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Are discounted buy-ups to BusinessFirst offered on checkin?

Are discounted buy-ups to BusinessFirst offered on checkin?

 
Old Oct 30, 10, 12:12 pm
  #1  
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Are discounted buy-ups to BusinessFirst offered on checkin?

I know many of us have seen the discounted buy-ups to domestic F offered a lot recently. In fact, a non-elite friend of mine was offered an F upgrade for $109 on a W fare from EWR-LAS just a few weeks ago.

Have anyone of you seen this offered when businessfirst has empty seats at check-in? I'm on a leisure flight to LHR in a few days and the front cabin is still pretty open. I've got an exit row seat already on this red-eye, so i'm not sure if I want to part with 20K miles+$500 for a couple hours of sleep...but I'd jump all over an offer to do it at checkin for a couple hundred bucks if the option existed.
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Old Oct 30, 10, 12:13 pm
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I think CO only does this to Hawaii. And it's would be hundreds of dollars, not the tens of dollars that they like to offer domestically.
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Old Oct 30, 10, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
I think CO only does this to Hawaii. And it's would be hundreds of dollars, not the tens of dollars that they like to offer domestically.
I know historically they have only done Rev-ups to hawaii. But in the past they also never offered buy-ups to first on reward tickets () which I received the other day! (For those wondering, it was $249 to upgrade from EWR-IAH...I was booked in to XN saverpass inventory...I politely declined).

In these times of Jeff up-selling everything it wouldn't shock me if they were offering Rev-ups to keep the seats from going out empty.

I appreciate the thoughts channa, but does anyone else have actual experience with the process at checkin?
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Old Oct 30, 10, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by TommyC80 View Post
I appreciate the thoughts channa, but does anyone else have actual experience with the process at checkin?
Lots of people have actual experience with the check-in process. However, I doubt that many people have experience being offered deeply discounted paid upgrades to BF, because I think it's very rare if it happens at all. I hang around here enough to know that if it was happening, we'd probably have seen more reports of it. And I'm sure you did a search on it as well, and probably didn't come up with anything.

In these times of Jeff up-selling everything it wouldn't shock me if they were offering Rev-ups to keep the seats from going out empty.
Well, I think it would still go against their long-standing policy of protecting the revenue integrity of the BusinessFirst cabin. I could possibly see them doing it when coach is oversold and they'd have to op-up people anyway, but that's probably it.
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Old Oct 30, 10, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by TommyC80 View Post
I appreciate the thoughts channa, but does anyone else have actual experience with the process at checkin?
The did not offer discounted sell ups last week. I was on EWR-NRT and the flight departed with empty seats in J.
The GA responded to a couple of "what will it take to upgrade?" questions with "Pay the difference between your fare and full J which is $8,000 and change..."

DLP
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Old Oct 31, 10, 3:31 am
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Originally Posted by DLPhoenix View Post
The did not offer discounted sell ups last week. I was on EWR-NRT and the flight departed with empty seats in J.
The GA responded to a couple of "what will it take to upgrade?" questions with "Pay the difference between your fare and full J which is $8,000 and change..."

DLP
Can well believe it to be true, but know for example that VS are much more willing to offer mileage upgrades at check in (IIRC 20k to Premium economy and 40k from PE to Upper Class) with no fees. Think you have to be in a higher fare class (i.e. no deep discount fares can go to PE for 20k miles).

But, if CO offered (elites?) BF at check in for XX k miles, plus the buy-up to an eligible economy fare, they might get a few takers. Would have to be more than current upgrade mileage + fees to discourage speculation.

They would only need to offer if Y was full, the BF wait list was empty and the only other option was Op-Ups or pay $$$ to bump people to later flights.

.
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Old Apr 6, 11, 1:59 am
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None of my last 3 CO9 EWR-NRT check-in's (4/2009, 5/28/2010, today) gave a such offer either online or at the kiosk (upon baggage drop-off).
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Old Apr 8, 11, 4:05 am
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I've had good luck getting (semi) reasonable upgrade offers at the gate on both United and Delta international flights. But not on Continental yet.

Often the checkin process or agent doesn't automatically offer, so I always ask to see what's on offer.

I like having this option at flight time. Sometimes a little extra sleep may be worth it, sometimes not. For me it would be a positive step to see CO follow UA in this regard, rather than send out empty seats...
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Old Apr 8, 11, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by Innerloop View Post
I've had good luck getting (semi) reasonable upgrade offers at the gate on both United and Delta international flights. But not on Continental yet.

Often the checkin process or agent doesn't automatically offer, so I always ask to see what's on offer.

I like having this option at flight time. Sometimes a little extra sleep may be worth it, sometimes not. For me it would be a positive step to see CO follow UA in this regard, rather than send out empty seats...
It is quite ironic actually, the resistance to offering any sort of buy-up option when there are empty BF seats - especially given the opposite stance domestically, where every possible means is used to try and sell them, particularly to non-elites
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Old Apr 8, 11, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
It is quite ironic actually, the resistance to offering any sort of buy-up option when there are empty BF seats - especially given the opposite stance domestically, where every possible means is used to try and sell them, particularly to non-elites
I think if you were to see the difference in RASM on domestic first class (ex-Transcon) vs. BusinessFirst, and the overall contribution of each to the business, you would understand why they feel the need to protect the revenue integrity of their international premium cabin.

What do other airlines charge for int'l J buy-ups on day of departure? Isn't it $500-1000 o/w or so? I wonder what the uptake is at those prices.
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Old Apr 8, 11, 9:28 am
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Yesterday on flight from CUN-CLE
Three reward tickets and offered uprgrade to First for $69 each
I was on rev ticket and my offer was $209 at OLCI- Was upgraded at check-in at airport

On the way to CUN I was able to add a one of the reward tickets to upgrade list as companion on each flight and flew CLE (hub) IAH(hub) SAT- CUNI reasoned that if you can now buy up to first on reward tickets you must be able to upgrade rewards and at each hub they gladly added one of my companions and they cleared. When leaving CUN though they would not add a companion saying not allowed to upgrade reward tickets??

So what is the rule? not allowed to upgrade reward tickets or allowed to upgrade for TOD's only?
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Old Apr 8, 11, 10:22 am
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In my experience a $500 one-way buy-up is a typical price and my personal uptake at that price is high for a long route with good seats. Talking TPAC or west coast TATL here.

That still protects the revenue integrity of the cabin pretty well IMO. I often book Z If I know the equipment will be good and the price is reasonable, and if not, I like the option of deciding day-of if it's worth it.
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Old Apr 8, 11, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
What do other airlines charge for int'l J buy-ups on day of departure? Isn't it $500-1000 o/w or so? I wonder what the uptake is at those prices.
UA was $650ish DXB-IAD about 16 months ago, for a 777 with the recliner J product.
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Old Apr 8, 11, 11:56 am
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Paid $600 on a LAX-MUC upgrade on Lufthansa. First time I was ever offered a buy-up for international flight.
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Old Apr 8, 11, 7:27 pm
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There is an extensive thread on the UA side on this very topic.

Check out: UA Upsell Offers For Bus./First Seating (At Purchase, OLCI, or Gate) 2011 Edition.
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