Spooky. I’m going to the Chicago Seminars in October (same as last year) and wanted to book my flights today. I had a bunch of options, but in the end found out that first class was indeed cheaper than coach (same as last year!
Here’s how (this year):
My cash price for the ticket (DCA-ORD) would have been $274. Alternatively, I could have used my American Express Membership Rewards points, which would have given me a 20% rebate on the price AMEX was quoting, $281 (24,463 MR points). Earning isn’t really an issue on this trip since it’s a 500 mile non-stop.
But, heading over to British Airways Avios, I was able to book a first class ticket for 27,000 Avios. Granted, coach would have been cheaper, but it wasn’t available for my dates and I wanted specific flights to maximize my conference time. Since I had transferred the Avios with a 50% bonus from AMEX, the net cost was 18,000 Membership rewards points.
So not only am I flying for free, I’m flying first class for less miles than coach.
Lesson learned: don’t assume that coach is always your best deal…on some routes it isn’t again and again!
When have you flown first class for less than coach?