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New policy for paid and miles upgrades (AF/KL) - sept 2017

New policy for paid and miles upgrades (AF/KL) - sept 2017

Old Sep 20, 17, 3:52 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation New policy for paid and miles upgrades (AF/KL) - sept 2017

An important information has been posted today in AF/KL travel agents portal regarding upgrade policy on AF and KL flights (paid with cash and/or miles). There are some points that are totally unclear to me in the French text (the English translation is mine, so pardon me if some parts are hard to understand, because I don't understand it either in French). For instance : what is an "anti-dilution level" ? and don't ask me what is the "Oscar interface" !

AFKL : nouvelles conditions applicables au surclassement 20/09/2017

Air France (AF) et KLM (KL) instaurent une nouvelle politique en matière de surclassement payant. Elle a pour principales caractéristiques :

- Un prix basé sur le nombre de sièges disponibles dans la cabine pour laquelle le passager souhaite obtenir son surclassement, indépendamment du fait que la cabine pour laquelle le billet a été émis est en surréservation ou non.
- Les membres Flying Blue bénéficient de davantage de flexibilité en fonction du nombre de Miles et d’espèces qu’ils souhaitent utiliser pour acheter leur surclassement.
- Des outils de vente plus conviviaux grâce à l’interface Oscar.
- Les passagers peuvent acheter des surclassements en ligne pour la cabine La Première sur les vols AF.

Tarifs
Les nouveaux tarifs incluent 5 niveaux, basés sur le nombre de sièges disponibles dans la cabine pour laquelle le passager souhaite obtenir un surclassement, ainsi qu’un niveau anti-dilution.
Les passagers ont la possibilité de choisir parmi les cinq modes de paiement suivants en espèces et/ou en Miles :
-100 % espèces
-100 % Miles
-50 % espèces / 50 % Miles
-75 % espèces / 25 % Miles
-25 % espèces / 75 % Miles
Le tarif ci-dessus Miles & espèces + Miles uniquement sera graduellement étendu aux canaux de distribution en ligne
Jusqu’à nouvel ordre, le tarif Miles & espèces + Miles uniquement ne sera pas disponible à bord.

Le tarif du surclassement est fixé par le Revenue Management 56 heures avant le départ s’il est acheté par le biais de la rubrique Gérer Ma Réservation (GMR) sur AF uniquement ou sur les vols en correspondance entre 56 heures et 31 heures avant le décollage.


Pour les surclassements achetés sur AF & KL via le système d’enregistrement en ligne (ICI), les Kiosks (KL)/bornes interactives (AF) et hors ligne, le tarif est également fixé 31 heures avant le départ.

Distribution
Les tarifs actuels existants en espèces ou en Miles continueront d’être appliqués via les canaux suivants :
* En ligne - Gérer ma réservation (AF uniquement), ICI (AFKL) et Kiosks (KL)/ bornes interactives (AF)
* Hors ligne - Comptoirs d’aéroport (ATO) ou Service Desks (toutes escales) + Salons & Portes d’embarquement (selon l’infrastructure de l’aéroport)
TRANSLATION:

AFKL: new conditions for upgrading
Air France (AF) and KLM (KL) introduce a new policy for paid upgrades. Its main characteristics are:
- A price based on the number of seats available in the cabin for which the passenger wishes to be upgraded, irrespective of whether the cabin for which the ticket was issued is overbooked or not.
- Flying Blue members have more flexibility depending on the number of Miles and cash they wish to use to purchase their upgrade.
- More user-friendly sales tools thanks to the Oscar interface.
- Passengers can purchase online upgrades for the La Première cabin on AF flights.

Prices
The new rates include 5 levels, based on the number of seats available in the cabin for which the passenger wishes to upgrade, and an anti-dilution level.
Passengers can choose from the following five payment options in cash and / or miles:
-100% cash
-100% Miles
-50% cash / 50% Miles
-75% cash / 25% Miles
-25% cash / 75% Miles

The above rate Miles & Cash + Miles only will be gradually extended to online distribution channels
Until further notice, Miles & Cash + Miles only will not be available on board.

The upgrade fee is set by the Revenue Management 56 hours before departure if it is purchased through the Manage My Booking (MMB) section on AF only or on connecting flights between 56 hours and 31 hours before take-off .

For upgrades purchased on AF & KL via the online check-in system (OLCI), Kiosks (KL) / interactive kiosks (AF) and off-line, the tariff is also set 31 hours before departure.

Distribution
Existing current cash or mileage rates will continue to be applied through the following channels:
* Online - Manage my reservation (AF only), OLCI (AFKL) and Kiosks (KL) / interactive kiosks (AF)
* Offline - Airport counter or Service Desks (all airport stations + Lounges & Boarding gates (depending on airport infrastructure)
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Old Sep 20, 17, 6:43 pm
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Thanks Goldorak for sharing that.

At first sight I see some improvements compared to the current scheme, such as more consistency and more transparency.
Nonetheless I fear that the upgrade fares (would it be cash or miles) will increase when they say "les nouveaux tarifs"...

Like you I don't understand what is the "niveau anti-dilution". Is that a dissuasive sixth fare in addition to the five mentioned?

Also mentioning 5 upgrade fares (depending on the yields) and 5 payment options is particularly misleading.

My understanding of Oscar is that it is an AF interface for travel agents. Probably the one they use to upgrade tickets already with miles for their customers.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 9:25 pm
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Is this effective immediately (September 20)? I might be encounter this new policy for my upcoming SIN-CDG flight (October 2), currently booked in Y.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 11:28 pm
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Originally Posted by KL803 View Post
Is this effective immediately (September 20)? I might be encounter this new policy for my upcoming SIN-CDG flight (October 2), currently booked in Y.
I have the feeling that, yes, it's applicable from now but....
Let's report here !
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Old Sep 21, 17, 1:01 am
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AFAIK Oscar is a user interface developed by Amadeus that shows a slider that customers can use on the webpage, where the slider can go on a range from only miles to only cash, and prices in between mixing different amounts of miles and of cash. I have seen something like that on Lufthansa webpages, maybe I can find a photo.

The way I understand it "fares" and "methods of payment" are one and the same thing. There are five fares, each one representing a different mix of miles and cash. Anti-dilution is the floor price, which is set so as not to make the upgraded cabin too cheap to access. Airlines, and especially Air France and KLM, are obsessed with keeping access to higher cabins expensive. They want to avoid that people buy inexpensive fares in a lower class, and then use an inexpensive instrument to upgrade themselves. The same philosophy that is also behind their very restrictive upgrade policies for passengers that are not friends and family of the crew.

What I don't know but would find interesting to know: does this mean that upgrades can now be bought by everybody? Wasn't it the case that until now that offers for upgrades would only go out by mail to selected passengers?
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Old Sep 21, 17, 1:22 am
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Thanks for sharing. I am confused with this new policy

- are the upgrade prices (miles or $$) still be based on the booking sub-class?
- I hope I did not misunderstood this new policy as dynamic pricing - i.e as the cabin fills up, the prices increase (miles or $$).

No idea why they are changing the current policy which at least is simple to understand and fair to a certain level (i.e less miles needed for expensive tickets) - of me at least.

Cheers!
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Old Sep 21, 17, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
What I don't know but would find interesting to know: does this mean that upgrades can now be bought by everybody? Wasn't it the case that until now that offers for upgrades would only go out by mail to selected passengers?
MMB upgrades could be purchased at any time, by any passenger, as long as there is availability.
OLCI upgrades would also seem to be available for all passengers, as long as there is availability. (Either offered explicitly or 'hidden' but you can get to it by looking at the seat map)

The e-mail offers were indeed only available for certain PAX, I'm not sure how will those be handled now...
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Old Sep 21, 17, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
The way I understand it "fares" and "methods of payment" are one and the same thing. There are five fares, each one representing a different mix of miles and cash.
I see that as two different things:
- On the one hand the fare for upgrading, based on the availability in the desired class of travel (how is the original booking fare taken into account btw? ): could go from XXX EUR/USD etc. to ZZZ EUR/USD etc. with 3 intermediary fares.
- On the other hand the method of payment which could go from 100% cash to 100% miles with 3 intermediary mix.

In my understanding one would be able to pay XXX EUR/USD etc. either by using 100% cash or any of the other 4 ways of payments.

Same for the 4 other fares.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 2:06 am
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Is there a fixed conversion rate between miles and money? Or will this ratio somehow vary based on loads, fare or fare class purchased, etc.?

Does status on either AF/KLM (FB) or Sky Team matter? And can DL miles be used in place of FB miles, as AFAIK has been possible for "cheap" upgrades on KLM and DL flights departing from AMSA or otherwisae handled by KLM?

In fact, more generally, does this affect DL operated flights at all, including those (TATL) included in the JV such as DL departures from AMS (and now CDG apparently if AF and KLM flights are going to follow the same rules and pricing formulae now)?
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Old Sep 21, 17, 2:49 am
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The way I understand it.
1. The upgrade price is fixed 56 hours before departure depending on the number of seats available. They set both a cash price and a miles price (possibly the ratio cash/miles is approx fix).
2. That single price remains the same till departure and anyone can grab it, whatever the fare bucket he/she booked.

I assume that this is for a one-class upgrade (Y to W or W to J).
And surprised to see that F is also included. AF has a real problem to fill F on their A380.

If my assumptions are correct, it is great for those paying deep-discounted fares but those buying an expensive and flexible fares might find it unfair.
And there will be crowd on website at T-56

Last edited by brunos; Sep 21, 17 at 2:54 am
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Old Sep 21, 17, 3:20 am
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is it safe to assume that at T-56h, the more seats available in the cabin to be upgraded to, the lower the upgrade price will be? seems like there definitely will be a crowd at T-56 then, like brunos said. magical hour
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Old Sep 21, 17, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
The way I understand it.
1. The upgrade price is fixed 56 hours before departure depending on the number of seats available. They set both a cash price and a miles price (possibly the ratio cash/miles is approx fix).
2. That single price remains the same till departure and anyone can grab it, whatever the fare bucket he/she booked.

I assume that this is for a one-class upgrade (Y to W or W to J).
And surprised to see that F is also included. AF has a real problem to fill F on their A380.

If my assumptions are correct, it is great for those paying deep-discounted fares but those buying an expensive and flexible fares might find it unfair.
And there will be crowd on website at T-56
That's also how I understand it. The MMB hasn't changed yet for my booking, asking for 80K Y to C (60K Y to W) miles for the SIN-CDG leg. I will definitely log-in at T-56 to see if there are changes.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
... what is an "anti-dilution level" ? ...
IMHO, anti-dilution means that they will sell free available seats at a minimum price that protect the "normal" market

Last edited by delanotre; Sep 21, 17 at 4:51 am
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Old Sep 21, 17, 5:16 am
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For the KL, this isn't an enormous change if you ask me. This looks like a small change to the 'regular' DoD upgrade option which you can get at either OLCI/Kiosks if offered or at the service desk at the airport where you can upgrade with miles, miles and money or just money?
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Old Sep 21, 17, 10:08 am
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Well, at least today the system is down. Or for me.
Flying tomorrow DKR-CDG-HKG and all I get is an error code every second time and "Sorry, all sold" every second time. This on AF website. Ipad app has lost the upgrade possibility alltogether.
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