08/23/2011 02:12 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2011

How to Fly First Class for Free

Do you dread or look forward to your next flight? Your answer probably depends heavily on whether you'll be flying in cramped coach or luxuriating in first class, sipping champagne and eating caviar, requesting turn down service for your bed (or suite), perhaps even taking a shower.

If you're rolling your eyes and thinking that only celebrities and the ultra-wealthy fly in first class, think again--many people with modest incomes manage to fly first class for free. So how do they do it? TravelSort blogger Ben Schlappig has had elite status with United Airlines since he was 14 and regularly flies domestic and international first class without paying for it. And we at TravelSort just flew Lufthansa First Class to Europe, using credit card bonuses and points. Here are our best tips:

Fly First Class for Free

Follow TravelSort on Twitter @TravelSort, follow Ben at @OneMileataTime and check out for more great mile and point tips plus members-only luxury hotel deals. If you have a question, please comment below or tweet and we'll respond.