Aviation

Don’t ask, bid for upgrades: Qantas

Daisy Melwani

A new online invitation-only Bid Now Upgrades will be offered to select Qantas frequent flyers who wants to travel in premium classes but lack the points to do so.

The airline will roll out the Bid Now Upgrades across its entire network this week allowing invited frequent flyers booked in economy and premium economy to make an offer for a business class upgrade using a combination of money and frequent flyer points.

“This is designed for Frequent Flyers who don’t have a balance high enough to request an upgrade using points alone,” Qantas Loyalty ceo, Lesley Grant said.

“For a member who doesn’t have enough points to submit an upgrade request for their whole family, Bid Now Upgrades offers an alternative chance to travel at the front of the plane with their spouse and children using a combination of money and points.”

The Bid Now Upgrades option is only allocated after customers who booked upgrades with points under the “Classic Upgrade Rewards” tickets are processed, and the new system ranks below these bookings in terms of priority and value.

“This new initiative will in no way impact the chances of members securing a Classic Upgrade Reward – these will always be confirmed first regardless of their frequent flyer tier and they remain the best value option,” Grant said.

While other airlines catch on to auctioning off business class seats, Qantas says they are unique in market by offering customers an upgrade option using a combination of points and money.

The upgrade option follows other changes the airline has made of late to “unlock revenue opportunities, including a significant increase in aircraft utilisation that has seen new routes and extra services added to its network”, it said.

How it works:

  1. Customers invited to participate in Bid Now Upgrades will receive an email, seven days before departure, enabling them to make an offer for an upgrade within a set range of points and money.
  2. Minimums are from 3,000 Qantas Points for a domestic upgrade and from 5,000 Qantas Points for an international upgrade. A minimum dollar amount will also be required.
  3. Customers’ Bid Now Upgrades offer can be modified or cancelled at any time up until 24 hours before departure, but customers don’t see each other’s offers.
  4. Customers will be notified via email approximately one day before departure if their offer has been successful or not.
  5. If a customer is not successful, they pay nothing and keep their current seat.

Image: Qantas



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