Qantas Airways is taking a leaf out of Cathay Pacific’s book (see here), by launching its own bid-to-upgrade service.
“Bid Now Upgrades” is available only to Qantas Frequent Flyers, and will be progressively rolled out across the airline’s network from this week.
Here’s how it works: members of Qantas’ frequent flyer programme that have booked either economy or premium economy fares will receive an invitation seven days before departure to make an offer for a business class upgrade (depending on seat availability) using a combination of money and Qantas Points.
A minimum of 3,000 Qantas Points, plus a cash amount, will be required to bid for a domestic upgrade, while the cost of upgrades for international flights will start from 5,000 points.
Once a bid has been placed, customers can choose to modify or cancel it at any time up to 24 hours before their scheduled departure. All bidders will then be contacted via email to confirm if their offers were successful or not. The winning bidder will settle his payment automatically, while those that have not been successful will pay nothing and keep their existing bookings.
Do note that the Bid Now Upgrades service ranks below the normal points-only upgrade system in terms of priority and value. However, it does give members the extra flexibility of supplementing points with cash payment.
Also, while successful bidders will be entitled to most perks of their upgraded class, this will not apply to the airline’s Chauffeur Drive service.
For more information, visit qantas.com.au