Reader Steven writes in:
I know that so called y-up fares can be a good way to sit in first class for cheap, but I can’t find them for flights to Europe or Asia. Can you help?
The reason you can’t find them, Steven, is because there are none by that name. International long-haul discount first (and business) class fares go by different names than their domestic equivalents.
Y-UP fares and their ilk are limited to North American flights, and generally refer to an upgrade from coach to first on two-class planes. See here for background on Y-UP fares, and see FareCompare’s Y-UP search tool to find these fares on routes you travel.
For Europe or Asia, you’re generally going to be looking for Z-fares. But there’s no handy-dandy search tool (yet) for Z-fares like there is for Y-UPs. (Neil and Rick, consider this a challenge!…)
Z-fares crop up from time to time, but aren’t available on every route. Traveling in summer or the December holiday season maximizes your chances of finding such a fare.
For international premium class travel, be sure to also consider the startup airlines like
Maxjet, Silverjet, Eos Airlines, MiMa, and L’Avion (update: L’Avion is now renamed OpenSkies). These offer all-business class flights to London, Milan, or Paris.
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