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Act fast: Deals available on holiday, transcontinental business-class tickets

Sept. 12, 2022
6 min read
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If you’re looking to travel for the holidays in a bit more comfort, act fast. There are some round-trip transcontinental deals right now that could save you hundreds — even $1,000 — on business-class tickets. Routes include New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco in lie-flat seats. Some of the availability falls around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Over the next few weeks, several airlines are opening up transcontinental business-class availability between the East and West coasts for between $1,000 and $1,100 round-trip. Considering you can often find these tickets at upward of $1,500, $1,800 or even $2,000, it’s particularly impressive to find this availability around the holidays.

TPG credit cards reporter Ryan Smith was the first to spot this availability as he searched flights for later this year.

During a year when ticket prices have been high, the prevailing advice for this fall has been to book holiday travel as soon as possible. That certainly applies here, given that prices could spike at any moment.

Whether you’re hoping to lock in a prime seat for a Thanksgiving trip or you're thinking about business-class transcontinental travel for early 2023, it could be a good time to lock in your flights.

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Downtown Los Angeles. BARRY WINIKER/THE IMAGE BANK/GETTY IMAGES

Deal basics

Airlines: American, Alaska, Delta and United.
Routes: New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta and Miami to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Travel dates: October 2022 through April 2023 depending on the route, including some availability around the holidays (but not for all routes).
How to book: Directly with the airline or with Google Flights.

Related: Tips for booking cheap holiday travel

Sample flights

Again, we took note of round-trip business-class tickets between the East and West coasts for between $1,000 and $1,100. It’s worth noting that there’s also availability at some other airports in the $1,100 to $1,200 range, so it doesn't hurt to check other departure points. We also focused on nonstop flights, as opposed to itineraries where you have to make a connection.

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If you’re willing to make a stop (which means you’re unlikely to have lie-flat seats in business class), you’ll have a better chance of finding availability in this price range; however, it’s worth considering what you’re getting for your money.

Here are a few options we found, all in business class:

  • New York to San Francisco at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s for $1,064 round-trip on Delta.
  • San Francisco to New York at Thanksgiving for $1,064 round-trip on Delta.
  • Miami to Los Angeles for $1,018 round-trip at Christmas on Delta.
  • Washington to San Francisco for $1,019 round-trip on Alaska.
  • Boston to Los Angeles for $1,069 round-trip on United.
  • San Francisco to Washington for $1,025 round-trip on United.
  • Los Angeles to Atlanta for $1,085 round-trip on American.
  • Los Angeles to Miami for $998 round-trip on Delta.

Let’s start with a good option for New York residents looking to travel in style for the Thanksgiving holiday; it will even work for those who have to work the day before. Departing at 9:15 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), you’ll arrive in California in plenty of time for turkey — just before 1 a.m. Yes, your body clock will feel like it’s 4 a.m., but you’ll have spent the flight in a lie-flat seat aboard a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757.

The return trip departs first thing Monday morning to avoid the biggest crowds and highest prices on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. You can find similar itineraries surrounding Christmas and New Year's as well as through much of the first few months of 2023.

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

Here’s an example of the reverse itinerary at Christmas. Departing in the late afternoon on Friday, Dec. 23, also in Delta 757 lie-flat seats, you arrive just before 11:30 p.m. at JFK. The return trip departs on Dec. 27 at 7:15 a.m.

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

You can also fly on Delta between Miami and Los Angeles at Christmas, though it won't be in lie-flat seats. This Christmas morning departure gets you into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by 11:05 a.m. The New Year's Day return departs LAX midmorning, getting you back to South Florida in time for New Year's Eve festivities.

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

As mentioned, quite a bit of the availability extends into early 2023, as well. Here's an option on United Airlines out of Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Los Angeles. Note that there are no lie-flat seats available on this route.

Related: Delta retaliates against American, JetBlue with more lie-flats to LA

GOOGLE FLIGHTS

Maximize your purchase

Pay with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card to earn 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel. When you use The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. If you're a loyal Delta flyer looking to take advantage of one of the Delta deals here, you might consider the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.

Christmas decorations outside Radio City Music Hall in New York City. BRUCE YUANYUE BI/THE IMAGE BANK/GETTY IMAGES

Bottom line

If you're hoping to book trips for the holidays and sit in business class during your travels, consider these transcontinental deals before prices inevitably increase as we approach the holidays.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.