Let’s face it we all want to travel up the front of the bus, but it’s not always possible. While economy fares continue to come down the same cannot be said for business class fares making it all the harder to justify the difference in price.
Even using miles and points comes with the same problem in most cases. While most credit card bonuses will allow a one way fare in business, you still need to get home again. However there is one way to try out premium cabins for lower fares and redemptions.
These are called fifth freedom routes and are where the airlines with add a connection to a long haul flight to cover two markets. Last year TAM offered flights between NYC and Toronto and business class fares could be picked up for $100. My best use of a fifth freedom route was a few years back when I had a long layover in the Emirates Bangkok lounge before connecting to Hong Kong on my first A380 flight. The reduced cash price on that ticket was well worth it.
Qatar Airlines is widely known as one of the best business class products out there and offer a few off these routes. Last year I flew the below example between São Paulo and Bruno’s Aires. 15,000 Avios got me a lengthy stay in the lounge at São Paulo and a very comfortable flight down to BA.
While the flights are short these are a great option if you have relively long layovers where leaving the airport isn’t an option. You can eat drink and shower in the lounges before flying and if you have just come off an exceedingly long economy flight that is something to look forward to.
Many airlines offer these connections off the back of their long haul routes and they are always on the long haul aircraft rather than the smaller connecting aircraft the local carriers will offer. You can find lists online, have a look and add some comfort to your next trip.