The Deal Mommy

First class is cheaper than coach, Deja Vu Style

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?

6 thoughts on “First class is cheaper than coach, Deja Vu Style

  1. Chris

    I’m confused. You’re saying that 27,000 Avios points are worth less (aka a cheaper itinerary) than $274?

    I would strongly disagree with that notion.

    1. The Deal Mommy Post author

      Hi Chris
      I do value miles at their production cost….a penny each on amex, less if you count bonuses. Stingy? Yes, but keeps me in check.

  2. Indulge the Wanderlust

    Hey, thanks for the heads up. I still needed to book my return flight and first class seems like the way to go. Only 13,500 Avios and $2.50. Technically, that will be my total round trip cost since the outbound leg is a free one-way from my Oktoberfest trip with United miles.

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