Royal Brunei Airlines has launched RB Upgrades, allowing economy passengers to bid for upgrades to business class.
“Eligible” customers booking tickets online at flyroyalbrunei.com are emailed inviting them to make an offer for an upgrade to business class.
What constitutes an “eligible” customer? RB says that it may “in its absolute and sole discretion send an invitation to [an] eligible passenger to make an RB Upgrades Offer”.
Successful bidders will be emailed between 96 and 24 hours before their flight, with payment being taken from their nominated credit or debit card.
The service launched this week, for flights from December 20.
According to the carrier’s website, “All flights by Royal Brunei Airlines are available for RB Upgrade”, but tickets purchased using Royal Skies miles are not eligible.
Note also that the upgrade does not include the “extra baggage allowances, baggage service enhancement or priority services” that would normally come with a business class ticket – in other words it applies only to the aircraft seating, and in-flight food and beverages.
Royal Skies members will receive miles based on the original economy class seat purchased.
Royal Brunei is far from the first to launch a bidding service for upgrades. Business Traveller reported on the trend back in 2014, and established online auction provider plusgrade.com partners with over 35 carriers including Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and Etihad Airways.