Paid Upgrades

Old Aug 13, 14, 12:10 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Paid Upgrades

It was mentioned in passing in a previous thread that someone managed to buy an upgrade from IAD-BOG on AV. I'm wondering if this is normal? At $279 I wouldn't have done it, but at least it's there.

I'm flying SAL-MDE next week arriving after midnight and I'm thinking I'd love to sit up front if the price is half decent so I can clear customs first and just have a slightly nicer seat. It was well worth my upgrade pay on Copa PTY-MDE arriving at 9pm (though Copa uses an auction system and it only cost me $42).
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 13, 14, 1:05 pm
  #2  
Ambassador: LAN LANPASS
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bogotá
Programs: BAEC Gold, Avianca Lifemiles Diamond
Posts: 4,611
It was me that bought an upgrade IAD BOG.

I didn't go to the airport aiming to buy it, but...

a) I was on the final leg of BOG SAL IAD FRA AMS LGW AMS FRA IAD BOG and I didn't fancy 5 hours in the back.
b) I was in possession of +100 space available e-upgrade coupons, my fare/route was valid and I had legally requested the upgrade and applied 2 coupons via the call centre.

After 30 mins discussing how their IT is crap it was confirmed that I had applied the coupons correctly, there was space available, their system did not work.

I half bought the upgrade to prove that there was indeed space available and I subsequently complained to Colombia's Superintendencia Financiera about Citi's bogus marketing (i.e. offering fake/useless e-coupons as a benefit of their LifeMiles credit card)

Was it worth it?

Actually it was a fairly reasonable expense. Like I said it was a 5 hour flight, it was also a bit bumpy and it was nice having space to stretch out and plenty of food and drink. I also did not pay for my ticket in the first place. Looking at the difference between return Y and J fares between BOG and IAD it seems to be US$1300 more expensive in J, so I didn't even get excessively gouged.

You don't get class of service bonus for a paid upgrade at the airport. Original booked ticket class applies.

I presume it is quite normal to offer paid upgrades, they certainly knew the process well. J cabin was full by the way. I don't know how many of us upgraded at the airport, maybe just me. And I don't know if availability of paid upgrades affects the price or if they are standard from point to point.
JohnnyColombia is offline  
Old Aug 13, 14, 7:27 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
It was well worth my upgrade pay on Copa PTY-MDE arriving at 9pm (though Copa uses an auction system and it only cost me $42).
Avianca uses the same upgrade auction system (Plusgrade) as Copa does, if you wanted to try that instead.
http://www.avianca.com/en-co/travel-...xperience.aspx
sadln is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 12:48 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Oh sick! Thanks Sadln, I looked around on their site, but clearly not hard enough.

That's perfect, I'll give it a shot again.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 1:17 pm
  #5  
Ambassador: LAN LANPASS
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bogotá
Programs: BAEC Gold, Avianca Lifemiles Diamond
Posts: 4,611
Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Oh sick! Thanks Sadln, I looked around on their site, but clearly not hard enough.

That's perfect, I'll give it a shot again.
It looks cool, but according to the site you have to be invited to bid on an upgrade, there is no way of instigating this. I have never received such an invite. By all means correct me if I am wrong.
JohnnyColombia is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 1:49 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Yea, I just read that and rifled around to see. I haven't been emailed about it, nor have I ever been emailed about it, but I've always bought the cheapest fares from AV, maybe they only even offer this to people on the upper class of econo tickets or something. I'm gonna investigate but this could be a dead end
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 1:53 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Looked through the terms and conditions, everything makes sense and your mileage etc remains the same, but nowhere does it indicate who is eligible or what the invitations are based on, it doesn't even really mention it.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 2:00 pm
  #8  
Ambassador: LAN LANPASS
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bogotá
Programs: BAEC Gold, Avianca Lifemiles Diamond
Posts: 4,611
Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Yea, I just read that and rifled around to see. I haven't been emailed about it, nor have I ever been emailed about it, but I've always bought the cheapest fares from AV, maybe they only even offer this to people on the upper class of econo tickets or something. I'm gonna investigate but this could be a dead end
We spend about US$15,000 on AV tix each month in all fare buckets, T-Promo up to full-flex economy. We have a single email address for all tickets and not once have we received an invite to bid for an upgrade. Hadn't even heard about it until sadln mentioned it.
JohnnyColombia is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 2:27 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
We spend about US$15,000 on AV tix each month in all fare buckets, T-Promo up to full-flex economy. We have a single email address for all tickets and not once have we received an invite to bid for an upgrade. Hadn't even heard about it until sadln mentioned it.
Haha brilliant, I wanna work for whoever you work for! I'd love to be flying around on AV all the time. I'm gonna call them today and see what's up, cuz it makes no sense to have this present on their website if someone in your situation doesn't hear about them. Their J class usually looks fairly full, I don't know if that's the Colombian oligarchy flying around but I feel like someone is using this and I wanna know how!!!!
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 3:37 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
So...I called Avianca, the first agent knew nothing of the subject so he transferred me to a Lifemiles agent, who I presumed would know nothing.

She sounded confident but the information was a bit contradictory. She said it works based on status and that if there's business seats available 48 hours prior, they have a team that then sends out the link emails. Now this is never described on that page, the way the page makes it sounds is that you'll get the email when you book, you make your offer then 48 hours prior to flight they'll review them and decide if they want to take any of the offers. So I'm not sure who's right.

To make matters more interesting, I asked her why I would never have received any emails or why you guys wouldn't have since you especially (Johnny Colombia) seem to fly with them a lot. She didn't really have an answer for that other than the fact that my AC Aeroplan number wasn't attached to the booking (which I had done on Orbitz, so I'm wondering if there's a disconnect there). She added it, mentioned that she saw I was Star Gold, and double checked my phone number and email.

This is gonna be interesting, if I get emailed/called, I wonder if it's gonna be a matter of phoning them every time. The only time I've booked on Avianca.com is for domestic flights and maybe those don't follow the same rules OR maybe the business seats just get bought up. I'm usually on MDE-BOG or vice versa and I think those are probably just people paying for them or using an eUpgrade type promo within Lifemiles.

I'll keep you guys posted but if anyone has any more experience I'm interested in hearing about it.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 5:08 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Surprisingly they got back to me pretty quickly. The email was in Spanish so I wrote them in Spanish, hopefully JohnnyColombia you can clarify this, I understood about 90% but it sounds to me like you must have status through Lifemiles to even get the emails...

Buenas Tardes,

Agradecemos su preferencia por volar con nosotros y su interés en nuestro programa “Asciende tu experiencia”.
Para obtener un ascenso a cabina ejecutiva, actualmente disponemos del programa “Asciende tu experiencia”, que aplica para pasajeros que:

• Viajan entre la región Norteamérica- Centroamérica y Norteamérica -Suramérica, no todos los vuelos aplican al programa.

• No posean un nivel de Viajero frecuente (Lifemiles) Diamond, Gold o Silver.
En su caso, al ser usted Star Alliance Gold, el correo no se le podrá enviar ya que su estatus Lifemiles le brinda la oportunidad de obtener ascensos automáticos a clase ejecutiva. Para ello podrá consultar al programa de viajero frecuente sobre dicho beneficio.

Para aquellos que si aplican se les envía un correo 10 días antes del vuelo, donde se les invita a obtener un ascenso, los pasajeros realizan una oferta, un monto monetario que ellos deseen ofertar para obtener dicho ascenso. La aerolínea evalúa la cantidad ofertada y otras variables, y puede aceptar o rechazar dicha oferta. Si se acepta, el pasajero obtiene el ascenso a cabina ejecutiva.
Esperamos que la información sea de utilidad.
Cordial saludo
Equipo Asciende tu Experiencia
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 6:12 pm
  #12  
Ambassador: LAN LANPASS
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bogotá
Programs: BAEC Gold, Avianca Lifemiles Diamond
Posts: 4,611
Lots of interesting stuff here but just to point out.

1) I very seldom fly Avianca. I maybe have not even flown Avianca since the flight referenced in post #2 but I could have forgotten

2) I don't have AV or *A status

3) We never add FF numbers when booking flights. Do it yourself at the airport, so if anyone has status then AV will not know during the bidding window

4) All of our flights are domestic

There are at least 2 reasons right there why I would not have seen any auction invitations

I think these oligarchs that you speak of would pay J anyway rather than suffer the foibles of AV technology and the mythical seat auction.
JohnnyColombia is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 6:33 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Agreed Johnny and that all makes sense, AV always has my FF# so I'm puzzled as to how she didn't have it this time, I'll check in with them on my orbitz bookings in MDE and it's always attached as Star Gold on the BP already, but we'll see how this goes.

I was looking for you to clear up if they meant if you had to have status THROUGH them or just on Star Alliance. So I asked them again and they sent me this.

Muy buenas tardes

El ascenso automático se lo pueden obtener ambos tipos de pasajeros, puedes obtener más información sobre este tipo de ascensos visitando el siguiente link:

http://www.avianca.com/en-us/travel-...lifemiles.aspx

De igual forma puede obtener un ascenso el mismo dia de su vuelo siempre y cuando haya espacios disponibles.

Esperamos que la información sea útil
De antemano un feliz viaje

Cordial saludo

That clears it up for me, looks like both types of passengers are eligible, but I hesitate with the way they use the word automatic.

In any case I'm hoping to be the guinea pig on this one there wasn't really any info about the Copa upgrade auctions on here before and I went ahead with it anyway, so here goes nothing!
drvannostren is offline  
Old Aug 14, 14, 6:43 pm
  #14  
Ambassador: LAN LANPASS
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bogotá
Programs: BAEC Gold, Avianca Lifemiles Diamond
Posts: 4,611
I think they are confusing the issue now and have actually answered a question that you didn't ask. They sent you a link about AV elites getting automatic upgrades on AV flights and this has nothing to do the auction system.

Sometimes one might as well throw cotton wool balls at a blind cat.
JohnnyColombia is offline  
Old Aug 15, 14, 10:29 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,018
Haha you nailed it dude. I'm hopeful I get an email and at least can try, but I'm not holding my breath. For an airline that doesn't even really let you do seat selection, this would be amazing.
drvannostren is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread