Ready to fly business class for the first time? You’re in luck!
We’ve spent the last 20 years finding the best discounted deals for our clients.
In that time come across many tips and tricks about planning, booking and traveling when you’re planning in advance–or even at the last minute.
Here’s what we’ll cover in our Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Business Class Flights:
- What are business class flights?
- How to plan your trip (and cover all your bases)
- How to fly with children (and still enjoy the flight)
- How (and where) to buy tickets for business class flights
- Helpful resources every business class traveler should have
What are business class flights?
Business class is an established travel class available on several major airlines.
It was initially intended by airline companies to be an intermediate level of service between the two but now many major airlines exclusively provide business class flights as their top service.
You can distinguish business class from other travel classes by its quality of amenities, ground service, food, and beverages as well as the quality of seating offered.
There was a time when only economy class and first class were offered onboard.
The concept of business class as we know it today was first introduced by the British Caledonian Airways in October 1978 through their club class.
British Caledonian airline was founded in 1970 in Scotland, initially as Caledonian airways, and later became British Caledonian airways.
They merged with British United airways that same year and moved their headquarters to London, England.
After weathering the oil crisis in 1973, and more competition on the UK to U.S. routes, British Caledonians profits were in a nosedive.
To offset this, in April 1978, British Caledonian launched a three-class service on international flights with a reconfigured Boeing 707 that included a first class cabin with 24 seats, an executive cabin with 54 seats and 48 thrift class seats.
Once the other major airlines caught on and quickly followed suit with their own version.
British Caledonian added separate counter check-ins, increased legroom and wider variety of food and beverages during flight for its club class patrons.
British Caledonian continued to operate successfully until 1986 when profits took a hard hit, they were then bought out in 1988 by British Airways, which still operates today and is the largest privately-owned airline in Britain.
Evolution of the ‘class’ concept
In the late 1970s, airlines began separating full-fare and economy seats in the same cabin.
In 1976 Royal Dutch airlines introduced full fare facilities which allowed passengers who paid full-fare to sit toward the front of the economy cabin just behind the first cabin.
This original concept of separating full-fare and economy flyers was quickly abandoned by these airlines citing difficulty tracking which passengers should be seated in which section of the economy cabin on connecting flight.
There was also a strong negative reaction and many complaints from discounted economy passengers who felt their amenities were being taken away from them.
Many airlines attempted to offer their own version of a three traveling class system including American Airlines who began separating full-fare and discounted economy passengers by including offering open middle seats for full-fare passengers.
Rise of the supersonic aircraft
Around this time there was a lot of speculation as to the future of the premium airline travel industry with some believing that the marketplace for premium class would be lost with the emergence of supersonic aircraft and what came would be a three-class traveling market consisting of economy class, subsonic business class and supersonic first class.
This caused airlines to reconfigure their aircraft for smaller cabins and larger business class cabins with the belief that many transatlantic premium class travelers would prefer supersonic flights.
However, commercial supersonic flights often exceeded thirty times the amount of regular commercial travel and lasted from 1976-2003.
Other versions of business class were introduced as well, such as British Airways Club Class and Pan Am Clipper Class. Qantas airlines claim to have launched (by name) the world’s first business class in 1979.
By the early 1980s, most commercial airlines had their own version of a three-class traveling system.
Delta airlines created a medallion service that separated parts of the main cabin and provided preferred seating for frequent business class flyers before installing wider seats and cabin dividers for Delta’s economy comfort passengers.
What are business class flights like today?
To fly business class today is typically seen as the being the elite intermediate between first class and coach and economy in regards to the quality.
Some airlines have mixed the first-class luxury with business class to come up with business-first.
Some flights may provide business class services as the top-tier choice, implying better experiences like reclined seats, multi-course meals and snacks, to more exotic features like minibars and canapés.
Currently, many of the top airlines offer business class as their highest level of comfort and service on any international flight.
Passengers who travel internationally on business class can expect both lie flat and fully flat beds, private aisle access and the highest of quality service.
“Business class vs. first class” might’ve been a Google search for you, and we’re going to save you some work by showing how they truly differ.
Some of the main differences between the two are the quality of seating, level of privacy, services, quality of food and beverages and overall cost with first class being the more expensive option of the two, typically offering the absolute most luxurious and comfortable experience for passengers, and while business class travel may not offer as many luxury benefits it is still a remarkable upgrade from economy class seats.
That said, more and more airline carriers are making business class the top-tier option for flyers.
Business class vs premium economy
Business and premium economy class differ depending on which airline you’re traveling with, the length of your flight and whether you are traveling domestically or internationally.
Domestic business class flights tend to be only a slight upgrade from a domestic economy flight.
When traveling internationally on long haul flights, however, the differences becomes much more notable with a higher increase in quality and benefits for business class.
Business class will have more comfortable, spacious seats, more legroom and more personal space in their cabin as opposed to the stiffer seats, narrower aisles, limited food and beverage options, and a more crowded economy cabin.
Those who fly business class will have a private check-in counter to avoid long lines, access to a pre-boarding lounge, more advanced in-flight menu options and access to unlimited alcoholic beverages.
International business class offers a luxury experience you won’t find in economy that is beneficial, especially on long haul flights.
What amenities do business class flights include?
Business class offers a variety of perks and features to ensure that you not only get to your destination but to name a few of the best features that business class includes:
- USB outlets
- power outlets
- designated work area
- in-flight entertainment
- top quality complimentary food and beverages
While flying on a long-haul business class flight, most offer in-flight gourmet meals with a choice of entree and dessert.
Some airlines allow travelers to request specific meals not on the regular menu prior to the flight.
The bar choices for the business class cabin are generous, with airlines offering different premium wines and an assortment of beers and liquors.
Some planes have screens fitted at the back of each seat and a selection of movies, shows, and games for one to choose from.
Most business class flights will have larger screens, portable tablets and remotes to enhance your entertainment choices.
Concierge Service is a feature for business class and is a great option for younger and elderly passengers traveling internationally.
The concierge service varies from different airlines and some will oversee all details for a passenger including ground transportation to the airport, baggage check, and help to get through customs, and immigration.
How to plan your trip (and cover all your bases)
When planning your business class flight it helps to have as much as possible done ahead of time.
That way, you’ll never run into the problem of “Well, we made it..now what?”
To avoid that, we’re going to walk you through each part of how to plan for your upcoming flight and then give you a step-by-step guide on creating an ironclad itinerary.
It’s never fun to think about unfortunate incidents happening, but as one of Benjamin Franklin’s most popular quotes goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and when traveling abroad, information is key.
Visit the U.S. Embassy website, search by the country’s name you plan to visit and keep the phone number and address of at least one in your wallet.
Additionally, staying informed on what the U.S. Embassy can and can’t do in will save you time if the need arises.
The U.S. Department of State offers a ton of helpful information for those traveling abroad.
While it can be exhaustive wading through their website, some of the most useful features are:
- Traveler’s Checklist – The Traveler’s Checklist offers in-depth safety and security information including country-searchable travel advisories and alerts (as well as the option to receive them via email from the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), entry/exit requirements, local laws, customs, medical care, road safety and more.
- Crisis Planning – Learn how to make evacuation plans that don’t rely on the U.S. government, including evacuation insurance.
- Health Precautions – Find recommendations for vaccinations and other health-related information from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. It’s also recommended to check with your health insurer to see if you are covered overseas. Many foreign medical facilities don’t recognize U.S. insurance plans, and Medicare and Medicaid only work on U.S. soil. If your healthcare policy will not cover your trip, look into supplemental insurance options and make certain any special medical needs are covered as well as any anticipated risks you might take.
Notify your bank and credit card companies that you’re going overseas beforehand.
This will keep your account from being flagged as suspicious when used outside your normal area.
You can find the current exchange rate from and to the dollar online at such sites like XE.
Also, finding 2-3 currency exchange options close to your arrival airport will save you time and energy.
Always keep an extra copy of your vital documents including passport, driver’s license, and Social Security card either at home or with someone you trust.
While abroad, bring only what’s absolutely necessary and if possible, keep the rest in a safe or lock box.
Remember to keep your passport and money separate, and do not carry it in your back pocket.
You should apply for a new passport well in advance of your trip (at least 6 months) and should be valid for at least 6 months after you return.
Ensure you have at least 2-3 blank pages in your passport to be stamped by customs officials when you land.
Children’s passports expire more quickly than adults (every 5 years for children versus 10 for adults), so make it a priority to check passport expiration dates frequently and renew as early as you can.
Some foreign countries may require a visa for entry. Check with the U.S. Department of State’s Countries and Areas page to find out what requirements must be met.
The U.S. Department of State’s website has helpful information as well as how to complete the travel visa process.
Medications & assisted/medical devices
Be aware that some countries may have bans on medicine you use, both prescribed and over-the-counter. If your medication is allowed, be sure to pack at least 5 days’ worth extra medication in case you need it.
If you use an assistive or medical device that requires a power supply, be sure to find backup power options in case of a power outage.
Special needs considerations
Several airports have installed specialized equipment to make the traveling of passengers with any disability easier.
For deaf passengers, airports have monitors that display flight information and most gate areas have electronic displays that indicate specific flight information.
They also have Individual safety briefings that are given to any customer who requests them.
Included in the briefing is an explanation of safety procedures, exit locations, and communication regarding the most appropriate way to provide assistance to them in accordance with their needs.
Wheelchairs are available at all airport locations, and they can also assist passengers with transportation from the terminal entrance (or a vehicle drop-off point) to the boarding gate, making connections (if applicable), and transportation from the aircraft to the terminal entrance (or a vehicle pick-up point ) at their destination.
If you are traveling alone with a child or not the legal guardian of another parent’s child, some countries require documents or notarized consent from the legal parent(s) before allowing you to enter.
You can visit the Embassy’s page on the matter, and find a template to use.
International Driving Permits
If you plan on renting a vehicle while abroad, it might come as a surprise but many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s license.
To help motorists overseas, you may apply for an International Driving Permit, which will temporarily grant you this privilege.
To be eligible you must be a permanent resident of the United States of America or its Territories. (U.S. citizenship is not a requirement)
You must also be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid license issued by a state or territory and your license must remain valid for at least six months from the issue date of your IDP.
Regardless of the provider you choose, you can get one in person or via mail, but the process requires the following before one is issued:
- Complete the application (AAA / AATA)
- Two passport-sized photos
- Photocopies of the front and back of your current driver’s license
- Check or money order to cover issuance fee ($20)
Emergency evacuation insurance
In a crisis, finding help to evacuate can cost you more than $100,000.
Emergency evacuation insurance covers transportation to the nearest qualified medical location, and then home if warranted.
Check with your insurer to see if this kind of insurance is possible for your overseas trip.
From flight interrupts to lost luggage to theft, any number of unfortunate events can occur.
You should have multiple backup payment options such as credit cards, traveler’s checks and other forms of payment.
Also, check with your credit card and homeowner’s insurance to see if they provide coverage.
Creating the perfect itinerary
Creating the itinerary for your flight doesn’t have to be a pain.
There are several ways to get this done, from using apps and software to good old fashioned paper and pen.
Regardless of how you create it, every good itinerary has the following:
Departure & arrival airport information
Most metropolitan cities have at least one major airport and possibly many smaller airfields available.
Both have their pros and cons (one of the biggest pros are the luxury lounges available to those flying business class) that you should consider and can vary in price.
Be sure to jot down both the name of your departure and arrival airport, IATA or ICAO code (also known as the airport code) and your booking confirmation number.
Having an understanding of time spent moving from one airport to another is crucial, especially if you are traveling internationally.
Note not only departure and arrival times, but because many airports have floor and service maps available online, you can virtually navigate from entrance to exit and know beforehand where the important areas are, such as:
- Public transportation
- Charging stations
- Ground transportation
- Newspaper stands
- Baggage services
- Designated smoking areas
Detailed travel directions
Document your departure and arrival times (with respective time zone differences) and any estimated layover you might expect in both times and estimated hours.
Include the name(s) of any concierge you will meet at the airport, and if possible, their direct contact number.
If you plan to visit the airport’s business class lounge, include instructions you will need for entrance such like the lounge’s name (ex: ‘United Club’) and In-terminal location (ex: ‘Airside—located above gates 7 & 8’), and any additional information you might need to remember once you get there.
Remember, things change, and knowing the exact times for everything is hard, but knowing before you arrive how long things are supposed to take will help you get there early and rested, and you’ll be much less frazzled if unforeseen events delay you a bit.
Estimating baggage fees
We all know that it can be hectic traveling with heavy luggage, especially during a long-distance flight. Most planes have a cargo section to store heavier luggage for passengers.
Most airlines tend to charge fees on checked luggage. The fees depend on the size and weight of the luggage. You can find checked baggage information on their website.
For instance, for flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, American checked baggage policies call for passengers to pay $25 USD for their first checked bag and $35 for the second bag.
The third bag costs $150, with four or more costing $200 each.
One carry-on is permitted at no charge except for Spirit airlines which started charging passengers $35-$40 for a personal carry on item.
Your itinerary should also include information for your prearranged hotel reservation:
- Your hotel’s physical street address
- Your hotel’s front desk phone number
- Your hotel’s website
- Your reserved room number
- Your check-in/check-out dates
- The exact name the reservation
- Whether you requested early check-in
Look ahead and find the best places to eat and book reservations for each night and add them to your itinerary. What is your destination known for?
Find restaurants or food vendors who offer the best cultural delicacies and have experience.
Your itinerary should also include information for your pre-arranged restaurant reservation:
- Your restaurant’s physical street address
- Your restaurant’s phone number
- Your restaurant’s website
- The number of reserved seats
- Your reservation date and time
Exciting things to do
No one wants to land in a new city and stay in their hotel the entire time. Finding fun things to do on your trip can be exciting and make lasting memories.
Whether it’s surfing lessons in Hawaii, snorkeling in the Caribbean or visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, most destinations you choose will have exciting and unique activities waiting for you.
Hotels may also offer special discounted deals and information on these types of activities.
There are innumerable options everywhere you go, and making a plan of where you want to go will save you time and effort later.
It’s also important to have a plan B (and C if possible) to account for weather, traffic or special events that keep you from your first choice.
Make a list of options, and visit their websites. The information you want to sniff out is:
- The attraction’s name
- The attraction’s ‘nickname’ (this often helps when asking locals for information)
- The attraction’s website
- The attraction’s phone number
- The attraction’s hours of operations
- Driving directions to the attraction
- Distance from your hotel to the attraction
Planning accordingly means taking the time to anticipate as much as possible, and with the unpredictable nature of, well, nature, you would do yourself a disservice to not stay atop the weather forecast before and during your trip.
Look at the daytime and nighttime weather outlooks as well as the chance of inclement weather to make sure you’re not flying into the biggest storm of the year by accident.
You can find up-to-date weather information ((typically listed by day, hourly, 5-hour, 10-day, weekend and even monthly)) from websites like the Weather Channel.
Pet owners, make sure you find proper accommodations so your pet is well taken care of while you’re away.
Do some research for your local area. There are often Veterinarians, pet hotels and pet service apps that will happily house your pet until you return.
Whether you live in a home or an apartment, having some sort of home security system can help protect you from theft while you’re away.
Tell a family member or a neighbor you trust when you’re traveling, how many days you will be gone and have them keep an eye out and possibly hold your mail for you.
Homes that don’t have a security system have a 300% more chance of getting broken into.
Professional crooks often stake out a home to look for signs of no activity, such as no lights on at night and overstuffed mailboxes.
What should I / should I NOT wear on a business class flight?
Make sure to wear comfortable clothing paired to where you’re going. Most airports have designated signage at the airport, but you can be sure your clothing won’t be an issue by following these basic guidelines:
- No revealing clothes (e.g. crop tops, yoga pants, saggy pants, and short skirts)
- No graphic tees with offensive language or images
- No Excessively worn or torn garments
- No clothes with offensive odors
Most airlines have relaxed their dress code requirements, and the general rule is if you can wear it in economy, you can wear it in business or first class.
That said, due to the often lengthy flight times, being as comfortable as possible is highly recommended as it reduces stress and puts you in the right state of mind.
Here are a few suggestions from long-time long-haul flyers that will help you on your way:
They are highly recommended by doctors (and frequent flyers) as they help reduce deep vein thrombosis (DVT), cramps, stiffness and increase blood flow to your legs.
Forming blood clots in the air is pretty rare, but that risk increases the longer you fly. In layman’s terms, the last thing you want is to be on a double digit hour flight only to land with your ankles swollen.
They work by essentially squeezing your legs, helping blood flow more efficiently through your veins. They come in various styles and colors as well
Collapsible / fold-able water bottles
They are lightweight, easy to pack and can definitely be brought through the security as long as you empty it before going through checkpoints.
Look for one that specifically states that it is dishwasher-safe, has a leak-proof cap and is BPA-free.
Depending on how many ounces it contains (there are some that go as high as 25 ounces), you’ll find the amount of collapse possible may vary.
Some may roll up to the nozzle, while others may shrink to ½ their original size.
Neck pillows and eye masks
Neck pillows come in handy when used in flight, waiting for connections.
Some travelers find inflatable pillows to be a great option when trying to save space in their bags while others prefer softer foam or stuffed neck pillows that can easily attach to your luggage handles.
Eye Masks are another tool travelers use to block out any light that may hinder them from falling asleep and staying asleep.
If you don’t bring one with you, don’t worry. These are often complementary items most airlines offer business and first class travelers.
How to fly with children (and still enjoy your flight)
Flying long hours with children can be difficult without proper planning.
From keeping them entertained, to keeping them fed, to comfortable it can be a challenge.
To make it easier, we’ve compiled some of the best ways to make the trip manageable.
Bring the right documents
Your big kid’s bag should include a copy of the child’s birth certificate, passport and a paper copy of your boarding pass (there have been stories of parents turned away when using a mobile version).
You should also decide if you want to fly with the child in your lap (often called ‘infant-in-arms’) or purchase an additional ticket to use an FAA-approved seat.
If you do opt for a second seat, be certain to check where the locations of the seats are before booking as crowded flights could have your seats on opposite ends of the plane.
Making certain that at least one seat in the aisle seat means less work when trying to head to the potty.
This also means you won’t have to bother anyone if you need to add or remove items from the overhead storage or when their little feet get restless.
Relieve ear pain
Taking off can be painful to young ears as there is typically a ‘popping’ sound as the plane gains altitude.
By slipping a pair of headphones on, you can help ease that sudden pressure.
You can also distract them with a bit of candy or a pacifier as the sucking motion can lessen the pressure as well.
The ‘big kids’ bag
The ‘big kids’ bag is a bag big enough to carry along a pillow, comfy blankets, children’s tablets, and toys.
Many toys are approved to fly so long as they fit into a carry on bag that is the proper size allowed by the airline but be careful of small, breakable parts that can be easily lost.
Also be sure to not pack toys that resemble weapons, such as toy guns, swords, knives and/or explosive devices.
Also, check any further regulations for battery operated toys.
Getting your kids healthy snacks that they will love will definitely help keep them distracted and comfortable on the flight.
There are several great airline-approved options for these snacks.
Be aware that some airlines may restrict passengers from eating certain snack types based on flyers with allergies, so as a precaution include several different snack types that are at minimum peanut-free.
Popular choices include:
- Annie’s Bunnies Crackers
- String cheese
- Wheat Thins
- Bite-size cookies (like Mini Chips Ahoy or Mini Oreos)
Keeping kids comfortable on the plane is paramount to their happiness and shouldn’t be overlooked.
The simplest (and most time-honored) way to successfully dress children for long-haul flights is to dress them in layers.
Start with the lightest garment first, like a t-shirt, then add a long-sleeve shirt, sweater or hoodie.
This way, you’re prepared for hot summer days or cold airport terminals.
Having a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes helps as well because you don’t have to spend time tying laces.
Flying with infants
When flying with infants, a good rule of thumb is to bring double everything if possible.
If not, here are the bare essential items to consider including:
- Extra formula
- At least 10 diapers
- 1-2 bibs
- 1-3 outfits
- Miniature changing station
- Additional toiletries
For kids under 6 years, you can load up a smart tablet full of movies and games for the kids to enjoy on the trip.
These are great options as they are curated hubs of family-friendly content for children that allow them the opportunity to explore on their own.
Parents can see what’s being watched, can customize the experience (content offered and screen time limits among other options) and can feel safe knowing there are automatic filters in place to keep children protected.
For kids over 6 years, magnetic travel games might be the perfect option, especially if you want to provide entertainment that can help sharpen the child’s mind as they play.
These are great ways to heighten concentration, spatial reasoning and math skills.
They’re small (some as small as 5 inches wide), there are many types of magnetic travel games to choose from, you can generally find them for less than $20, and it’s possible to find multiple games in one set. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about flying pieces as they will stay attached to the board!
Popular board games include:
- Chinese checkers
- Tic tac toe
- Snakes & Ladders
Alternatively, there are plenty of children’s stories on YouTube and Audible to choose from.
How (and where) to buy tickets for business class flight
Your first time booking a business class flight can be a daunting experience.
In this section, we will walk you through frequently asked questions about the process, what each step in booking flights are and even list some of the best options for purchasing last minute tickets.
How much do business class flights cost?
Despite being a premium service, business class can be affordable if you know how to work within the system.
Business class can be is, however, worth the exorbitant price tag on it because of the amazing offers and services it comes with.
Talk about good food, extra leg space, nice bathrooms, and the ambiance.
The costs are mostly dependent on different flights with the various factors controlling the pricing, such as destination, airlines and time of year.
Booking in advance will definitely help, but if you need to buy last minute tickets, there are ways that can help you do that too.
How do I find deals on first class and business class tickets?
Your traveling needs will greatly influence the flight price.
A recent case study by Skyscanner showed that ‘low cost’ carriers are somewhat costly as compared to ‘full fare’ carriers but mostly controlled by the needs of the traveler.
The fare structure can be complex, but that doesn’t stop airlines from creating their own prices.
In most cases, the cheapest deals will depend on the time and season and the deals every airline offers.
The prices are also controlled by seat selection, food, and how you purchase your tickets.
This is why many choose to use a service that will walk them through the process step-by-step to get them where they need to be price-wise.
Are business class flights refundable?
Non-refundable flight tickets cannot be returned for a refund.
However, if you cannot use your ticket, you may be able to apply its value toward a future flight.
The airline may charge additional fees for changes made to a non-refundable plane ticket.
Some airlines offer exceptions for severe health or family emergencies for passengers.
Are business class flights tax deductible?
In most cases, yes.
Any qualifying taxpayer may deduct any un-reimbursed expense that ordinary and necessary in carrying on a trade or business activity.
It also includes un-reimbursed travel expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your business and will not only earn you miles and points for those charged expenses but also may reduce your tax liability.
Can I use points to book flights?
In many cases, yes.
The frequent flyer mile points accrued during numerous flights with one airline can be used to purchase a business class ticket or upgrade at a relatively lower price.
How do I accrue flight miles?
Airline miles, also known as frequent flyer miles or travel points, are part of a loyalty program offered by airlines and/or credit cards.
Typically, you accumulate a set amount of miles based on how far you fly or how much you spend on your credit card.
You can then use these miles to buy tickets. That’s simple enough on the surface, but airline miles aren’t that cut and dry.
First off, the term “miles” doesn’t equate to the actual number of miles you can fly—it equates to the number of miles you’ve flown.
Just because you get 2,734 miles for traveling from Seattle to Miami, for example, doesn’t mean you get another free flight.
The miles you accumulate are more like points in a rewards program.
For example, with Frontier’s reward program, you get a free round trip domestic ticket for every 20,000 miles you acquire.
That means it’ll take about four round-trip flights between Miami and Seattle to get enough miles for one free flight.
Basically, airline miles are like any other rewards program.
You get points for buying stuff, and eventually, those points accumulate, and you get something for free.
Should I book my flight online or offline?
Buying business class tickets online is the most convenient due to the advancement in technology.
It is faster and reduces the need for traveling just to book a flight and allows you to do the most research in the shortest amount of time to find the best deal available.
Can I claim miles for my children’s ticket?
In most cases, yes. You can claim because your children are eligible for frequent flyer accounts at any age.
Almost every major U.S. airline allows minors of any age to accrue miles in a frequent flyer account, as long as they are traveling on their own ticket.
So as soon as you buy a seat for your child, you should get an account opened.
Where can I find business class flight reviews?
Information is an important part of life that helps us make the best decisions at any given time.
When it comes to business and first class travel many passengers and traveling professionals tend to seek knowledge on the best airlines and those that have favorable reviews.
Great sources for flight reviews are:
- One Mile At A Time
- Upgraded Points
- Points Hack
- Sam Chui
- The Luxury Travel Expert
- The Champagne Mile
- The Points Guy
- Frugal First Class Travel
- God Save The Points
- Live And Let’s Fly
Where should I buy flight tickets from?
There are numerous options available when considering where you should purchase your next business class ticket from.
There are pros and cons about booking with airlines directly or online travel agencies (often referred to as OTAs), and you should make certain that whichever route you take is the best one for you.
What should I look for when buying business class tickets from OTAs?
Many travelers opt to use OTAs because of the ‘perks’ not available through traditional channels like 100% price match guarantees, which effectively means you’ll always get the lowest possible price.
What most don’t realize is that the airlines have MASSIVE overhead that most OTAs don’t.
That overhead translates into commissions added to the true cost of the ticket to the tune of a whopping 15%-18%.
Another thing to consider when researching OTAs are the relationships they’ve built; if your preferred online travel agency has been in the game a while, there’s a very good chance they have contacts within the airline companies that can offer flexibility, options, and pricing you wouldn’t have going directly through the airline’s website (because most airlines don’t publish these deals online or anywhere else).
Look for providers that offer no-haggle, no-obligation quotes that are tailored to the experience you want.
Ask about their ability to be discreet; the best ones offer it to every customer regardless of the ticket price.
Great sources to purchase business class flight tickets are:
Helpful resources every business class traveler should have
- Travel resources – A helpful list of travel resources such as major airlines, associations and travel regulations.
- U.S. Dept. of State – Website for the U.S. Department of State that provides information on policies, country-specific insights and more.
- U.S. Embassy – Official website for the U.S. Embassy with that provides information on visas, embassies and consulates around the world and safety information for travelers abroad.
- XE – A currency exchange calculator.
- International Driver Permit Check – PostOffice.com offers a country-searchable database that will tell you if a special permit to drive will likely be needed or not.
- Trusted Traveler Program – Offered by the Department of Homeland Security, you can purchase access to expedited lanes when crossing international borders.
- International Driver’s Permit – Issued by either the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA), this permit will allow you to drive in most countries outside of the United States.
- Traveler’s Checklist – The Traveler’s Checklist offers in-depth safety and security information including country-searchable travel advisories and alerts (as well as the option to receive them via email from the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), entry/exit requirements, local laws, customs, medical care, road safety and more.
- Youtube Kids – App for parents and kids that focuses on family-friendly content.
- DisneyNOW – App for parents and kids that focuses on family-friendly content created or owned by Disney.