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When to buy companion ticket?

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I was trying today to book a companion ticket on BA for September or October from Dallas to London. I was going to use London as a jumping off point to go to somewhere in France or Italy and I thought it might be the easiest ticket to book.

I can book a ticket to get there, but there's no dates to get back. The customer service guy said several times I need to keep checking back because my dates are so far out. Does this make sense? He said the company could decide to open up more seats, but they never know when or why that happens. I thought if I tried to book farther out, my chances would be better.

So, my 2 questions are:
1. Should I just keep checking back a couple of times a week or everyday?
2. Should I try flying into and out of another city as there might be tickets there? We would like to fly into Bordeaux or Nice.
3. We've never flown 1st class (my husband's dream). Do they ever have companion 1st class tickets?

Thanks for any info.

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