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.