Business Class Global

If you’re like me, you live in the U.S. and you are particular about your air travel conditions. Namely, you won’t fly long haul in anything less than a comfortable business class seat. You also don’t want to pay through the roof for your business class tickets. In this article, I’ll be listing the best ways to find cheap business class seats to Europe. Whether you’re planning a trip to Paris, London, or Rome, the methods I’ll be covering can be used to grab cheap business class tickets to anywhere.

Key Takeaways:

  • You don’t have to compromise on comfort when it comes to long-haul flights
  • Finding affordable business class options without breaking the bank is possible
  • Rewards programs and flight search engines are your friends
  • It helps to be familiar with airlines that are known for their competitive pricing
  • Hidden deals are a thing, but aren’t a go-to
  • You can score with lesser-known airlines (sometimes)

The US to Europe Route Explained in Business Class Terminology

The US to Europe business class route has distinct characteristics compared to routes from the US to Oceania, Asia, or the Middle East, primarily because of differences in distance, demand, airline competition, and cultural service standards. I’ve broken it down for you here.

  1. Distance and Flight Duration:
    • US to Europe: Shorter than US to Oceania or Asia, typically 7 to 12 hours. Some may say that amenities and sleep opportunities in business class are less critical than on longer flights, I beg to differ.
    • US to Oceania: Much longer, usually 14 to 20+ hours, which means the most comfortable lie -flat beds, dining, and entertainment options are non-negotiable.
    • US to Asia: Varies widely (5 to 18 hours) depending on the destination. Depending on the destination comfort and amenities can be a must, similar to the US to Oceania route.
    • US to Middle East: Typically between 12 to 16 hours, definitely require luxury and high service levels, which is great and can be seen through the opulence associated with Middle Eastern carriers like Qatar, Emirates, Etihad etc.
  2. Demand and Seasonality:
    • US to Europe: Higher demand during summer and holidays. Prices and availability tend to vary more seasonally on US to Europe.
    • US to Oceania: Fairly consistent demand with notable peaks in the US winter (which is the Southern Hemisphere summer).
    • US to Asia: Steady demand year-round, with variations based on regional holidays like the Chinese New Year.
    • US to Middle East: Much less seasonal fluctuation, but can be impacted by global events and holidays like Ramadan.
  3. Airline Competition and Alliances:
    • US to Europe: Highly competitive! There are a lot of airlines offering multiple daily flights. Of course competition is great for us travelers because it means better deals and service variations.
    • US to Oceania: Less competition, often dominated by a few key airlines, which can affect pricing and availability.
    • US to Asia: Moderate to high competition, depending on the route. Significant variations in service and pricing.
    • US to Middle East: Mostly dominated by major Middle Eastern carriers known for luxurious service, potentially offering higher standards but with less variation in pricing as we mentioned above Qatar, Emirates, Etihad. There are deals though.
  4. Cultural Service Standards and Amenities:
    • US to Europe: Business class flights are focused on comfort and efficiency, with a relatively balanced approach to luxury.
    • US to Oceania: The emphasis is on comfort for the longer flights, with more attention to sleep and dining.
    • US to Asia: Varied, with some airlines focusing on luxury and others on efficiency. Service can be highly tailored to cultural preferences.
    • US to Middle East: Often the epitome of luxury, with state-of-the-art amenities, gourmet dining, and lavish service.

Lie-Flat Seat or Not

One of the things you’ll be looking for and what is the most sought-after features in business class is the lie-flat seat (or flatbed, same thing). These seats recline to an almost horizontal position, allowing you to stretch out and sleep comfortably on long-haul flights. Lie-flat seats are essential if you’re going to have a restful journey, especially for overnight flights across the Atlantic. The good news is, many airlines operating on the US to Europe flight routes offer lie-flat seats in their business class cabins.

In addition to lie-flat seats, flying business class should provide you with a wide range of amenities that enhance their travel experience and are the reason you’re paying a premium. This includes priority boarding, access to luxurious airport lounges, and an elevated dining experience with gourmet meals and a selection of fine wines (usually). So between the lie-flat seats and these other perks, flying business class is a no brainer if you’re flying from the US to Europe.

Don’t expect every business class flight to have lie flat seats

It’s important to note that not all business class flights offer lie-flat seats. Some airlines may offer other seating configurations, such as angled-flat seats or recliner seats, which provide what I’d call “varying levels of comfort” but do not recline all the way to a fully flat position. To name a few non-lie-flat business class flights.

Icelandair – Their Saga Premium has a bigger seat but it is NOT a lie-flat.

Alaska Airlines – No lie flat

Southwest Airlines – No lie flat

Spirit Airlines – No lie flat

While these alternatives do offer a somewhat more comfortable experience compared to economy class, they do not provide the same level of restfulness as business class flights that offer lie-flat. So definitely take into consideration if your version of restfulness on a flights is important to you. Or if you’re the kind of person that can fall asleep anywhere go with the tin can carriers.

Now that we’ve covered the concept of lie-flat seats and what it means to fly business class, let’s move on to strategies for finding affordable business class flights to Europe and a list of airlines that often offer competitive pricing.

How I Figured Out the Cheapest Business Class to Europe

Now I’m going to share my personal experiences and strategies for finding the cheapest business class flights to Europe. Let’s start with some tips and techniques that can help you secure budget-friendly business class travel:

  1. Utilize Points and Miles: One of the best ways to save money on business class flights is by using your accumulated points and miles. Many airlines and credit card reward programs offer opportunities to redeem your points for business class tickets. You need to get familiar with different loyalty programs and find the ones that offer the best value for your points. This is crucial for every traveler.
  2. Maximize Reward Programs: Pay attention because this is different than number 1. Outside of the credit card programs there are the programs that the airlines and hotels offer themselves. These are often called “loyalty programs” because they offer you the rewards to try and get you to be loyal to them. So you need to take them up on this and maximize your travel rewards. We’ll go into techniques for this separately. But for our purposes, make sure to sign up for frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs to earn points for every trip. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up and the benefits can be huge. You can also combine your points with airline alliances and partnerships to access more flight options which increases your chances of securing deals on business class fares.
  3. Find Award Availability: If you already have awards, you’ll want to start there when looking. Keep in mind award availability can be limited, especially for popular routes and peak travel seasons. Sometimes though, it can be WIDE OPEN. When it isn’t wide open, being flexible with your travel dates and destinations can help if that’s possible. Being flexible will help increase your chances of finding business class award seats. Make sure to check through the reward booking services or through the airline websites frequently for updates on award availability.
  4. Use Flight Search Engines: Search engines like Google Flights can be valuable tools in finding cheap business class flights. The main purpose of these search engines is to first see what the options are that exist. Once you know the options, you can start looking for deals. You should compare prices across multiple airlines and dates to find the best deals. Pro Tip: You can also set up price alerts to receive notifications when prices drop.
  5. Consider Alternate Airports: Sometimes flying from or to alternate airports can significantly reduce the cost of business class tickets. So make sure to check nearby cities or airports within a reasonable distance from your origin or destination.
  6. Book Well in Advance: If at all possible, book as far in advance (this goes for reward flights too, although they can open up last minute). As a rule of thumb, business class fares generally get more expensive as the departure date gets closer. Also keep an eye out for flash sales or limited-time promotions offered by airlines or travel agencies (Like
Utilizing Points and MilesSave money by redeeming accumulated points and miles for business class flights.
Maximizing Reward ProgramsEarn points with airline and hotel loyalty programs to access more flight options and increase chances of finding affordable fares.
Finding Award AvailabilityBe flexible with travel dates and destinations to increase chances of securing business class award seats.
Using Flight Search EnginesCompare prices across multiple airlines and dates to find the best deals.
Considering Alternate AirportsExplore potential savings by flying from or to alternate airports within a reasonable distance.
Booking Well in AdvanceSecure the best deals by booking business class tickets well in advance.

My List of Cheapest Business Class Airlines to Europe

When it comes to finding affordable business class airlines for your trip to Europe, there are a bunch of options to choose from. These carriers not only offer competitive pricing but also provide excellent service and a comfortable travel experience. Below, I put together a list of the best airlines that provide the best deals on business class flights to Europe.

Air FranceExtensive route network, quality service, and exceptional customer loyalty programsCheck their website for the latest promotions and discounts
British AirwaysWorld-class service, luxurious amenities, and a wide range of flight optionsLook out for their seasonal sales and special offers
LufthansaAlliance with other carriers for seamless connections, top-notch service, and comfortable cabinsKeep an eye on their website for exclusive deals and discounts
DeltaExtensive flight network, excellent onboard amenities, and personalized serviceSubscribe to their newsletter for regular updates on special promotions
United AirlinesHighly convenient routes, spacious cabins, and exceptional in-flight servicesVisit their website for current offers and discounted fares
Swiss AirlinesSuperior comfort, delectable cuisine, and excellent customer serviceCheck their website regularly for promotional fares and sales events

If you can find deals on any of these airlines, you’re good to go. Check the rewards, check the search engines and check with boutique travel companies that may have deals. Also keep an eye out for promotions and discounts that the airlines run throughout the year.

Why Domestic Airlines Are Not Always the Cheapest Business Class

Domestic business class flights may seem like an attractive option if you’re looking to fly in comfort, but believe it or not they are not always the most cost-effective choice when traveling from the US to Europe. As we touched on above, one of the key factors that sets international airlines apart from their domestic counterparts is the lie-flat seats in business class. The domestic airlines tend to offer much fewer lie-flat seat options. So keep an eye out for that, if say you’re looking to fly with Southwest airlines in their “business class” you’ll be sorely disappointed.

What you may find in some domestic carriers business class are bigger seats with limited recline or angle-flat seats, these seats are better than economy by if you’re like me they’re not comfortable enough to sit in for 8+ hours.

Better Amenities

International airlines usually prioritize service and amenities in their business class offerings which is another reason to avoid domestic. You can expect a higher level of personalized attention, far superior in-flight entertainment systems, better dining options, and access to luxurious airport lounges. With domestic airlines they have more limited service offerings overall, and especially on shorter flights. Keep this in mind when considered what the value of your business class ticket is.

Also important to note is that international airlines tend to operate bigger and better aircraft on long-haul routes (Meaning more spacious and more luxurious). That means more cabin space and more comfortable seating arrangements. Domestic airlines, on the other hand, often use smaller planes, which translates to tighter seating configurations and more discomfort.

To note, there are domestic carriers that offer business class seats which offer a more comfortable experience compared to economy class, they fall far and between in comparison to the level of luxury and comfort provided by international airlines. If you’re like me and you want as close as possible to the ultimate business class experience on your journey to Europe, I would highly recommend looking into affordable options with international carriers.

Hidden Business Class Deals That Work Sometimes

When it comes to finding affordable business class travel to Europe, sometimes the best deals are the hidden ones. Be aware, these deals are not well known and hence the term “hidden fares”, but with a little insider knowledge and some clever tricks, you can uncover some amazing bargains. Here are some of my strategies for finding those elusive hidden business class deals:

  1. Explore lesser-known airlines or routes: While well-known airlines often come with a higher price tag, there are lesser-known carriers that offer competitive pricing for business class flights to Europe. Do some research and consider flying with these airlines to save big on your business class fare.
  2. Stay updated with travel deal websites: Sign up for newsletters or follow travel deal websites that focus on business class flights. These sources often have inside information on flash sales, mistake fares, and other special promotions. By staying in the loop, you can be one of the first to snag those hidden deals.
  3. Be flexible with your travel dates and destinations: Hidden business class deals often come up at the last minute or on specific dates. By being flexible with your travel plans, you can take advantage of these opportunities. Consider traveling during off-peak seasons or on weekdays to increase your chances of finding a great deal.
  4. Learn from others’ success stories: Sometimes the best tips come from fellow travelers who have already scored hidden business class deals. Join online forums or communities where travelers share their success stories and insider tips. You might discover some lesser-known strategies or even specific airlines that consistently offer hidden deals.

Remember, hidden business class deals may require a bit of extra effort and flexibility, but the savings and the luxurious travel experience are well worth it. Keep these insider tips in mind the next time you are searching for affordable business class travel to Europe, and you may just find yourself flying in style at a fraction of the usual cost.

Why I’m Skeptical About Air France Business Class Deals

As someone who values affordable business class travel, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with different airlines. While Air France may be a popular choice for many travelers, I must admit that I’m somewhat skeptical about their business class deals.

One of the main concerns I have about Air France’s business class product is the service quality. While they do offer a certain level of sophistication, I have found that their customer service can be inconsistent at times. This has resulted in mixed experiences, where some flights were excellent while others fell short of expectations.

Another drawback of Air France business class is the seat comfort. Although their seats are generally spacious and provide ample legroom, I have found them to be lacking in terms of plushness and ergonomic design. This can make long-haul flights less comfortable, especially when compared to other airlines that prioritize passenger comfort with plush and fully adjustable seats.

Considering the above factors, I would suggest exploring alternative options for affordable business class travel to Europe. Airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa, and Swiss Airlines consistently offer great value for money, with excellent service, comfortable seats, and competitive prices. These carriers prioritize customer satisfaction and ensure a luxurious and pleasant travel experience. So, while Air France may have its merits, it’s always worth considering other options before making a decision.


What are some of the benefits of flying business class to Europe?

Flying business class offers numerous benefits, such as lie-flat seats for added comfort during long-haul flights, priority boarding, access to luxurious airport lounges, enhanced meal options, and personalized service from the cabin crew.

Do all business class flights offer lie-flat seats?

Not all business class flights offer lie-flat seats. However, lie-flat seats have become the standard for long-haul flights, especially on international routes. It is important to check with the airline to confirm if the business class cabin offers lie-flat seats or if there are alternative seating arrangements.

How can I find affordable business class flights to Europe?

There are several strategies you can use to find affordable business class flights to Europe. You can maximize your points and miles by booking through reward programs, use flight search engines to compare prices and find the best deals, and take advantage of promotions and special offers from airlines. Being flexible with travel dates and destinations can also help you secure budget-friendly business class travel.

Which airlines offer affordable business class flights to Europe?

Some airlines known for offering competitive pricing and value for business class flights to Europe include Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, Swiss Airlines, and Etihad Airways. These airlines have extensive route networks, quality service, and customer loyalty programs that can enhance your travel experience.

Why are domestic airlines not always the cheapest option for business class to Europe?

Domestic airlines may not always offer the cheapest business class flights to Europe due to differences in service, amenities, and aircraft configurations. Business class on international airlines often provide lie-flat seats for long-haul flights, whereas domestic business class may not offer this feature. It is important to consider these factors and explore alternative airlines for affordable international business class options.

How can I find hidden business class deals for travel to Europe?

To find hidden business class deals, consider following travel deal websites or signing up for newsletters to receive alerts about flash sales or mistake fares. Being flexible with travel dates and destinations can help you take advantage of last-minute business class deals. Additionally, exploring lesser-known airlines or routes may provide competitive pricing for business class flights to Europe.

What should I consider when booking Air France business class?

While Air France business class may offer enticing deals, it is important to consider potential drawbacks. Some travelers have expressed concerns about service quality, seat comfort, or value for money with Air France’s business class product. It may be helpful to explore alternative options or airlines to ensure a satisfying and affordable business class travel experience to Europe.

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