Upgrade Auctions

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  MarcusUK 7 May 2013
at 19:31

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  • Anonymous


    Am not familiar with this practice, however it appears online upgrade auctions will be increasingly common with Austrian Airlines, Air New Zealand, El Al, Etihad and Virgin all now partaking.



    This system is a great idea. Why not fill empty seats with passengers who actually pay to upgrade? That is very logical.

    What I cannot understand is the prices airlines charge. The starting price on the auctions I’ve seen on NZ and VS were simply ridiculous. The airlines then justify this with the whole “not wanting to dilute elite benefits” etc etc. However, it is in the airlines’ interest to ensure that revenue is made from these seats, even if it is actually good value!


    But they want to maximise revenue, not just make it.

    So if online auctions educates passengers NEVER to pay for an upgrade at time of booking then it defeats the purpose and will dilute the cabin.


    Agreed, its a very dangerous game for the airlines to play. Pus Im not sure we want to see US stype rugby scrums at the boarding gate as everyone is trying to confirm their upgrades etc.

    You can see why the airlines do it though. Particularly on flights they know are oversold in the back. Get people to pay to be bumped up when they were going to get it for nothing anyway. Beautiful and free money for the airlines. The days of the ‘opup’ will be gone though I reckon.


    Hilton are doing that to. When you book a room at their hotels you can offer to pay for a potentional upgrade.

    So I was offered an upgrade to some suite for £40, which would be confirmed at check-in. A nice way for the hotel to hedge their bets. Shame that Hilton are so often poor!


    Air Mauritius does this as well.

    Cant see how it could hurt, as you place your bid, but bids aren’t confirmed until around 72 hours before departure ( varies by airline ), anyone who was going to book business anyways is not going to take the chance of the upgrade at such short notice, so they only people who take advantage of this will be those who were not going to be booking business anyways… so fills the seats and generates extra revenue.


    Absolutely correct, I would not risk it.


    I see this when i check in for KLM but only on European routes. I usually travel business on med / long haul so do not see this, but their cabins are usually full in Business long haul.

    In Europe you get an offer for around E 50 for an upgrade. Not a huge benefit as a Gold member with all the perks anyhow, but when only 2 rows are offered on a 739 these days, they can but try.

    Great idea on long haul, and i am surprised by some of the Airlines mentioned. I know Malaysia Airlines have a set fee for an upgrade from Sydney…if there is space, you ask, and you are well dressed!

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