First-Class Seats for Less
Did you know that every domestic airline offers discounted first class tickets on planes that have a first class cabin? Referred to as “Y-Up” or “Q-Up” fares, they are usually 30 to 75 per cent less expensive than the full price for a first price ticket — and sometimes even cheaper than the full coach price.
These deeply discounted first class airline tickets are available only for travel within/between the United States and Canada. According to FareCompare.com, a travel web site that tracks over 100,000 of confirmed discounted first class airfares, the existence of Y-Up airfares is not widely known largely because they are intentionally published to look like a coach ticket for accounting purposes. In other words, the ticket fare code is economy, but the seats are allocated in the first class cabin.
Here are some details:
– Y-Up airfares are almost always available, even on full flights, peak days and times (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays, Holidays) or last-minute trips.
– Most are sold as one-way fares, but to get the cheapest price you sometimes need to book a round-trip. To purchase a ticket, contact the airline directly. And remember to ask for a Y-Up fare as many ticket agents will not offer it unless asked specifically.
– No advance purchase is necessary, although the cheapest fares sometimes have a 7-day advance purchase.
– The fares can be fully refundable and are always exchangeable.
– You can receive a confirmed seat in the first class cabin ahead of frequent flyer upgrades.
– Since Y-Up airfares are booked in the first class cabin, you will get frequent flyer mileage based on buying a first class ticket (this is usually twice the mileage award of a coach ticket).
Frequent business travellers. For the same or cheaper price than many corporate travellers pay for refundable and last minute coach tickets, they can receive a confirmed first class cabin before frequent fliers are automatically upgraded.