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Old 06-02-2015, 05:57 PM
 
1,154 posts, read 1,871,272 times
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Hi all,

I'm looking at traveling Las Vegas-Cozumel in January and would like to book a business/first class seat. The price right now is 724 on AA and 843 on UA.

I know that with coach fares, it really depends on when you book as to what fare you get, (I've heard you should book late night on Tuesdays for the best fares).

Are first class/business the same? Does it matter how far out you book as long as it's at least a couple of months out?

There's really no benefit with first/biz on these short flights other than the wider seats that recline more, I don't believe the food is all that great and on the planes used (737-800), there's no seat back video on either airline.

Any helpful hints will be appreciated!
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
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1st Class fares do change, but not like economy fares do....they stay fairly close to their base price. That seems like a great 1st class price, to me!

I wouldn't pay for 1st class unless the flight is over 3 hours....I can stand almost ANYTHING for 3 hours!!!
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:14 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
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I wouldn't consider booking first/business class unless it is cross ocean (which means over 6/7 hours). For the short hauls, the comfort level is hardly that different - you get a bigger seat and more service, what's the point. However for a trans-pacific flight, it is the difference between sitting uncomfortably for 14 hours and having a nice sleep in a bed.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:09 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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That's actually not a bad price for the AA flight if it's a r/t fare. I like having more leg room and would book for that alone. My experience is the first, business, and premium economy aren't nearly as volatile as economy. I bought a PE ticket from LAX to PPT and the fare didn't change by a single dollar over the 11 months from when I booked through when I flew.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Limbo
6,475 posts, read 6,183,304 times
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There are multiple fare classes in each cabin, many more so in coach, so once one fare class is full, there is potential for fares to change.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,312,423 times
Reputation: 3600
Quote:
Originally Posted by johninvegas View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking at traveling Las Vegas-Cozumel in January and would like to book a business/first class seat. The price right now is 724 on AA and 843 on UA.

I know that with coach fares, it really depends on when you book as to what fare you get, (I've heard you should book late night on Tuesdays for the best fares).

Are first class/business the same? Does it matter how far out you book as long as it's at least a couple of months out?

There's really no benefit with first/biz on these short flights other than the wider seats that recline more, I don't believe the food is all that great and on the planes used (737-800), there's no seat back video on either airline.

Any helpful hints will be appreciated!
Those fares (esp. AA's) are pretty decent for that time of year. Those are discounted first/business fares (first class within the USA, business for the international legs) and they do indeed sell out. I wouldn't hesitate. I'd imagine coach prices for the same days are pretty close to $450 or $500; for the difference you get free bags, priority screening, free booze, and if any of your segments are on AA's new A321 "sharklet" planes, a flat-bed seat and great IFE.

The "Tuesday night" thing is and always has been hogwash. If it were true, why would anybody buy tickets at any other time? The airlines' yield management computers are way smarter than the buyers.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,424 posts, read 2,091,576 times
Reputation: 3348
Domestic US: It depends on the competition/seasonality of the route, but in most cases, volatility is small or non-existent.

International: First class is even less changeable here*. Business and Premium Economy will fluctuate/go on sale (again, depending on competition), but economy still swings the most.

*Broad brush alert.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,224,622 times
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First class fares do and can change rapidly!

I only fly first class domestically and when you buy makes a HUGE difference.

You have to get the first class ticket before that fare class is sold out.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,545 posts, read 52,637,306 times
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First class, in my experience (and I fly a lot of American), is only worth it on a flight ~5 hours or longer.
And check what kind of plane you're going to be on.
The smaller planes...meh.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
1,271 posts, read 2,679,074 times
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The short answer is no. the long answer is complicated and should help elucidate a little bit why airline prices are so confusing.

On most airlines, there are only a few fare classes for first class, plus another handful of fare classes for business class (and most flights have only business class, rare to have both on domestic flights). There are at least 15 fare classes for economy, including multiple deep discount, discount, and full fare classes. Typically, prices don't change within a fare class--the only thing that happens is that one fare class sells out and so only more expensive fare classes are still available (or may not even sell out, which doesn't really mean anything anyway because the airline could designate all seats of any given fare class if it wanted to, but is selling well enough that the airline thinks it can sell more expensive fare classes first), or seats aren't selling fast enough so cheaper fare classes are released for sale.

For example, on United, the lowest fare class is "N". N is very rarely offered for sale initially, but if a route is not selling well, some N fares will open up. Otherwise, the second-lowest fare class is "G". G is typically the fare offered for sale well in advance, although on routes that fill up reliably, United may start with "K", "L", "T" or "S", the next classes up (in order). These are all considered Deep Discount fares (and also may not be eligible for certain types of upgrades). Above "S" you switch to Discount fares, which start with "W", then "V", "Q", "H", "U", "E" and "M". Above "M" are so-called Full Fare prices, including "B", which are the steeply marked up tickets available right before a flight sells out, and "Y", which are the prices you pay for flexible tickets (tickets that can be cancelled or changed at the last minute without cost). Y and B are often comparable to first or business class prices.

By contrast, there are only five categories for business class ("Z", deep discount, "P", discount, "D" and "C", full fare, and "J", flexible full fare) and two categories for first class ("F", discount, and "A", full fare).

Note that fare class alone has no impact whatsoever on the quality of your seat (though it can impact miles earned and elite qualification--Y and B fares earn more miles and qualify for elite status faster than other economy fares).
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