Cheap First Class Airfares: Airline Secret Exposed!

Struggling on board an airplane, carry-on in hand, I can’t help but note the first people I see on the plane to be relaxed, settling into their roomy, cozy seats, ready to be waited on by the airline hostess. These are the people of first class; no different than I am, just willing to spend more than I am. Or rather, I was.  Now that I’ve discovered how to obtain cheap first class airfares, I can share with you the method to becoming a first class passenger while saving big bucks!

photo credit: kalleboo

The secret to obtaining these discounted airfares is something called Y-ups. Y-ups are, quite simply, airline lingo for discount first class fares. So you’ve never heard of it either? Not surprising, since airlines do not broadcast their availability. They are, however, easy to obtain. If you are using a travel agency to book your fare, simply ask the agent specifically for Y-up. Or, if you are like me and search the Web for deals, check just about any discount travel site. You’ll have to pry open some dusty, creaky doors to find them. Start under the option of first class fares; something most people don’t do believing them to be too expensive. If you don’t see any cheap first class airfares listed, don’t despair. Simply call a travel agent and mention that you would like to check for a seat in the “F”, “A”, or “P” cabin; these are all airline ticket codes meaning Y-up bookings and good discounts.

If it is your desire to sit in seats that don’t require legs to be cranked in like scissor jacks, then traveling first class is for you. Expect Y-up costs to vary; certainly less than standard first class, but they may cost a bit more than, the same as or even sometimes a little less than standard coach. An example would be a flight recently offered from Detroit to St. Louis on Northwest Airlines for $275.00 plus fees and taxes, round trip. That fare definitely qualifies under the category of inexpensive first class!

The best news about these Y-ups? The fact that they are usually fully refundable and always exchangeable, available at times when coach fares are sold out and they accrue frequent flyer miles. Plus, for the business traveler, if your company does not allow reimbursement for first class travel, the seat actually shows up as a coach fare, meeting your desire for comfort and theirs for economy. This was the original purpose of the Y-ups, yet it is available for anyone.

The next time you fly, check into the possibility of Y-up; the inexpensive way to put you in the front seats, smiling at those passengers struggling with their bags to reach their seats in the back of the plane wishing they were in your seat.

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17 Responses


I’ll be watching for this the next time I travel across the great Pacific!


Y-ups are BS? Anyone care to comment?


appears to substantiate this, Your Mileage may vary.

q-up, m-up, b-up, z-up all good but Y-UP IS ONLY NORTH AMERICA!!!!


That was some great advice. I knew it was possible to get cheaper fares, but didn’t know the name for them.


Sorry, but that article is rubbish… I’m a travel agent and I can assure you that those fares mentioned (F, A and P) are not available cheap, F being the most expensive fare available on any aircraft… I know of no airlines that would let you have a F, A or P fare for less than it’s value… Now, sometimes, a P fare is a few dollars cheaper than the most expensive coach fare Y (but not much…), which is still expensive… So, the only way to travel in first at the price of coach is to show up early for checkin, well dressed, and let the airline choose you for upgrade, providing that the coach cabin is overbooked… et voilà.

What he doesn’t tell you is that a lot of times you’re actually buying a coach seat, with the possibility of upgrading to first class, if there’s room.

Thats cool! Im going to have to try that out, coach is getting old fast.


If you’re exposing the secret, how long can it last?

I bet it depends on the airline and the codes that they utilize.


Thanks for the great ideas


need very effective rates for business traveling, since financial turmoil is global now


i haven’t got a clue

but i prepared to check it out!


Interesting site for information on travel


I can’t believe I have to be the first person to mention the distinct appearance of FAP in this article.

I invented Y-ups… it was a ploy in the 80’s try and reduce the amount of safety pins used to hold Ben Johnson’s eye lids open when he ran.

I also invented traveling and Y-ups are as real as the hair on Martha Stewart’s upper lip

It’s true, if you get a seat assignment at the time of booking you are guaranteed to sit in first class. If not, you might end up in coach if the flight is full (no partial refund). So make sure they can confirm your seat !
But please don’t start asking us travel agents for Y-ups ! First of all, nobody uses this term. Second, and most important, travel agents will automatically offer you the cheapest first class fare and tell you what the restrictions are. US airlines don’t give commissions anymore, so whether we sell you a $ 1000 ticket or a $ 400 ticket, it doesn’t matter to us as we charge the same service fee.
Once we punch in first class in our system the upgrade fares also come up if available. And there is nothing more annoying then a customer asking me to check P-class, A-class and so on.


Omg i want to take that first class. Where do they fly too?