Q&A: How to get first-class seats at a discount

August 15, 2008

I've heard that it's sometimes possible to fly first class for less than an airline's advertised price for such seats. Do you know anything about this?

Q: I've heard that it's sometimes possible to fly first class for less than an airline's advertised price for such seats. Do you know anything about this?

A: You'd need to find a flight with a "Y up" or "Q up" fare - airline-speak for heavily discounted first-class seats. Naturally, the airlines don't advertise these gems, though. Your travel agent may be able to track one down for you.

If not, try checking http://www.farecompare.com, which offers a search engine for discount first-class fares. You may have to poke around a bit and be flexible about your departure and arrival dates. And before you buy a ticket, check the airline's website to make sure the scheduled plane actually has a first-class section, since the search engine doesn't filter out small regional jets that don't.

Send your money management questions to memoney@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).