If you want to get the cheapest business class flights to Europe, there are a number of things you’ll need to think about before booking a ticket.
One of the most important considerations is when the best time is to buy. There are all sorts of theories out there about buying after 3 am on a Tuesday, etc.
Yes, airlines and agencies do have some policies about making tickets cheaper at certain times. And it pays to familiarize yourself with them so that you can make the best choices.
This article answers common questions many people have about how to find the best business class flights to Europe, and offers some useful tips and tricks.
Let me start by answering a few common questions about finding the best deals on business class flights to Europe.
If you’re looking for business class tickets to Europe, you’ll want to start thinking about booking your flights well in advance of your trip.
You probably know what buying last-minute is like. Prices are high and your options are limited.
The old rule about prices skyrocketing less than 21 days in advance of any given flight definitely still holds.
Experts actually suggest booking a minimum of 30 days before your flight.
Now, of course it may be possible that you have to attend a meeting in Paris with little notice. In this case, you and your company will just have to do the best you can.
But the more time you give yourself to plan, the better. Although, not too much either.
A general rule of thumb: book your business class flights 2-3 months in advance. If you book your flights 6 months or even longer in advance, you might miss the discounts or special offers airlines give closer to the flight date.
Yes, it is a well-known fact that to most European destinations flights are significantly pricier in summer than they are in other seasons.
This is just as much the case for business class flights as it is for economy class.
More people want to travel during the summer, and airlines use this to their advantage.
July and August are generally the most expensive months to fly to Europe.
The time around Christmas and New Year’s is another period that tends to see prices of business class tickets rise.
The ideal times to fly are generally October to early December and March to April.
But, there are some differences between finding cheap business class flights versus finding cheap economy class flights.
There are certain times when business class sees lower occupancy rates than normal. Holidays and weekends when business travelers are less likely to fly are the best times to get the best deals on business class flights.
But, even if you do have to book a business class flight to Europe during peak times, there are still ways to get cheaper flights, as I’ll share further down this article.
To some extent, yes.
The most popular days for business class flights are Monday morning and Friday evening. If you can avoid those, you’re likely to find cheaper business class flights to Europe.
Flying on Tuesdays tends to be cheaper than flying on weekends.
Still, though, you can find good deals on the weekends if you look carefully enough.
Look around online for deals, check out consolidators and individual airline sales and you should be able to find discounts even on the weekends.
Despite all the rumors about buying at particular times for the cheapest flights, there is no discernable evidence that this is the case.
Yes, it is true that buying early in general gets you the best deals on business class flights. But this does not necessarily correspond to particular times of day or days of the week.
Now, the time that you’ll actually be flying does play a role in the price.
It is clear from looking at any given airline’s price offerings that flying at convenient times of day tends to be more expensive than flying in the middle of the night (who wants to wake up at 3 am to rush to the airport?).
That is why you often see budget airlines offering dirt-cheap prices at crazy times of the day.
Apart from what I shared above, there are several other, simple tips to help you find the best deals on business class flights to Europe.
If you’re willing to make a stopover, you can often find cheaper business class flights to Europe.
And, you get to visit an extra destination, if you have time for it.
IcelandAir is the prime example. Iceland’s quick rise in tourism was largely thanks to a strategic campaign undertaken by IcelandAir several years ago.
What the airline did was offer highly-discounted rates to other cities in Europe if customers were willing to make a stopover in Reykjavik. This, combined with other strategic efforts on the part of the government and private institutions (the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most visited tourist sites, is only 20 minutes from the airport. Who wouldn’t want a nice thermal mineral bath after a long flight?) enabled Iceland’s tourism numbers to boom.
But, apart from adding a layover that can be fun, it also gets you cheaper business class flights because not everyone else likes or has the time for layovers.
You’ll generally pay exponentially less if you agree to take two or more flights to get to your destination rather than one.
While this sometimes seems to defy logic (you’re using more fuel and traveling more miles but you are paying LESS for it?), traditional logic often doesn’t work when it comes to flying. Certain seats are sold much cheaper than others, and agencies put packages of tickets together that airlines basically want to get rid of.
So, to find the cheapest business class flights to Europe, look into layovers that reduce the total price of your flights.
Also Read: Tips for Things to Do During a Layover
If you’re looking for the best business class flights to Europe, then Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are often listed as the best airlines.
But, their business class flights will generally not be the cheapest.
Therefore, if you want cheap business class flights, check what budget airlines have to offer.
Not all low cost airlines offer business class but some, such as Singapore Airlines’ budget carrier Scoot, have great offers.
And check lesser-known airlines as well. They often have more of a reason to offer cheap deals.
Of course, do read some reviews online to see if these business class flights are actually worth it and offer what you are looking for from a business class flight (the level of services does vary a lot!).
The biggest and best-known international airports are often also the most expensive ones.
And, business class flights to and from these airports tend to sell out the quickest, increasing the price of any remaining seats.
Check which nearby airports are available for your destinations. In many cases, a less popular airport has lower airport fees and the cheapest business class flights.
For example, instead of flying from New York JFK to London Heathrow, look into flying from Newark, NJ to London Gatwick.
Buying separate tickets can often save you a lot of money.
As an example, let’s say you are traveling to Barcelona. You might be able to find a much cheaper business class flight to Madrid, and then book a flight to Barcelona separately through a different airline. Or you could even choose to take the train from Madrid to Barcelona.
The more creative you are with your trip details, the more chances there are to save money.
It will require some time to do all the research, but this way you can save a lot on your business class flights to Europe.
If you are looking for airline tickets for one specific date, the chances of finding business class tickets at good prices are low.
Check prices for several dates and see what offers you get.
Or, some airlines and booking sites even allow you to search an entire month, to see what day offers the cheapest flights.
The more flexible you are with dates and destinations, the more deals you will be able to find.
Check business class flights for different cities to compare prices.
You might be surprised how much the prices vary!
Being open to slight changes in your itinerary can make a huge difference when it comes to finding the cheapest flights to Europe.
Plus, traveling by train is popular in most of Europe and car rental is generally not very expensive, so you could also decide to fly to a nearby city and continue by train or car from there.
Many airlines allow you to sign up to receive notifications when a cheap flight to your chosen destination becomes available.
I often sign up for price alerts on Skyscanner.
Skyscanner is a flight comparison site. It lets you search for business class flights and compare prices. If none of the current prices sound cheap enough you can click on ‘Get Price Alerts’ to receive an email when prices change.
Sites like Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner all have this price change alert function.
To find out when an airline has special offers on business class flights sign up for newsletters from your favorite airlines.
Of course the earlier you do this the better.
If you often fly with the same airline you’ve probably gathered quite a few points.
Check if these points can get you a free or discounted upgrade to Business Class.
Many loyalty programs allow you to buy extra points.
And sometimes buying points for an upgrade to business class can be cheaper than buying a business class flight directly.
Signing up for an American Airlines Mastercard or a Delta American Express card can lead to lots of airline perks.
It really pays to look into different credit card options, especially if you travel frequently.
Lastly, if you’ve decided to buy an economy class flight you could always ask at the airport if it’s possible to upgrade.
If they have many empty business class seats left you might end up getting a great deal!
Or even better, since most airlines overbook flights, they might upgrade you for free if they need to move a few people from economy class to business class.
Be polite and dress nicely, as that increases your chance of getting an upgrade.
As you’ve seen, there are several simple tricks to help you find the cheapest business class flights.
And a lot of it is about flexibility and planning in advance.
If you have the time to plan and book in advance, and the flexibility to consider different dates, airlines and airports, you’ll find the best deals!
And if you aren’t sure yet if flying business class is worth it, check out this article with 5 good reasons to consider flying business class or first class.