Cheap Business Class Flights – How To Find Them?

Cheap Business Class Flights – How To Find Them?
Cheap Business Class Flights – How To Find Them?

So you want to find cheap business class flights but you’re going white in the face at the idea of paying $10,000 15,000 or sometimes even more for the privilege of not being packed in like a sardine?

Well, hopefully, this travel hacking guide will help you get those cheap business class flights to Europe and beyond.

In this post:

Cheap Business Class Flights Ex- Australia

For the most part, airlines love to charge Aussies a hefty premium when it comes to flying up front departing AU. Australia is a wealthy country and plenty of travellers are happy to pay premium pricing for comfort, pair that with relatively low competition an voila; those cabins are very easy to fill for popular airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United and, of course, Qantas.

While you can often get deals with lower quality carriers for around $5,000-$6,000 return in business class to Europe, many would think that’s still too much to pay. If you’re lucky enough to be based in Perth, you can often find ridiculously good deals with Malaysia Airlines and Oman Air (both are great btw, Oman being one of my favourite ME airlines!). For example, right now you can find fares to Europe return in business class for AU$4,600; bargain!

So How Do You Find Cheap Business Class Flights?

The one trick I’ve been using for many years is to position myself in a country where business and first class tickets are priced according to local market conditions. Generally speaking, these are Asian countries which are often within easy reach of Australia. Even from the east coast, you can easily get to Asia with a relatively quick daytime flight.

In short, positioning can save you serious cash! By first getting a positioning flight from Australia to Asia (which are often affordable thanks to fierce competition), you can then find very affordable business class flights to Europe and sometimes the US.

My Favourite Departure Points For Cheap Business Class Flights To Europe

The best cities to start your search from are:

  • ???????? Jakarta in Indonesia
  • ???????? Bangkok in Thailand
  • ???????? Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia
  • ???????? Manila in the Philippines
  • ???????? Davao City in the Philippines (harder to position to this one!)
  • ???????? Denpasar in Indonesia and
  • ???????? Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam

These cities/countries have all the premium airlines you might think of, and business class tickets are usually one-third to one-quarter of the price. This will ensure the most painful sector is spent in luxury as opposed to having to wrestle for an armrest in economy.

Why Go Direct When You Can Connect?

I know a lot of people will complain about the idea of having to stop in a third country on their way to the final destination. If that’s you, this article probably isn’t for you! Personally, I enjoy the journey as much as the destination, so taking my time and adding a stopover in a third country is actually a bonus.

So… what does finding cheap business class flights look like in practice? Let me run you through a flight I’ve booked myself for the next few months so you can see a real-world example of how I utilise these travel hacks to fly in business class for less!

Example 1: Business Class Perth to Amsterdam

Since I’m based in Perth, having access to relatively short flights into Asia is a major win. On top of that, it’s incredibly easy to find business class award seats from Perth to many Asian cities for relatively few points.

For this trip, I looked at flying Finnair’s amazing A350 in business class. I really love this seat, and while I’ve done it once before on an overnight flight, I want to try the product during the day.

My search always starts with Google Flights. If you don’t know how to use Google Flights, we have an in-depth article on the topic you can check out. I will then plug in my departure points and destination cities. It’s worth trying all the big European airports to see which ones come out on top in terms of pricing. In my case, it was Amsterdam (AMS).

The total cost of my ticket with Finnair return from Bangkok to Amsterdam in business class came to $3,100. It’s not the cheapest, but sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for a premium product.

On top of that, I used 90,000 Aeroplan points for a return business class redemption with Thai Airways from Perth to Bangkok direct. This ticket also cost me CA$165 in surcharges.

If I were to pay for this trip in cash starting from Perth, the cheapest option would be to take Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, followed by Finnair to Helsinki and on to Amsterdam. The price? Just AU$9,240, yikes!

Example 2: Business Class Perth to San Francisco

Another expensive trip is from Australia to the USA in business class, especially if you’re looking for top-tier airlines and their best possible seats.

Having flown ANA’s new first class several times, I wanted to try ANA “The Room” business class, which flies on selected B777 routes. Pricing this ticket out of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam only cost me AU$4,500 during the peak travel period.

With plenty of direct options to Vietnam, getting there is a breeze, but I opted for redeeming 41,500 KrisFlyer miles for a Singapore Airlines business class redemption to Vietnam, which is very easy to find! A comparable business class flight departing Perth would cost AU$10,913 in business class and would route me via Sydney too, so less than half price will do just fine!

The European Connection

Another strategy I often deploy is booking one-way points redemptions to Europe and then booking a return from Europe to Asia (or sometimes Australia) in business class for a fraction of the price.

In Europe, this can be achieved from a range of cities/countries, so if you want to search for cheap business class flights, my favourite departure points are:

  • ???????? Oslo in Norway
  • ???????? Stockholm in Sweden
  • ???????? Dublin in Ireland
  • ???????? Milan in Italy
  • ???????? Munich in Germany
  • ???????? Tunis in Tunisia, and
  • ???????? Bucharest in Romania (to name a few).

These places often have amazing pricing on business and even first class to Asia and Oceania.

How To Position

As you can tell by my examples, I personally love to position in business class using points! Getting those points is easy with the wide variety of frequent flyer credit card sign up offers available in AustraliaHowever, if that’s not an option for you… discount economy from Australia to Asia is sometimes the perfect punishment before enjoying the long-haul flight to Europe or the US at the pointy end of the plane. Once again, Google Flights is your friend, so use that calendar feature to quickly unearth the cheapest possible flights!


In an ideal world, we would just use our frequent flyer points and travel in business and first class all the time, but this simply isn’t always possible. By using cheap cash fares, we get the added advantage of building up elite status with our programs of choice. For me, it’s been relatively easy to achieve Qatar Airways Platinum since they have so many cheap business class deals from Jakarta and sometimes even Denpasar Bali. On top of that, you get the added benefit of earning a stack of frequent flyer miles just from flying in premium cabins, which is a nice bonus!


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