Business-class bargain to Australia: TPG U.K. reader success story

Nov 17, 2019

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community. This week reader Alfie secured a heavily discounted business class fare with Air China thanks to The Points Guy U.K., and he wrote in to share his experience and advice:

“You know how they make you walk through business class to get to the economy cabin? We all know why they do it. They think that by showing us those fancy, spacious seats that one day, we’ll be crazy enough to fork out 3 or 4 times the cost of our economy airfare to sit amongst the privileged. Well, on me… their seduction works. I fall for it every time. My jealousy instantly soars mile high.

For my upcoming trip from Stockholm to Australia, I did my usual search, and — unsurprisingly — nothing in business class would fit my upper limit. So, I ended up booking economy flights with Qatar Airways for less than £1,000 return. The next day, I heard about an amazing Air China business class deal from The Points Guy U.K. Since it was within 24 hours of the economy flight booking I had just made, I knew I could cancel my flights without penalty due to the cooling-off window.

So, I proceeded to explore the deal. The site was showing some legs that fell just within my budget, which elevated my heart rate — but then I saw that these itineraries were 50-60 hour journeys with multiple stops.I felt mildly deflated and resigned to the thought that my time mustn’t have come just yet. Nonetheless, I persisted in trying different combinations of dates purely because wistfully clinging onto hope is my forte. Finally, an hour later, I managed to land on a certain combination of dates that suited my travel plans at a price of £1,500. While the journey back was a smooth transit, the trip to Australia would involve a 15-hour layover in Beijing.

I worked out that due to the short timeframe, I would be permitted to leave the airport without a visa once the flight lands at (the decent hour of) 9 a.m. And I reasoned that this would be great, since I’ve never been to China before. I cancelled my economy flights and made my first-ever business-class purchase.

I wanted to share this story because I am not the sort of person who flies business — just someone who wants to. The key takeaway for me is: if you have a reasonable budget, you can do it — so long as you keep an eye out for deals, play around with dates and book as soon as you realise you’re onto something good.”

Alfie’s story is a good reminder of a few things. First, subscribing to the TPG U.K. newsletter will put you on track to getting the latest deals sent to your inbox every morning. Second, his experience is a solid reminder that you don’t need to be cash rich to fly at the front of the aircraft — being points rich can show you the true value of your points and miles. If you’re new to the points and miles hobby, this is a good place to start.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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