Southeast Asian low-cost carrier (LCC) champion AirAsia yesterday confirmed a new partnership with Plusgrade, a leading provider of ancillary revenue solutions for the global travel industry.

This extensive partnership will soon allow AirAsia passengers to bid for upgrades and reserve the seat(s) beside them for extra space and comfort.

The deal was unveiled in Singapore at the Aviation Festival Asia, the largest aviation tech event in Asia.

Plusgrade offers ancillary revenue solutions to more than 200 airline, hospitality, cruise, passenger rail, and financial services companies.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Plusgrade also partners with airlines including Air Astana, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Vistara.

With the relaxation of the remaining travel restrictions in the Asia-Pacific region in early 2023, travel industry recovery is well underway.

AirAsia has gradually reinstated flights to many of its popular destinations while launching new ones.

The LCC stable of airlines has ordered just under 600 Airbus aircraft earmarked for its operating carriers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

On its longer flights, AirAsia X branded widebody Airbus A330-300 aircraft feature the ‘AirAsia Premium Flatbed’, essentially a business class flatbed with limited food and beverage options and paid add-on amenities.

AirAsia X currently serves destinations in Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea from its Kuala Lumpur base. These flights rarely exceed eight hours of flying.

“This collaboration will enable us to offer more passengers the chance to access our premium products and services, such as our award-winning premium flatbeds or hot seats with extra legroom. We are confident that our guests will love this innovative and seamless way to enhance their travel experience,” said Karen Chan, Group Chief Commercial Officer at AirAsia.

“We are thrilled to join forces with AirAsia to support them in driving meaningful ancillary revenue through incredible traveler experiences,” said Plusgrade CEO, Ken Harris. “We look forward to supporting AirAsia as they continue to innovate and develop new products and services for their customers, and to expanding our footprint in the thriving APAC region.”

Talking about first-hand experience, last month on a mid-week Garuda Indonesia flight between Jakarta and Bali booked in full-fare economy (BK Y) Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was offered the option to upgrade via Plusgrade for $330, the lowest bid amount.

The original fare paid was less than $120 so we politely declined, and the business cabin remained half empty on the less than two-hour hop to Denpasar.

Have you tried upgrading your flight using Plusgrade? Tell us about your experience in the comments section!