You want every moment of your honeymoon to be special; you want the memory-making, pampering and romance to start the second that you take off for whatever destination you have chosen for your first vacation as a married couple. Why not kick your honeymoon off on the right note by flying premium class?
Flying in first or business class is not something that is in the budget for everyone. After all, you have just paid for a (hopefully) amazing wedding ceremony and reception, AND you are now on the way to a luxury resort or private villa for what you think will be the best vacation you have ever had.
That said, airlines' premium classes are more within reach that most people think. And getting yourself and your new spouse into the luxury section of an aircraft is actually worthwhile. This is especially true if you need to take a long flight to reach your destination.
If you are honeymooning in Bali or Cape Town, a first class flight can make all the difference. With the extra room and the infinitely-more-comfortable seats, you will arrive ready to start your honeymoon. You will be fresh even though you have spent the last 10-12 hours (or longer) in the air. If you fly economy, chances are you will need a day or two to stretch out and fully recover from the long haul journey. So flying in premium seats can pay off in a very tangible way.
How can you fly first-class without ruining your whole honeymoon budget?
One strategy is to purchase economy class tickets and then try to buy an upgrade. Depending on where you are going, this can be easy or difficult to do. If airlines cannot fill their premium class seats, they may sell upgrades at a deeply discounted rate. The problem with this strategy is that, though you may get a great deal, you may also end up on a full plane that has no extra seats in first class for you to purchase.
Another way to score upgrades is to use an airline-specific credit card. Airlines have their own credit card that allows you to earn miles by making regular day-to-day purchases. If you combine these miles with miles earned from flying, you may be able to spend them on an upgrade. Most people use their miles to get a free flight, but they can also be used for upgrades.
The best thing about this strategy is that you can start late and still earn enough for an upgrade. Here's how:
Some cards offer bonus points for people who have just signed up. Here is a generic example: if you spend $5,000 with the card in the first three months that you have it, you will get a block of 25,000 miles (sometimes called "points"). If you put your wedding expenses on your new card, you can pass the spending threshold and use your block of bonus points to purchase upgrades or to buy premium class tickets.
Maybe these first-class-honeymoon hacks don't work for you, and an upgrade remains out of reach. You can still have part of the first class experience even if you fly economy. Airport lounges are usually reserved for first class or business class passengers. However, anyone can enter these places if they are willing to purchase a day pass. These passes cost between $35-$50 per person. You can enjoy snacks, a complimentary cocktail and comfy seats before your flight or during your layover. If you are traveling overseas and can find a Plaza Premium lounge, you will get access to showers, beds and spa services.
The most accessible strategy for honeymoon travel is simply to fly as cheap as possible and put your money into the other parts of the vacation. A package trip to Las Vegas or Mexico can still be magical, especially if you saved money on your flight and hotel and have a ton to spend on shows, spa services, helicopter rides and other premium experiences.
First class flights are within reach, even for couples with modest budgets. Your honeymoon is supposed to be a special vacation, so why not make it special from the moment you take off?
Do you have any other tips for flying first class on your honeymoon? Use the comments section to share them with us.