Singapore Airlines just introduced today, a way to upgrade on paid flights using a bid system. This is a great way to pay for economy class and potentially score a reasonable upgrade to premium economy.
Just bid to upgrade – set it and forget it!
The way it works is simple. You log in to make a bid seven days before departure, and then you will be notified two days out if your bid is successful.
Singapore is experimenting with giving people more upgrade options, and this is likely to extend to other classes of service (paid premium econ to business). Currently, an upgrade from econ to premium econ is still valuable, especially on long flights. Also, note that mileage earning is based on the fare class you originally purchased, but this may change in the future since you are still paying cash for the upgrade.
I have experienced SQ’s business class products, and I believe a large customer base would be willing to bid for an upgrade into that category. Who wouldn’t want to try out Lobster Thermidor in the air? In my last couple of SQ flights, at least 20% of the business class capacity has flown empty, so this is a great way for SQ to gain incremental revenue in addition to acquiring new customers. Note that their revenue management department determines the floor and ceiling of the bid system: “Bids must be in $ and lie within a preset range,” so it is unlikely that they would leave too much on the table. I expect upgrade prices to be between 20 – 80% of the full fare, depending on capacity.
This is a great new offering that is a win-win for both the traveler and the airline. I will be trying this out the next time I fly them. Way to go, SQ!
Have you bid on an airline seat upgrade before?