Top 5 business class cabin buying events of 2016

When airlines set business and first class fare levels too high, flyers stop buying. Carriers use business class buying events, where fares are quietly slashed 80% or more for a few days, to fill unsold seats. Once the buying event ends and seats are sold, fares typically move higher once again. Here are the top five premium buying events that you might have missed in 2016 so far:

The Top 5 Business Class Cabin Buying Events of 2016 1

1. 31st May 2016: Houston – Europe business fares fell to just $550 round trip!

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Here’s an economics lesson for you. When oil prices fall more than 70% within a year, as they did between 2015 and 2016, businesses with exposure to energy, manufacturing and minerals may stop spending on luxury travel. That’s exactly what happened in Houston, a city that airlines have traditionally excluded from buying events. On May 31st, carriers like Delta launched an aggressive fare attack on Star Alliance hub cities including Houston. The most extreme fares detected included $550 plus tax round trip business class between Houston and Frankfurt or Zurich.

The Top 5 Business Class Cabin Buying Events of 2016 2

2. 3rd May 2016: American Airlines’ $802 business class fares from Paris sets record

On May 2nd, American Airlines’ lowest business class fare between Paris and the U.S. started at $3,671. One day later, however, business class fares with American Airlines plummeted all the way down to just $802 + taxes round trip, a 78% correction overnight! New record lows were set to West Coast destinations like Los Angeles and San Francisco at this rate. This record-setting fare turned out to be a one-day event and was suspended almost as soon as it began, concluding on May 5th, 2016.

The Top 5 Business Class Cabin Buying Events of 2016 3

3. 12th July 2016: $1,705 London-Seattle British Airways First Class

Okay, so $1,705 may not initially seem like an amazing deal, but this fare was for first class, not business class. Second, consider that British Airways’ first class fares to Seattle normally start at $8,280, and fares can top out over $16,000 round trip. First class fares were also slashed to other cities, but none quite as much as Seattle. This represented up to 90% savings and may be one of the cheapest first class fares in relation to the flight distance and quality of product of all time!

The Top 5 Business Class Cabin Buying Events of 2016 4

4. 10th January 2016: 80% business class fare cuts with Qatar Airways

On January 10th, One World member Qatar Airways started the new year off with a bang by initiating an epic fare sale. The most extreme discounts were found for travel originating in Montreal. Examples of extreme discounts include the following:

ORIGIN DESTINATION CLASS CARRIER “PROMO FARE”
MONTREAL DELHI BUSINESS QATAR  $1,300
MONTREAL MUMBAI BUSINESS QATAR  $1,298
MONTREAL BANGKOK BUSINESS QATAR  $1,669
MONTREAL KUALA LUMPUR BUSINESS QATAR  $1,731

Fares were valid for travel anytime in 2016, but this buying event was suspended just one week later on January 17th, 2016. When this buying event was launched, Passport Premiere members received their member intelligence report and many originated trips “north of the border” in Montreal to capitalize on this buying opportunity.

The Top 5 Business Class Cabin Buying Events of 2016 5

5. Business fares to South Africa plummet 80% or more

In 2014, business fares to South Africa on Delta operated nonstop flights via Atlanta routinely starting at $7,000. On days of peak demand, it wasn’t uncommon to see business class fare exceed a jaw-dropping $17,000! As energy and commodity prices tanked in 2015, so did the appetite for overpriced business class tickets. By 2016, Delta and other carriers were forced to respond to anemic demand with dramatic fare cuts. The most extreme example included Dallas – Johannesburg from $2,772 plus taxes round trip on business class or Toronto-Capetown from just $2,182 plus taxes round drop on business class.

If there are others you think we’ve incorrectly omitted and should be included, please feel free to chime in using the comment section below.

Lars Condor is the Managing Director of Passport Premiere.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maya Russell says:

    The price drops are incredible and if you have flexibility on your travel times & places then you really ought to take advantage of these events if you can.

  2. Francois says:

    In addition, I would add that Cathay Pacific (with its every Tuesday special fares) and Thai Airways are also very good companies with plenty of business/first class offers throughout the year. One tip for readers: always always always book your flight tickets directly through the airline company, rather than third-parties.

  3. Murray says:

    It’s October 2016 – how can one know in advance when the next wave of ‘business class buying events’ are taking place – like in 2017?

  4. In Australia the Airlines offering these rates first go to the convention bureaux in each destination because they organise events and famil tours for meeting and event planners, Travel Agents and the Media.

    Imagine the interest if they offered a Professional Conference Organiser a first class trip for peanuts to come to their city prior to booking group events!

    Its called feathering your own nest because that PCO could book a huge group event worth millions of dollars in that city and as most delegates fly First or Business class its a positive step for the airlines.

Leave a Reply



Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published





Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Links are not allowed here - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…