About First Class Flyer

First up, be sure never to think of airline upgrades the way most travelers think of (fantasize about) them: good fortune bestowed by benevolent check-in staff or cabin crew.

Don’t even think of them as better seats and service bought with miles; well not solely. That can be a great strategy but done naively, a costly waste.

Here’s a quick upgrade heads-up:

An upgrade is something bestowed on you, but not by the airline. By you.

The penultimate upgrade is coach to Business for not much more than the price of coach, or for same price as coach, or even less than coach.

The ultimate upgrade—coach to First Class. Again… for not much more than the price of coach, or (rarely) for same price as coach, or (even more rarely, but not unknown) less than coach.

Each can be achieved through strategies (Buy Miles to Fly in Style, booking through alliance partners instead of direct, using connections creatively, etc.), through intelligence (e.g., what we’ve dubbed EasyUp fares—premium fares published but not promoted which make flying coach a folly), even through Sweet Redeems: The FCF Worldwide Mileage Seat Locater is a feature of each issue. It shows where and when spending miles is relatively easy.

And there are also in-class upgrades. The pick-your-flight-right strategy has had many members enjoying a fully reclining seat on a long-haul journey whereas, uninformed, they’d have suffered a second-rate First Class or a bummer Business Class… on the same airline paying the same fare.

And there’s the upgrading of one’s own mood, maybe even esteem. When you get to choose between two different prices for an airline ticket, one extravagant and the other extremely reasonable, the choice you make affects the spirits.

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FCF is invariably creative and often ingenious

Prof. Thomas Y. Levin

Princeton University
Bennett is an authority on premium travel ticketing strategies

New York Times

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Bud Collins

International Tennis Hall of Fame
For people who fly up front

The Wall Street Journal

I can't say enough about Matthew

Paul Haggis

Two-Time Academy Award Winner, Best Pictures
Upgrade secrets and strategies… fly in business class for the price of coach

Condé Nast Traveler

A crucial resource… packed with insider tips

Los Angeles Times

Matthew is outstanding at what he does

Ari Fleischer

Former White House
Press Secretary;
Fleischer Sports CEO
An exclusive website… finds reduced fares and free upgrades

Four Seasons Resorts Magazine

Bennett is top-of-mind when thinking about upgrading

Tod Cohen

General Counsel and Vice President at StubHub
The best resource I know for ‘tricks’ is Matthew Bennett's First Class Flyer

The New York Times

I jumped on Bennett's Biz Class alert to Europe starting at $1,450 r/t

Lawrence Pass, MD

Heart Surgeon Nashville, TN
The insider site

Departures Magazine

Bennett's FCF is not only the most informative newsletter of its kind, but it's a genuinely fun and interesting read

Prof. Michael Beckerman

New York University
Mr. Upgrade shares his secrets for flying first class at economy fares


Loaded with tips on flying in comfort without paying the exorbitant fares

Chicago Tribune

Specializes in finding cheaper luxury flights for executives


First Class Flyer is a must-read

Entrepreneur Magazine