Cathay Pacific has re-launched its upgrade bidding system under the name Upgrade Bid.
The move follows a survey circulated to Cathay Pacific Insights members back in February.
The scheme is open to passengers who’ve purchased premium economy or economy class tickets on selected Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon routes, and allows them to bid on upgrades to business class seats.
Customers on valid flights (that have opted to receive promotions from the airline) will receive an email notification seven days prior to the first sector of their booking, inviting them to bid. You can also check whether the option is available using your family name and booking reference at the Upgrade Bid site.
The service is initially being made available on select flights between Hong Kong and Adelaide, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Brisbane, Cebu, Chiang Mai, Chicago, Colombo, Denpasar (Bali), Dubai, Kathmandu, Rome and Seoul, with additional routes set to join over the next few months.
Routes to China and India are not eligible at this time due to “technical limitations”. Also, it’s worth noting that passengers on redemption bookings in fare classes Z, U, T and X, as well as fare class G group bookings, cannot bid on upgrades even on eligible flights. However, multiple customers within a single booking can bid – though the bid will apply for each passenger, rather than as a total, and either all or none of the passengers within the booking will be successful.
Winning bids are confirmed 48 hours before departure, and winners are notified by email.
It would also appear that Cathay has selected airline revenue upgrade platform Plusgrade for the new bidding service, which also currently provides upgrade services for Lufthansa, Air China, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Qantas, among others.
Cathay first began looking into an upgrade bidding system back in 2014, when it conducted a trial of the service. Back in February, the airline once again tested the water regarding the reintroduction of an upgrade bidding system.