The Cheapest First Class Fares from Each Airline

Last month I highlighted The Cheapest Business Class Fares From Each Airline.

FlightFox has now put together their list of best airline first class products, and the routes with the cheapest fares you can buy to fly them.

I don’t really agree with them that Singapore Airlines offers the best all-around first class product (though they do restrict the claim to Singapore’s A380). Or that Lufthansa has the 5th-best.

I’d take Qantas’ A380 First Class Suites (#15) over Air France (#12), JAL (#11), or Qatar (#7) in first.. in a heartbeat.

But the list is useful for finding routes where you can buy tickets, try the products, and do so without shelling out tens of thousands of dollars. In most cases I’d redeem miles for first class, but some have been known to buy an Emirates A380 flight between Bangkok and Hong Kong or a trans-tasman flight between Australia and New Zealand.

Cathay Pacific regularly flies Taipei – Hong Kong with a 777-300ER… meaning they offer their first class product on the route. It runs ~ $700.

Etihad’s first class can be found flying Abu Dhabi – Mumbai at less than $1000.

Singapore’s 777-300ER first class? Seoul – Singapore. Albeit still expensive at over $1500.

Some of these on the list are just wrong. For instance, British Airways first class is listed as being cheapest on the London – Hong Kong route at over $8000. It seems to me the cheapest would be something like Muscat – Abu Dhabi at a little over $300.

Similarly they list Seoul – Los Angeles as the cheapest route to take Korean Air first class. But Korean flies several routes intra-Asia with a first class cabin. I’ve taken Kuala Lumpur – Seoul, for instance, and that ticket would be about a third the price.

Check out the full list. Although bear in mind these are non-stop city pairs offering first class at a lower price than you’ll normally see it (often for shorter or oddball routes). You may be able to find much lower prices for connecting flights, a business class flight originating from another city connecting onward in first class.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Kinda sad to see US carriers at the bottom… but hardly surprising.

    I agree that rating Qantas so low , especially below Qatar, Thai, or Emirates regular F (without shower) is absurd.

    I really wonder about Oman. We don’t hear much about it.

  2. “Kinda sad to see US carriers at the bottom”

    why? in the business world free market decides the outcome. What is sad is in a culture like ours where everyone wins so no one is let down, the lazy or un-motivated ones still gets a piece of pie.

  3. @dave, the US still has the most number of millionaires in the world. I’d think if there was a ranking of the best private planes, US would win in a heartbeat (ok maybe 2nd after the Middle East folks.)

  4. Hi @Lanteen,
    We (Flightfox) organized the rank based off formulaic calculations (weighing seat size, suites, ‘rockstar’ factor, food&wine etc.), and let the computer crunch the numbers.

    We appreciate reader comments, and certainly those who have first-hand experience flying in these cabins. With this feedback, we can reevaluate the ordering.

  5. Hi @Lanteen,

    We (Flightfox) used formulaic calculations to crunch the data (seat, suites, food & wine, ‘rockstar’ factor etc.). The computer-generated airline ranking is the ranking that we’ve presented.

    However, we certainly appreciate reader comments, especially those who have flown in these cabins! With this feedback, we can reevaluate some of these rankings, and perhaps tweak them more towards experience!

  6. @Joey: your analogy is non-sense. Travelers who fly first class or have elite status with the airline are not all millionaires. I doubt the majority of millionaires will redeem miles to sit in the front. This is not Forbes ranking of the billionaires and multi-millionaires in the world, which is based on their net worth. The Middle-East folks that you refer to are solely based in the six Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE.

  7. Hi Gary, I worked with Grace building this F resource.Thanks for your comments. That’s true that you can fly BA first from AUH to MCT and from BAH to DOH for less than $400, but the flights are operated by a 777, not A380. When it comes BA, we only included A380 First as it’s their newest (arguably nicest) product. Similarly with Korean, you can fly F for around $500 on A330, 747 or 777 but not the A380 (which has a lounge!). We chose to compare airline’s flagship F only (or suites and non-suites in some cases).
    Thanks for your comment about Qantas, we’ll take a closer look at it.

  8. @Wojciech – sorry for misunderstanding! Although I’d suggest that while the Korean A380 has a lounge, in other respects it’s no better than the 777-300ER fleet. I do agree that the British Airways A380 is a better first class product, though only marginally better than their 777 (but meaningfully better than their 747).

  9. @Gary – great, we’ll look into the other Korean cabin & thanks for your feedback.

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