First Class Advice at Coach Fares

If you’ve ever flown First-Class — or even Business Class — on a long flight, you’ve no doubt vowed never to fly Coach again. I have. But I can’t always afford the upper echelon seats or have enough miles to cash in to get the chilled champagne, hot towels and warm cookies. But now, according to an article from the Washington Post, many of the big carriers are offering heavy discounts on First-Class seats on competitive air routes.

“It’s a chance to grab some market share of perhaps steal a customer from another airline,” said Tim Smith from American Airlines.

Plus, travel experts say that airlines frequently discount their first-class fares to get revenue from a seat that might otherwise be filled by a frequent flier upgrader like me. Or like you. But these seats are selling for more than the price of a discounted coach seat, so they’re a money-maker for the airlines while they try to combat rising fuel costs.

An example: Northwest Airlines offered a $1,313 round-trip first-class seat from Washington, D.C. to Seattle; a coach seat sold for $2,378. To get this type of deal, you have to be lucky, you have to be quick, and you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Read the whole article.

Posted by Gil Zeimer on August 16, 2005 in Travel

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