The Deal Mommy

When First Class is Cheaper Than Coach

Next month I’m headed to Disney World to research the next edition of Disney World Hacks.  For the return I’m utilizing my favorite hack: the one way car rental.  To get to Orlando, I had a bunch of options, but in the end found out that first class is cheaper than coach. 

First Class is Cheaper Than Coach?

When using miles, availability is more important than ticket price. Orlando is not usually a good miles destination because of frequent fare sales. However, for this situation I needed to fly on  a Saturday morning and wanted a nonstop flight. Non-stop weekend morning flights are the most popular flights to Orlando as everyone wants to get a jump-start on vacation. 

On my specific date the best one way fare I could find was $159 on American Airlines. Even Southwest Airlines was well over $150 or 11,000 points, and I want to conserve those points because I have a companion pass but am traveling solo this trip.

I really wanted to use miles for this trip, but American Airlines wanted 20K miles each way for a coach ticket to Orlando. I’m not redeeming AA miles at that rate. The only saver tickets available were for first class: 25,000 miles.

But, heading over to British Airways, I was able to book a first class ticket for 15,000 Avios. 

Avios uses household accounts, making BA a great program for crediting OneWorld flights if you’re not an AA credit cardholder.  Most of our Avios are miles from paid LAN flights Deal Kids took during Camp Mom South America. Those miles would otherwise be orphaned on AA as the kids don’t fly enough OneWorld revenue tickets to earn a free one.

So not only am I flying on otherwise wasted miles, 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 makes sense to book the front of the Airbus.

When have you flown first class for less than coach?

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network.


8 thoughts on “When First Class is Cheaper Than Coach

  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.

  3. Addy Brown

    This would have helped me when I was traveling overseas and domestic within South Korea with my baggage. I failed to consider how many bags are allowed domestic compared to international flights. If I bought first or business, I would have not had to leave a bag behind. Lesson learned and will plan better next time.

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