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If you would like to treat yourself to premium cabins (business class, first class or premium economy) but your company budget does not stretch that far, you might be surprised that there are ways to make this happen.

Be flexible with dates

Here are a few of our tried and tested tips:

The price difference from day to day can vary considerably. If travellers can be flexible by a day or two (or even the time of travel on a specific day) the savings are potentially huge. Also, if you are willing to include a Saturday night away, fares can be much lower than for midweek flights. 

Loyalty to one airline does not necessarily pay

Whilst you may be racking up tier points or air miles by sticking to one airline, by limiting your search you are likely to be missing out on great deals with other carriers. If points are a priority, it’s good to know that with airline alliances (e.g. Oneworld & Star Alliance) you can earn points on one airline by flying another. We can help you work out what you can earn.

Use mixed-cabin fares

If it’s crucial to fly in business class on the outbound journey, to arrive refreshed for a meeting, but it’s not so important on the return flight, why not mix cabins? We can tailor mixed-cabin fares to your specific business trip. For instance, flights to the U.S. tend to be during the daytime, whereas coming back across the Atlantic they predominantly travel overnight. A mixed-cabin fare, including premium economy on the outbound journey and business class on the return. This maximises your comfort levels, whilst reducing the cost of the trip, markedly.

Mixed-cabin fares are often difficult to find (or not offered at all) online. However, good business travel agents have access to a full range of discounted fares and can recommend the most suitable option for your trip.

Follow the Airline Sales

Most airlines will release airfare sales at regular points throughout the year. These present a fantastic opportunity to secure a business class seat at a reduced rate. Many airlines also release companion fares, valid for two people travelling together. If you are travelling with a colleague, or booking for two members of staff, these can provide significant savings for your company budget. Stay connected and ensure that you are prepared for the sales.

Compare Prices

It just might be easier to understand quantum physics than the system airlines use to calculate their pricing! However, as a rule, when a flight gets busier in a particular cabin (e.g. premium economy) the price goes up. If the cabins above it (e.g. business class) aren’t selling as well the difference between the premium economy fare and the business class fare may be small – or on occasion, business class can be cheaper. It’s always worth asking what the next cabin up costs – though if there are savings to be made we let our clients know.

Upgrade with your Frequent Flyer programme

Whilst we advocate not being loyal to just one airline, if you have earned miles you want to be able to use them. One way is to use them to upgrade your booking from economy to premium economy, or premium to business class. If you’re keen to do this, just make sure you mention it at the time of booking; not all fares are upgradable, but a good travel agent will tell you which fares can be upgraded.

If you would like to see how we save our clients money on their premium cabin bookings, please contact us for a non-obligatory quote.  

By Micala Sansom