International Business Class travel has NEVER been better. Over the last decade all the major air carriers have completely reconfigured their Business Class cabins to offer comfort and amenities that exceed the best First Class offering of a generation ago. It is common to find flat-bed seats, all aisle access, superior entertainment equipment to deliver a vast array of media choices, extensive fine alcohol selections, meal services on par with fine dining, special exclusive airport lounges and in some cases even on-board bars to serve the Business Class client. The transformation has been incredible.
When traveling to an international destination, everyone should travel Business Class. The issue, of course, at what price? Mileage Exchange is not pitching some too good to be true fantasy price points – like false promises of cheaper than economy class. No, that is not the case. However, a reasonable price of $2500 to $3500 is available with regular consistency. Now, Mileage Exchange acknowledges and points out this price point is NOT a deal for many city pairs depending on the departure city and destination. It is a matter of exploring the details for your particular itinerary to determine if award travel tickets are an option worthy of your consideration.
SHORT NOTICE TRAVEL
Important Note: It is a fact that SHORT NOTICE availability is a good option for award points. What occurs is the airlines inventory control departments hold back on releasing the award seats until it becomes apparent the Business and First Class cabins are going to go out empty. When the wheels go up – that is it, that empty seat served no value. The truth is award points are at there best in securing Business and First Class seats on a SHORT NOTICE basis. Plus, as an extra bonus, the airlines charge MORE for economy seats as it gets closer to the departure date. To the point that an award point Business Class seat may be very compatible to the cost airlines are quoting for economy.
Here are real world examples of current round trip Business Class prices published by the airlines as their regular published fares (ME encourages readers to do a basic search with Kayak.com to verify the veracity of these claims):
- JFK / HKG Cathay Pacific non-stop – 16 hours each way – RT $7600
- JFK / PEK / HKG Air China one-stop – 22 hours each way – RT $2600
- Award Travel with Cathay Pacific – RT $2800 RT
The point, there are options that create decisions to weigh the various variables. Air China Business class is good (they have made big improvements), but it is NOT on par with Cathay Pacific Business Class service. Non-stop with Cathay Pacific also knocks off 6 hours of travel time, which makes a big difference. PLUS, the Cathay Pacific Business Class airport lounges are wonderful. Only you can decide if it is worth it. ($???)
Mileage Exchange has experience in brokering the award points expanding over 3 decades. It is our job to explore all the options available for your consideration. If the award points are NOT the best option for your particular itinerary – we will tell you the truth. Which brings up an alternative option for your consideration – consolidator tickets.
It is an unfortunate fact that securing the award points seats can be difficult due to the inventory controls imposed by ALL the airlines. To combat this reality, the Mileage Exchange staff commits to pursuing the release of award inventory that may involve weeks of efforts checking with the various programs for seats being released by the inventory control departments. However, many times the seats will just not be made available. Even though many times seats will be released into the Business Class inventory, it does not occur until it is close to the actual departure date, i.e.: this is the STATED policy of Lufthansa (which offers a nice Business Class product). It is understandable that many travelers want to have their plans locked down ASAP with secured itinerary confirmations.
Consolidators purchase tickets directly from the airlines at specially negotiated rates, and then resell them to travel agents and brokers for prices lower than published fares. The best discounts are on international tickets for First and Business Class travel.
As with airline sale fares, these lower prices often carry more restrictions. When you purchase through a consolidator, you may not be eligible for frequent flyer miles or advance seat selection, and you won’t have much flexibility to make changes to your itinerary without paying significant change fees. But these restrictions may be worth it in exchange for a significant savings for the high prices when purchasing the air carriers published fares in Business and First Class.
Mileage Exchange is motivated to search a consolidator ticket option to meet your travel request when an award ticket itinerary can not be secured. We have decades of experience and deal with established professionals in this niche of the travel industry.
Mileage Exchange has picked selected videos that provide reviews of international air carriers Business Class cabins and services.