For many travelers, the allure of first-class air travel is undeniable. The extra legroom, gourmet meals, and personalized service create an experience that’s a world apart from economy class. However, the cost of upgrading to first class can often be a deterrent. But what if we told you that there are budget-friendly options for first-class flights? A recent study by Upgraded Points sheds light on the best airlines to fly first class on a budget within the United States.
Upgraded Points conducted an extensive study analyzing the price variations in first-class tickets across four major U.S. airlines and twelve of the busiest domestic flight routes. The study meticulously gathered ticket price data from Google Flights, focusing on the 12 busiest domestic flight routes within the U.S.
To ensure a comprehensive representation of pricing trends, both peak and non-peak departure dates were considered. The costs were then averaged to determine one-way ticket prices for both economy and first-class seating. It’s important to note that the study excluded U.S. airlines that do not offer first-class or lacked sufficient data on the analyzed routes.
Delta Air Lines emerged as the front-runner in the study, but with a caveat – it charges the highest premiums for first-class tickets. Passengers opting for first class can expect to pay $284.55 more for a one-way ticket compared to economy. Despite the premium, Delta Air Lines has recently upped its game by introducing new first-class seats with privacy partitions, adjustable neck cushions, and additional storage space, making it a competitive choice for those willing to splurge.
Alaska Airlines first class
Alaska Airlines stands out not only for its high first-class ticket price differences ($281.25) but also for its unique amenities. The airline goes above and beyond by serving food in its first-class cabins on flights as short as 550 miles. This catering to shorter flights sets Alaska Airlines apart from most other legacy carriers that typically reserve in-flight dining for journeys longer than 900 miles.
United Airlines first class
United First Class offers a more budget-friendly option for travelers looking to experience first-class comfort without breaking the bank. With a price difference of approximately $250.23 between economy and first class, United Airlines provides an enticing opportunity to enjoy an elevated flying experience.
American Airlines first class: The Most Affordable Deal
Among the airlines studied, American Airlines first class is the clear winner in terms of affordability for travel. Passengers can expect to pay just $235.85 more for a one-way first-class ticket compared to economy. This makes American Airlines an attractive choice for those seeking a premium experience without a hefty price tag.
Average Premium for first class
On average, passengers traveling within the U.S. can anticipate paying a premium of $262.97 per flight (one-way) or over $525 (round-trip) when choosing a first-class ticket. This figure underscores the appeal of budget-friendly options like those offered by American Airlines and United Airlines.
While the lap of luxury may come at a price, there are notable exceptions for travelers seeking first-class experiences on a budget within the United States. Delta Air Lines, despite its premium pricing, offers cutting-edge amenities, making it a top choice for those willing to splurge. Alaska Airlines’ unique dining options and United Airlines’ budget-friendly fares are also worth considering. However, the title of the most affordable deal goes to American Airlines, which provides a premium experience without a substantial price difference.
Ultimately, the best airline for you will depend on your priorities and budget. Whether you prioritize luxury or affordability, this study by Upgraded Points offers valuable insights to help you make an informed choice and ensure your first-class travel experience is both comfortable and cost-effective.
Flights to Paris are a steal right now, but there’s one good reason you should think twice about going to France
It's a gorgeous city with a big, bad airport
A luxurious French vacation usually includes a plethora of scenic views, historical landmarks, incredible food, and, depending on where you're coming from and where you stay, a potentially hefty price tag. Unless that is, you score one of the cheap flights to Paris available right now. But one thing travelers to France may not expect when booking a trip is that significant problems with the capital city's Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) might just be why flights to Paris are so inexpensive right now.
Flights to Paris are incredibly cheap, but travelers are wary
A recent study by Flight Experts at Going revealed that flights to Paris are the most inexpensive in all of Europe. The travel site aggregates flight deals for their members daily, sending a total of 91 economy class deals out for flights from the United States to Paris between June 30, 2022, and July 1, 2023.
Should you travel to Hawaii right now? What to know about the wildfires
With wildfires still raging, should you travel to Hawaii?
Hawaii, a place known for its stunning landscapes and warm hospitality, is currently grappling with an unprecedented natural disaster in the wake of raging wildfires. Usually a paradise for vacationers and locals alike, the idyllic islands of Maui and Hawaii (also known as The Big Island) have borne the brunt of this catastrophe. With ongoing recovery efforts already underway, travel to Hawaii — especially around the affected area — is heavily impacted.
Hawaii wildfires' impact on local infrastructure
The fires have scorched thousands of acres of land, engulfing homes, forests, and valuable resources. As the state battles to bring the situation under control, the impact on local infrastructure and daily life is profound. A major disaster declaration issued by Hawaii Governor Josh Green, M.D., was approved by President Joe Biden on August 10, directing federal aid and assistance to bolster state and local recovery efforts.
Travel tips for a better flight: The secret airline perks you didn’t know about
Knowing these secret airline tips could make travel a little nicer
With the average price of flights on the rise and many airlines charging more for perks that used to be included in your ticket price (hello, window seat), you might long for the good ole days when fliers were pampered with little extras like, say, dinner on a domestic flight. While those times are likely gone for good, there are still plenty of free or low-cost benefits out there for air travelers that the airlines don’t always tell you about—and most of them are available even if you’re not in the airline’s frequent flyer program.