Air Berlin has launched a service for passengers to bid online for an upgrade to business class.
The auction, called "Air Berlin Exquisite", offers passengers on long-haul flights the option to bid for an upgrade up to 72 hours before departure.
Anyone booked on an Air Berlin flight can head to airberlin.com/upgrade to see whether an auction is available for their flight and, if so, submit a bit.
Air Berlin will then let each bidder know whether his bid was successful at least 12 hours prior to departure.
Jacob Fischer, the airline's vice president of distribution, said: "With this new service, we are offering guests the opportunity to treat themselves to an exclusive flight experience in business class on the spur of the moment.
"Guests can decide how much they are prepared to pay. Then a decision is made among the bids submitted as to who will go onboard in business class."
Air Berlin isn't the first airline to allow passengers to bid for seat upgrades — Cathay Pacific is currently trialling an online auction service (see news, June 6).
Subscribers can read a feature on bidding on premium seats and rooms here.