6 Reasons Frugal Travelers Sit in Business Class

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

When you board an airplane and stroll by business class on your way to your economy seat, don't be misled: Some of those folks paid about the same price as you did.

The last time I flew business class with my wife, I told her, “We might have been the only passengers up front who took the bus to the airport.” Even though we’re frugal travelers, a business-class ticket can sometimes make more sense than a coach ticket – when we’re using frequent-flier miles.

When booking award travel, the value of business-class tickets is so profound that it’s truly the most frugal way to travel. Why? A half-dozen reasons…

1. Business-class award tickets are a bargain

International air travel is an ordeal when sitting in economy. Yet we put up with it because business-class tickets often cost 5 to 10 times the price of the lowest economy seat available.

With award travel, flying in business class is a bargain. For example, take a look at the US Airways partner award chart. A round-trip ticket to the South Pacific region in economy is 80,000 miles. To upgrade to business class is 110,000 miles, a mere 27 percent more. For those extra 30,000 miles, you can reserve a premium seat that normally costs several times the price of an economy ticket: That’s miles well spent.

2. You save on fees

If you have a lot of luggage, you can save hundreds of dollars in baggage fees alone. Travel abroad on most carriers, and you’ll likely be restricted to a single 50-pound bag. Additional bags can cost $75 each – or much more if they are even slightly overweight. In contrast, business-class passengers typically receive an allowance of two bags that can weigh up to 70 pounds.

3. You’re whisked through the airport

You can shave hours off of your travel time when you avoid the lines at check-in and security – just by flashing your business-class ticket. Upon arrival, you’ll exit the plane first and find your priority-tagged bags waiting for you.

4. You save money on food

When flying in economy class on an international flight, the food tastes like the plastic wrap it comes in. But premium passengers are spoiled with creations from celebrity chefs. Knowing this, you can treat your business-class flight like a reservation to a fine restaurant. Even during a layover, you can enjoy free drinks and snacks in the business lounges rather than the overpriced fast food in the concourse.

5. You arrive refreshed

It makes no sense to begin an international vacation crunched into an economy seat. To make the most of a trip overseas, it helps to arrive somewhat rested and intact – a feat more easily achieved in a sleeper seat. When you arrive on a morning flight to Europe, you may even have access to an arrival lounge with a shower.

6. You get better service

Before actually flying in business class, I made the mistake of assuming that the larger seat was the real benefit of the premium ticket. In fact, the nice seat is merely an added perk compared to the rare privilege of being treated with dignity and respect. Back in economy class, flight attendants make their rounds like prison guards, while their colleagues up front are allowed to perform customer service. Even on the ground, delayed passengers are handled with dispatch at the airline service counters and business lounges.

Before you sneer at the free-spending travelers smugly occupying their business-class seats, consider that at least some of them got there with upgrades and frequent-flier miles. For them, booking a business-class seat was actually a wise and frugal decision. And if you’d like to learn how to best earn frequent-flier miles, be sure to check out Travel-Hacking Tips.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right Now

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,826 more deals!