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The New York Times
"A newsletter for people who fly up front."
The Wall Street Journal
"The insider site."
Departures Magazine
"A crucial resource … packed with insider tips…"
Los Angeles Times
"The best resource I know for ‘tricks’ is Matthew Bennett's First Class Flyer."
The New York Times
"An exclusive website … finds reduced fares and free upgrades."
Four Seasons Resorts Magazine
"Loaded with tips on flying in comfort without paying the exorbitant first class fares!"
Chicago Tribune
"Highlights strategies for using miles to obtain upgrades."
The New York Times
"Shares all manner of upgrade secrets and strategies … fly in business class for the price of coach..."
Condé Nast Traveler
"A consumer buying guide to first class and business travel..."
Los Angeles Times
"Shares insider information on first and business class values and upgrade tactics..."
USA Today
"Mr. Upgrade shares his secrets for flying first class at economy fares…"
Kiplinger’s
"Bennett is one of three frequent flier experts on either side of the Atlantic…"
The New York Times
"Provides insider tips on how to score upgrades..."
PC World
"Bennett helps you get upgrades…"
Investor’s Business Daily
"Caters to frequent and first-class fliers…"
Los Angeles Times
"Detailed information and practical tips about what many business and frequent leisure travelers increasingly regard as priority No. 1: flying in a first-class seat on something considerably less than a first-class fare."
The New York Times
"For upgrade strategies, go to FirstClassFlyer.com"
Kiplinger’s

Our History

Ballpark

When the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 7-4 in 2008 at the LA Coliseum they did so in front of the baseball’s biggest-ever crowd:

115,300 fans.

I mention this for a couple of reasons, kind of related:

1. I used to be a minor league pitcher.

2. I now publish a newsletter with, it recently occurred to me, a lot more followers than all those fans.

How did a minor league pitcher end up with a newsletter with that many subscribers?

Matt Bennett

It's a fair question because many of First Class Flyer subscriptions aren't free. They aren't even cheap. The newsletter itself isn't even – in truth – a newsletter, well not a paper one (unless you print it out).

To best answer why so many subscribers, I need to go right back to my baseball days, back to the early nineties, to a Kansas City Royals farm team, at the bottom of professional baseball's barrel.

Traveling back and forth every year to Spring Training on one-way tickets (two of which cost much more that one round-trip), I got interested in airfares—more specifically, getting better ones. My wages were a barren $850 a month, 6 months out of the year, so saving $300 on an airplane ticket, twice a year, was to me an earnings upgrade. (In case you're wondering, the Royals gave us a check equivalent to full-fare coach money, over $600 each way at the time if memory serves—and let us keep the change.)

Matt Bennett

We traveled a lot and I got hooked on the challenge of getting a really good deal. I'd save 25% often, sometimes even as much as 50%. Don't ask me why, maybe I was born with the upgrade gene, but this happened so much the teammates started asking me to get them deals too. I'd routinely get massive savings – and everyone was thrilled with the “change” the Royals allowed us to keep. With our minor league paycheck, the money we made on flying around amounted to as much as 20% of our annual salary. You could almost say booking flights was a great side-business to playing ball. What started out as a hobby has now become a career. I'm fascinated by the workings of the airline industry the way a lock picker's fascinated with locks.

Or, more to the point, picking them.

It's one weird métier, but it sure suits me.

Naturally, the more adept you get at airfares, the more you gradually start climbing the ladder of better travel experiences all ‘round.

What I learnt early – decipher the jargon, discover the bargain – most travelers can't be bothered with. But I'm happy to do the hard work – for as long as my readers are happy to do the homework.

That's the thing, First Class Flyer isn't a ticket out of coach into premium, it's what can get you the ticket… if you are prepared to do a little work. (Remember, the airline industry is a complex, ever-changing industry that only deals in products that are eminently perishable. Each and every product unit has a strict use-by date, right down to the minute. Anything not sold, goes to waste. Most airlines hate wasting seats, so they find ways to fill them. But they don't broadcast their desperation, when it comes to First and Business Class.)

Why endure air travel when you can enjoy air travel?

That's my motto.

I suspect it's the motto of my subscribers too.

The majority, according to a recent reader survey, originally subscribed because they believed First Class Flyer would provide them with reliable information on the cheapest Business and First Class airfares, and how to best upgrade to Business Class. Given that 41.8% then said they'd probably renew and 22.3% said they'd definitely renew, it would appear two out of every three readers see value in subscribing.

Would you like a free trial subscription to First Class Flyer? There’s no obligation.

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First Class Flyer

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For 18 years, First Class Flyer has been two steps ahead of the airlines, providing customers with insider tips on upgrade secrets, mileage plans and how to fly well, for less.

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Prof. Thomas Y. Levin
Princeton University

"FCF is not only totally legitimate, but invariably creative and often ingenious".

~

Prof. Michael Beckerman
New York University

"Bennett's FCF is not only the most informative newsletter of its kind, but it's a genuinely fun and interesting read whether you're actually looking to fly first class or just dreaming of it. I always get great ideas from it."

~

Mike Sweeney
Kansas City Royals
5-Time All-Star

"Bennett is in a league of his own".

~

Ari Fleischer
Former WH Press Secretary
CEO, Fleischer Sports

"Everything went perfectly… Bennett definitely knows what he's doing… is outstanding at how he does it."

~

Paul Haggis
Two-Time Academy
Award Winner

"I can't say enough about Matthew, his team and his program - it's great".

~

Bud Collins
International Tennis
Hall of Fame

"I trust Bennett to improve my odds of occupying one of those desired seats in the front of the aircraft".

~

Tod Cohen
Vice President
& Deputy General Counsel
eBay Inc.

"Bennett pulled a rabbit out of a hat for my family and me. Without a doubt, Bennett is top-of-mind when thinking about upgrading".

~

Lawrence Pass, MD
Heart Surgeon
Nashville, TN

"Last month I jumped on Bennett's published airfare alert on Business Class to Europe starting at $1,450 r/t".