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Lounge access before you fly and a glass of champagne after boarding. Top notch meals and service. A flat seat that lies in a comfortable bed as you cross the ocean.

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This is what business class is. But if you’ve ever searched for business class tickets through Google Flights or your favorite airline, you know that these seats often cost thousands — if not tens of thousands — of dollars. Is it possible to get business class tickets cheaper? And anyway, how do people earn and use their points to book these seats?

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Take it from us: It can be done. Whether you’re hoping for a cheaper ticket to book business class airfare with cash or need to find out which points and miles can get you a comfortable seat at the front of the plane, consider this your guide to flying business class.

Want to fly business class? Only Thrifty Traveler Premium members get cheap business class fares and award notifications sent straight to their inboxes!

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Lie Flat Across The Pond: All Of The Best Business Class Flight Deals To Europe!

At Thrifty Traveler, we spend all day, every day scouring the web for flight deals. And we find them all day, every day – like $300 round-trip flights to Europe, cheap flights to Hawaii and back for under $200, and even $63 round-trip tickets to Chile.

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But when you’re looking to fly ahead in business class, here’s the unfortunate truth: These incredibly cheap business class flights just don’t come around that often.

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Corporate and premium travel is critical for airlines looking to protect their pricing power. So while airlines will take empty economy seats down by selling them for much cheaper than normal, they would rather have business class seats empty than fill them at a lower price.

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That’s why you’ll likely see business class flights selling for $3,000, $5,000 or more round trip. Prices like this are all too common.

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But business class flight deals are really happening! Prices almost never fall as much as we see in the economy. But compared to normal prices of $4,000 for round-trip tickets, the savings can be significant.

Here’s a recent example: Cheap American Airlines flat-seat tickets to Chile for $1,244.

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We’ve also seen some incredible discounts on business class fares to Europe, like this deal flying British Airways or Iberia Business Class to Spain from US cities across the country for a total of under $1,700.

Fares like this—flying JetBlue Mint Business Class across the pond for less than $2,000—are easier to find … if you time it right. We’ve seen cheaper business class fares every time JetBlue adds new routes to Europe, like this recent addition to Dublin (DUB), Edinburgh (EDI) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

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Get business class deals like this one plus cheap economy tickets sent straight to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

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The deals occasionally get even better if you want to fly somewhere closer like Colombia, where we’ve seen business class fares consistently drop as low as $420 round trip – a third of the usual cost!

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Thrifty tip: When business class tickets get this cheap, they never last long. Book fast and ask questions later – you can cancel and get a full refund if you change your mind thanks to the 24 hour rule!

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One great place to look for even cheaper premium cabin fares to Europe is on Icelandair. While they may not offer the full lie-flat business class experience, you’ll still get a much more spacious seat, better service, and even access to the Reykjavik (KEF) lounges flying in Icelandair Saga class.

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Bonus: Prices are regularly cheaper than what you’d pay for premium economy or even extra legroom!

While even deeply discounted business class fares won’t scratch the surface of economy fares, the wrong fares can get you somewhere flat for (literally) pennies on the dollar. Error fares are exactly what they sound like: whether due to a currency conversion error or missing a 0 when entering fares, an airline can mistakenly sell flights for less than they intended.

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It’s the holy grail of flight deals and often the best way to score an amazing deal on the lowest business class rates. These mistake prices are even rarer … but when they do happen, they’re incredible.

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Let’s start with one of the best bug fares of all time. In 2018, Hong Kong Airlines casually sold round-trip business class to several Asian cities, including Bangkok (BKK), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Shanghai (PVG) for $600 or less. Apparently, someone at the airline missed a 0 on these prices that should have cost closer to $6,000 apiece.

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But here’s the thing about mispricing: airlines don’t have to honor them. Unfortunately, the US government has given airlines a lot of freedom to cancel fares they sold in error, which leaves it up to the airlines to decide whether they want to save money or do right by customers and honor the tickets. It’s a 50-50 shot, which is why we tell readers to wait at least a week or two after booking a bug to see how things play out.

Incredibly, Hong Kong Airlines has decided to honor these tickets. That gave thousands of travelers (including yours truly) the chance to fly in these seats to Asia for less than a typical economy fare.

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One of our favorite mistake prices of 2019 was mispricing a business class ticket to both Australia and New Zealand. For just $1,491 (the standard price of an economy flight to Australia), you could get lounge access and a business class seat, including priority boarding, champagne and lie-flat seats. The cost of this luxury experience is usually over $7,000.

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Error fares have become less common in the last few years, especially for top-dollar business class seats. But we still saw one or two a year, like this $900 return ticket to London in Virgin Atlantic Business Class from 2022.

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Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium to get deals like these – you’ll get that money back when you book your first deal!

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And during the summer of 2023, we saw another fantastic business class blunder — this time, United Polaris Business Class from the US to London for as low as $899. Fortunately, this one was also honored by the airlines.

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As we said, wrong fares are rare – and wrong fares for business class fares are like shooting stars. If you’re waiting for one, you could be waiting a long time. But for these savings, that wait could be worth it.

No matter how you use them, it’s crucial to have a stash of points and miles if you want to know how to find cheap business class flights. You can take a cheap flight and make it free by using credit card points with tools like the Chase Travel Portal or Capital One Purchase Eraser.

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The Complete Guide To Business Class Flights

But redeeming business and first class seats is where using points and miles really shines. That’s the best way to get more value, since these tickets are usually triple or quadruple the cost of flying economy — but not triple or quadruple the miles. And using points is by far the easiest and most cost-effective way to secure a seat in business class… no matter where you want to go.

Among the hundreds of airlines with business class seats, their individual mileage programs, and airline alliances and partnerships that allow you to use miles on one airline to book flights on another carrier, there are not hundreds, but

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We narrowed it down by focusing on some of these sweet spots with the lowest price when you use miles. Get it right, and it won’t cost much (or anything) more than a regular economy ticket.

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This is not only one of the best ways to score a business class seat. It’s one of the best deals in the world on points and miles, period.

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For the miles normally required to fly economy, you can use Iberia Avios to fly business class between the US and Spain. That’s right: it’s just 34,000 miles each way to snag a lie-flat seat to Europe — or 68,000 miles round trip.

Why so cheap? Iberia uses a distance-based award chart—the shorter the flight, the fewer miles you need—and that creates a serious sweet spot flying from the East Coast or Chicago. That means direct flights to Madrid (MAD) from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD) and Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) will take you just 34,000 miles each way, plus approx.

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