• Ethan Nemeth

How To Fly First Class For 90% Off

Do you ever imagine yourself sipping expensive champaign at 30,000 feet, while you relax in your very own first class suite? After this thought do you feel slightly down knowing you can't afford to spend $20,000+ on a first class flight? If so, this will cheer you up! In this post, I'm going to show you how to fly first class on some of the world's best airlines for 90% off or more. First, let's talk about miles.


If you sign up for an airlines loyalty program such as the American Airlines AAdvantage program, you'll earn miles for every flight you take on that airline or any of their partners. For example, if you bought a roundtrip flight to Aruba for $800 on American, you'd earn a couple thousand miles for that flight. There's another, (much easier), way to earn miles; buy them! Most airlines will allow you to buy a certain number of miles per year, while some will even you let you buy as many as you want. For example, Alaska Airlines allows you to buy as many miles per year as your heart desires in increments of 60,000. As you can see below, it costs approximately $1,773 to buy those 60,000 miles.

Now let's pause our thoughts about miles and look at the actual cost of flying first class. Cathay Pacific is often regarded as having one of the best first class products out there. The airline is based out of Hong Kong and operates flights to many destinations around the globe including many to North America. Doing a quick search, the price to fly in First class on Cathay Pacific between New York and Hong Kong comes out to be $19,786.10, yikes. Below is an image of Cathay Pacific's first class on their long-haul flights.


The cost of a one way ticket in first class is nearly $20,000

Now let's go back to talking about miles, specifically Alaska Airline miles. Remember when I said most airlines will let you buy them instead of having to actually fly in order for those miles to be earned? Alaska will not only let you buy as many miles as you'd like, often will have a have great promotion to do so. Last month Alaska Airlines was offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased miles. If you bought 40,000 or more, you would be paying about 1.97 cents per mile. Why does this matter in the slightest? You're about to find out.

The most recent promotion to buy Alaska miles

Alaska Airlines has some great partners, including Cathay Pacific. You can use their online booking tool to check how many miles you'd need for a reward flight. On Cathay Pacific, you'd be required to have 70,000 miles to book the one-way flight from New York to Hong Kong is first class. What?!?! That means if you purchased those miles during the latest promotion, you could have spent just $1,379 for 70,000 of them. That's right, instead of paying $19,786.10 for that nearly 16-hour flight, you'd only have to pay $1,379.

70,000 miles are required for a one-way first class ticket on Cathay Pacific between the U.S. and Asia in first class

Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines doesn't always have a promotion running. You can still buy 70,000 miles for the regular price of $1,773, still an incredible value compared to paying nearly $20k. If you do buy Alaska miles during the next promotion and decide to use those miles to book yourself a first class ticket to Hong Kong, you would be saving yourself $18,407 each way, resulting in a total savings of more than 93%!

Paying 7% of the normal fare to fly first class sounds pretty good ay? If you'd like to learn more about saving money on flights using miles please check out my dedicated post here.

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