First-class award tickets might be cheaper than financial system seats — what to know

Consider it or not, typically the price of a first-class ticket is lower than an financial system seat.

Whereas this can occur with money fares, I see it happen extra regularly with airline miles. When all issues fall into place for a shock pricing redemption, it is often on a preferred journey route and date the place demand is hovering for financial system seats, however it’s not a route that people usually fly in firstclass.

Associated: 6 ideas for locating low-cost award flights

An ideal instance of that is the roughly two-hour flight from Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) to Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport (SLC) in the event you’re trying to catch some snow and snowboarding in the course of the winter holidays on Dec. 1, 2023. The price of an financial system seat on Delta is a staggering 32,000 Delta SkyMiles one-way for a 7 a.m. flight. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to as an alternative fly in home firstclass for simply 26,000 SkyMiles miles on the 11:45 a.m. flight.


Multiply that out for a household of 4, and also you simply saved your self about 24,000 Delta SkyMiles by flying within the higher seat.

It is value noting that choose Delta cardmembers obtain an extra 15% off the purpose price of the ticket.

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To point out you that this is not a one-and-done fluke, this is one other route on a distinct day with the identical phenomenon. This time it is a direct itinerary from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Worldwide Airport (ATL) to New York’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK), the place firstclass is 35,000 miles whereas financial system is 43,000 miles. Not solely is the first-class flight cheaper, however it’s a direct flight on a high-demand route.

Associated: Costly airfare and rising fuel costs: This is how one can save on vacation journey


We used to see this occur fairly frequently across the holidays throughout a number of packages when extra airways used conventional award charts. Value-conscious leisure vacationers would guide up financial system saver awards whereas premium cabin saver awards remained accessible.

As airways have transitioned extra to extra dynamic award pricing (that means the worth in miles is roughly tied to the worth in money), that is taking place much less regularly than it did previously — however it nonetheless occurs.

So, once you go to guide that vacation flight or your 2024 trip, do not skip on glancing on the first-class award costs. You might discover they’re typically lower than the price of sitting within the again.

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