While I take every opportunity I can to travel as much as possible, I don’t have unlimited funds for my adventures. I contribute money to my high-yield savings account throughout the year and use the funds to book flight deals that interest me. Usually, I book economy tickets so I have more money to spend enjoying the destination.
But three months ago, I saw a business class flight deal that was too good to ignore. It was an error fare, which means the airline made a pricing mistake, and I scooped it up quickly. I spent less than $1,400 round-trip on a business class ticket to London. Find out what I did to save big.
If you love to travel but don’t have a CEO-level salary or travel budget, you may want to consider investing in a flight deal subscription. Services like this alert you to can’t-miss flight deals that can make travel more accessible and more affordable.
If you typically fly in economy class but want to experience a more comfortable journey, you may want to subscribe to a service that sends premium class flight deals alerts. With tools like this, you can fly in style without breaking your budget or racking up credit card debt.
One such service is Thrifty Traveler Premium. With this subscription, you’ll get access to domestic and international deal alerts for economy, first, and business class flights. You’ll also be alerted about points and miles flash sales and error fare opportunities.
While this service comes with an $89.99 annual subscription fee, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by booking even just one deal found through this service. I recently saved at least $1,800 on my roundtrip business class fare, making the subscription well worth it.
In early August, I got an alert about a wild error fare. The fare was for direct roundtrip United Polaris flights flying to London, and prices were as low as $899 depending on your dates and departure city. Yes, $899 — you read that right. I’ve recently paid well over $899 for international economy tickets, so I was immediately sold on this deal.
United’s international business class product, Polaris, offers travelers a more private and roomy seat that can be converted to a lie-flat configuration for a more restful long-haul experience. Additionally, fliers can access priority check-in and boarding perks, an upgraded in-flight dining experience, and business class airport lounges. Essentially, it’s nothing like flying in economy.
I decided to look for flight options for November to celebrate my birthday. The final price shown at checkout was $1,384.55. Paying less than $1,400 for a direct, roundtrip journey to London is a steal, so this deal made me and my bank account very happy. Since it was an error fare, I quickly purchased my tickets before the airline could fix its mistake by raising the price.
I was curious how good of a deal I got, so I priced the same flight a few days after booking my tickets. The price for the same flights, times, and dates was over $3,000 — more than $1,800 over what I paid. I chatted with some of my nearby seatmates on the outgoing journey to London. The man in front of me had purchased his ticket a couple of weeks prior and told me he paid over $6,000 for his roundtrip ticket. Wow! I was thankful I used a service like this to save big.
The deal I booked turned out not to be too good to be true. But it’s worth noting that error fare tickets can be canceled by an airline. If that happens, you get a refund for what you paid.
Experts suggest that if the airline doesn’t cancel within two weeks of you making the booking, you’re likely good, and the chances of cancellation after that point are low. You can make refundable reservations when booking accommodations and activities to protect yourself in the event of a cancellation before departure.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to go broke to afford a business class flight. Using flight deal services and other travel hacks can allow you to score cheap flights. When paying for airfare, consider using a travel credit card so you get rewarded for your spending. Take a look at our list of the best travel rewards credit cards to learn more.
If you’re using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Natasha Gabrielle has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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