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5 great First Class fares under $500 roundtrip

by on Tue December 22, 2015 • 2 Comments


Everyone should bask in the pleather glow of a First Class seat at least once. Getting more people to experience its not so glamorous glory just once would do a lot to ease class envy in the skies.

And right now there are a lot of First Class seats for sale at prices lower than what you’re used to paying for a middle seat in Economy Class.  These fares are so cheap you’re better off leaving your miles for another time (like a trip to Europe in Business Class) and locking in a good value in cash or with bank points like your Capital One Venture points..

We’ve found 5 great ones below. These aren’t short one hour flights, they’re all nonstops that won’t waste your time, and the fares are available into the Spring, and some during the entire year.

Some flights are as long as four hours, and all will offer you a full meal service if you pick a flight during meal times, so you get the full First Class treatment during your trip. To get the deals you’ll need to book 2 or 3 weeks or more in advance, and be okay with a $200 change / cancellation fee.

But you’ll still get two free checked bags (which can save you $100 roundtrip) and priority boarding with all of the fares.

1. Newark – Denver: $495 (United)

This flight clocks in at 4 hours, 23 minutes, and this fare is available Monday-Thursday and Saturdays all year long. You just have to book 14 days in advance on flights that have the ‘A’ fare class available.

United has really stepped up its First Class food lately, so you might be dining on Lobster Mac and Cheese or Seafood Cioppino, along with a bubbly bottle of Prosecco. It’s a great way to do a ski holiday in style.

The United First Class meal spread.

The United First Class meal spread.

2. Los Angeles – Dallas: $365 (Delta)

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays if you book 21 days in advance you can grab this fare on Delta’s nonstop flights to Dallas. They’re on Delta ‘Connection’ regional jets, but they have full First Class cabins that offer a full (albeit cold) meal service. If you snag a window seat on the left side of the plane, you’ll have no one seated next to you, giving you extra privacy thanks to a 1X2 layout in First Class.

No, Delta First Class isn't always this empty.

No, Delta First Class isn’t always this empty.

And this deal isn’t just for Los Angeles. Delta’s doing the same thing from other cities, like New York to Dallas.

3. New York JFK – Chicago: $341 (Delta)

This is another Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday special on Delta, though if you fly other days the fare isn’t much higher – around $350 roundtrip. The catch here is you’re flying out of JFK instead of closer in LaGuardia which is the preferred airport for business travelers. But again, you get full meal service and the planes are in a 1X2 First Class configuration for extra privacy if you’re in the side with only one seat.

4. Seattle – Los Angeles: $354 (United)

Book 21 days in advance and you can get this fare any day of the year as long as ‘G’ class is available. United’s serving meals on these flights again, and they’re on regional jets with a 1X2 configuration.

5. Washington, D.C. – Miami: $443 (American, Delta)

Book 14 days in advance, and the Florida sun is yours all winter (and summer) long. American flies its full sized jets on this route and even though it’s only a 2 and a half hour flight, a meal is served during mealtimes.

This fare is also cool because it’s available as a one way for half the price (just around $200). And if you want to stop in Atlanta on the way, Delta will sell you an even cheaper ticket.

Where to find more

Google Flights is a great place to scout. One trick is to input your starting city and dates you want to travel, then leave the destination blank. Click on ‘Explore Destinations’ and you’ll see a map with cheap fares to cities all over the country and world that are ready for booking.


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