Find tips and tricks right here on how to get an upgrade on your next flight and you’ll be headed to the business class lounge in no time.
If finding business class flights is one of your life missions, we get it. Doesn’t everybody dream of flying in style at the front of the plane? Imagine sipping on some bubbly in your spacious, comfy seat as the flight attendant attends to your every desire. Okay, maybe not every desire but they’re quite attentive in the ‘behind-the-curtain’ section. Keep reading for our top tips on how to find cheap business class flights.
Ways to Score an Affordable Business Class Flight
1. Understand the differences between fares
What exactly is business class anyway? Many people equate business class tickets to being very expensive and out of reach, therefore shutting down the possibilities of ever flying up front. And let’s face it, cheap business class flights are not the same as cheap economy fares. To help get a grip on the differences, let’s do a basic comparison.
Air Canada business class vs economy class
|Air Canada Business Class||Air Canada Economy Class|
|Deluxe, roomy seats in an |
exclusive cabin (some with a
flat-bed pod) with window or
aisle seats only.
|Standard seating with window, |
middle and aisle. Advanced seat
selection only available for
|Complimentary hot gourmet |
meals, fine wine, 1,000 hours
of in-flight entertainment
on personal screens.
|Light snacks and wine or beer |
available to purchase, meals
provided on international flights
only, 600 hours of on-demand
entertainment. No personal
screens on Air Canada
|Priority service for check-in, |
securing screening, boarding
and baggage handling.
|Boarding by zones, except for families|
with small children or travellers
who require extra assistance.
|Exclusive access to Maple |
|Access to Maple Leaf Lounge |
available for a fee.
|Two complimentary checked bags.||Baggage fees start from around |
$31 per bag for basic fares.
|150% more Aeroplan miles.||Aeroplan miles depend on |
airfare type. Economy basic
fares not eligible for miles,
standard fares eligible for
50% miles only.
Business class on Air Canada has many perks and it’s safe to say you’ll get off the plane and walk through the airport feeling refreshed and looking like a superstar.
Air Canada signature class vs business class
While many of us dream of flying business class, surely first class is the ultimate indulgence. If you’re searching for an Air Canada first class price, you’ll likely come up empty handed. Currently, Air Canada doesn’t offer first class tickets on regional or international travel. However, the airline recently introduced their Signature Class fare, offering an enhanced business class experience on selected international flights.
|Air Canada Signature Class||Air Canada Business Class|
|Relax in an executive pod with |
massage function and lumbar support.
Pods covert into flat-bed.
|Only some business class |
seats convert into flat-bed pod.
|Innovative cuisine served on demand, |
a selection of curated wines, champagne,
or Air Canada’s signature cocktail.
|Hot meals and wine or spirits |
available at set times.
|BMW chauffeur service available across|
the tarmac for flights at Toronto Pearson.
|No chauffeur service available.|
|Exclusive concierge offices at Toronto, |
Montreal and Vancouver airports.
|Concierge service only available|
to Altitude Super Elite members.
The price differences between the bottom and the top ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Flying Air Canada business class across Canada costs between $1100 and $1600. Flying business class from Vancouver to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s top carriers, will set you back about $3700.
Like all airfares, it’ll depend on when and where you’re flying. But, it’s possible to narrow the price difference substantially.
Of course, they’re not the only classes available. Some airlines offer first class, business class, premium economy, and economy, so it’s not all top luxury or bargain basement fares. There is some in-between, and travelling in style totally depends on your budget.
2. Stay up-to-date with business class prices
One of the best ways to keep tabs on cheap business class flights is with the Skyscanner app. Enter your departure and destination cities and dates. Under the departure date box, you can choose the number of passengers and the class. Change this to business class and scroll through the fares to find the best option.
To find the cheapest month to fly (the same business class flight on the same airline may be hundreds of dollars cheaper on a different day, or during a different week or month), use the Explore tab and scroll to the bottom to the Best Deals by Month.
Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” search tool is a popular choice for people who are flexible. Flying to or from a major west coast hub like Vancouver International (YVR) or LAX can result in cheaper transpacific business class fares, while Toronto Pearson (YYZ) or New York departures may find cheap tickets to the Caribbean.
Luckily, there are seat sales in all classes, so cheap business class flights are possible. In addition to the Skyscanner app, sign up for airline newsletters, follow airlines on social media, and join their frequent flyer program. That way, you’re one of the first to know about any deals on cheap business class tickets.
3. Know the best time to book cheap business class tickets
Since business travellers and corporate types use this fare class the most, it makes sense that your chance for cheap business class tickets are better during non-business days, and weeks.
Try searching on weekends, public holidays, and even over Christmas and New Year’s Eve for more opportunities to find cheap business class flights.
4. Join airline loyalty and points programs
Loyalty and air mile programs are one of the best ways to save money. If you’re not a member of a reward program, sign up and start collecting ASAP.
Not only can you use air miles to book free travel, but some programs also let you use points to upgrade to business class tickets. Which means if you’ve already purchased an eligible economy fare, you can trade in your points for a business seat. Star Alliance airlines, including Air Canada and United Airlines, offers upgrades for as little as 7500 points! Now that’s something to get excited about.
To book a cheap business class flight using your points, log into your airline’s reward program and find the book flight tab. You’ll be able to select business/first class. If you are a member of Aeroplan, a return business class flight from Toronto to Paris will soak up 110,000 points plus applicable taxes.
No points for a quick getaway? Check out these springtime deals.
5. Make a bid for a flight upgrade
Bid on a cheap business class upgrade
If you’re willing to pay for an upgrade, a feature offered by airlines such as Air Canada, Air New Zealand, and Cathay Pacific, is bidding on a cheap business class flight. Here you can place a bid in the amount you’re willing to spend to upgrade your ticket to business class. If you’ve purchased an eligible fare on an airline that participates in upgrade auctions, you can make an offer on a cheap business class ticket. Obviously, the higher you bid the greater your chances, but many upgrade auctions have surprisingly lenient lower limits.
Try for a free upgrade
There’s been a rumour going around for years that says if you look the part, you may be offered a free upgrade to the front cabin. And while there’s no way to ensure this will happen just because you wear a suit to the airport, it’s always good form to look nice and be kind and courtesy during check-in. Who knows? It may just work in your favour.
Unless you’re on your honeymoon, the chances of a free business class upgrade when travelling in pairs or groups is pretty slim. Travel alone, look elegant, be nice, and if it’s a milestone birthday, casually mention it to the agent at check-in. It could work. For more tips on getting a free upgrade, check out our guide here.
6. Go with the low-cost airlines
Cheap business class tickets are going to be more affordable on low-cost airlines. For instance, WestJet is changing the game with their Dreamliner 787 business class seats on select flights between Calgary and Toronto, and Calgary to London, Paris and Dublin.
WestJet’s new business class flights offer luxurious pod-style seats (yes, they lie down) with on-demand dining, large built-in screens with endless hours of entertainment, lots of personal storage, and all the expected add-ons like priority check-in, boarding, and complimentary checked baggage. One-way business class fares from Calgary to Toronto on the Dreamliner start at $735 CAD.
Want to Look for Cheap Business Class Tickets?
Finding affordable travel in all cabin classes is made easy with Skyscanner’s search engines. As well as cheap business class flights, we can help you book your entire holiday: flights, hotels, cars, and even offer tips on things to do and places to eat.