disgrace - passengers who pay as much as a $9000
premium (over the lowest discounted coach class fare) are told
that this extra $9000 is insufficient to cover the few extra
cents that it costs BA to provide priority handling on their one
or two suitcases!
Read more in Parts 2 & 3
Be sure to read the other
two parts of this series for more strategies, including a
strategy that will get the airline offering you discounted fares
itself! Plus, a 'special Christmas bonus' tip - how to fly on
the Concorde for less than half its published fare.
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14 Dec 2001, last update
15 Oct 2013
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.