I write all the time about how we’re seeing more great premium cabin fares than ever before. Airlines are increasingly trying to condition consumers to pay for the product they want, rather than to rely on upgrades. Even as an elite member entitled to complimentary space available upgrades on American, I sometimes find myself paying for first class, given how it’s only marginally more expensive.
However, at the moment we’re seeing what I think is the cheapest first class fare I’ve ever seen. Admittedly this fare won’t be useful to everyone, though hopefully some of you can take advantage of it. Regardless, I find it fascinating.
American has $74 one-way first class fares between Los Angeles and Portland throughout much of October and November. The fare is available in both directions, though you can choose just to book it as a one-way.
The base fares on these tickets is just $55, meaning under American’s new revenue based frequent flyer program you’d earn just ~275 redeemable miles for the ticket as a non-elite (as an Executive Platinum member I’d earn a total of 11x miles per dollar spent, for a total of 605 miles).
However, elite qualifying miles are still awarded based on distance flown, and you earn double elite qualifying miles for paid first class.
Alternatively you could credit to Alaska Mileage Plan, as they’d award both elite qualifying and redeemable miles for 150% of the distance flown.
As a point of comparison, the economy fare on these flights seems to be ~$58, so it’s ~$15 cheaper than first class. That’s a price at which I think most people would agree first class is worth the premium.
This particular route is operated by American Eagle Embraer 175s, which are by far my favorite regional jet. They’re actually a fairly nice ride in first class, and I generally prefer them to American’s older 737s, given that you can select a single seat on the side of the plane.
While most people probably won’t be using this fare to mileage run, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a first class fare this low.
What’s the cheapest first class fare you’ve ever seen?
(Tip of the hat to CokeandTaco on FlyerTalk)