How to Score the Cheapest First Class Flights with These Tips and Tricks

Alana Grace

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Flying first class can be a luxurious and comfortable way to travel, but it can also be very expensive. However, there are some ways to fly first class for cheap, or even for free, if you know how to find them. Here are some tips and tricks to help you score the best deals on first class flights:

Tip 1: Use frequent flyer miles or credit card points

One of the easiest and most common ways to fly first class for cheap is to use your frequent flyer miles or credit card points. If you are a loyal customer of an airline or a credit card company, you can earn miles or points every time you fly or spend money. You can then redeem these miles or points for free or discounted first class tickets, depending on the availability and the redemption rate.

To maximize your chances of getting a good deal, you should:

  • Sign up for the loyalty programs of the airlines that you fly with the most, such as American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus, or Southwest Rapid Rewards.
  • Use their co-branded credit cards to earn more miles or points, such as Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card, Delta SkyMiles Gold Card, United Explorer Card, or Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card.
  • Look for promotions and bonuses that can boost your earnings, such as signing up for a new card, spending a certain amount within a period, or transferring points from one program to another.
  • Compare the redemption rates of different airlines and credit cards, and look for the best value for your miles or points. You can use tools like AwardHacker or AwardAce to help you find the best deals.

Tip 2: Bid for an upgrade

Another way to fly first class for cheap is to bid for an upgrade. Some airlines offer a service that allows you to bid for an upgrade from economy to first class, usually a few days before your flight. You can set your own price and see if the airline accepts it or not. If your bid is successful, you can enjoy the benefits of flying first class without paying the full price.

To increase your chances of winning an upgrade, you should:

  • Check the availability and demand of the first class seats on your flight. You can use tools like ExpertFlyer or SeatGuru to see how many seats are left and how popular they are.
  • Research the average price and value of the first class tickets on your route, and set a reasonable and realistic bid that is within your budget. You can use tools like Google Flights or Kayak to compare prices and values.
  • Be flexible and willing to adjust your bid if necessary. You can use tools like Plusgrade or Optiontown to monitor and modify your bid until the deadline.

Tip 3: Look for mistake fares or flash sales

A third way to fly first class for cheap is to look for mistake fares or flash sales. Mistake fares are when airlines accidentally offer very low prices for their tickets due to human or technical errors, such as currency conversion mistakes, missing digits, or system glitches. Flash sales are when airlines intentionally offer very low prices for their tickets for a limited time, usually to fill up empty seats or to promote a new route or service.

To find mistake fares or flash sales, you need to be alert and quick. You should:

  • Use tools like Airfarewatchdog or Scott’s Cheap Flights to get notified of the latest deals and discounts on flights. You can also follow airlines and travel websites on social media or subscribe to their newsletters to get updates on their offers.
  • Act fast and book as soon as possible, as mistake fares or flash sales can disappear in minutes or hours. You should also be flexible with your travel dates and destinations, as these deals may have limited availability and restrictions.
  • Confirm your booking and check your confirmation email carefully, as airlines may try to cancel or change your ticket if they realize their mistake. You should also avoid contacting the airline until your ticket is confirmed, as this may alert them of their error.


Flying first class can be an amazing experience, but it does not have to be an expensive one. By using these tips and tricks, you can fly first class for cheap, or even for free, and enjoy the perks of traveling in style. However, you need to be patient, flexible, and savvy, as these deals are not always easy to find or secure. If you are willing to put in some effort and research, you can save a lot of money and have a memorable flight.

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