US-centric: First class airplane tickets might be less expensive than you think, according to an article from KGTV San Diego. The trick? Know the codes.
While booking a flight, ask the agent about a special type of fare. It's most commonly called a YUPP. But some airlines also use codes like QUPP and Z...The leading airlines all confirmed they offer this kind of fare, describing it as either a coach seat with an automatic upgrade or deeply discounted first class. On a round trip Delta flight from Baltimore to Atlanta the QUPP fare was $638 -- that's $750 less than regular first class and nearly half the price of full-fare coach.
I actually know someone who does this all the time, and it really does work. If you've been able to upgrade your travel packages with a minimum of fuss or money, please tell us how you did it in the comments.