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The Big UPGRADE Thread – all you need to know about AY upgrades

The Big UPGRADE Thread – all you need to know about AY upgrades

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Old Nov 21, 22, 10:40 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: ffay005
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General
Upgrade space is capacity controlled, separately from revenue space in J cabin. The number of seats released to the different upgrade types are driven by a number of factors, but never by the "there are unsold seats in J cabin, let's fill them" policy some other airlines employ.

Upgrades now book into fare bucket U, which is also used for business class awards. Note that availability tools such as Expertflyer etc. may or may not show correct U availability as AY tends to offer additional U availability to Plats and Lumos, and this hidden availability is not shown by non-AY affiliated availability tools.

Do note that the process of upgrades type 1,2 has dramatically changed. There is now a dedicated webpage for upgrades at https://www.finnair.com/en/business-...pgrade-renewal. The searches below very often show zero availability. Moreover, type 4 seems not to exist anymore (10/2019) but might be back when they add more features. Very few seats (if any) are published to the search tool. Instead upgrades must go on waitlist, from where a robot processes upgrades from an unknown set of parameters. A waitlisted upgrade can clear in minutes or never, and there is no way to know. Waitlisted upgrades are checked at T-59, 21, 10, 5 days, and at T-37 hours.

Check available seats before buying ticket (upgrade-types 1,2) Tool currently unavailable. Said by AY rep in OCT-2021 to be in development for new site.
Check upgrades offered via booking reference (upgrade-types 1,2,3)


Upgrade-types
1. Upgrades with points
2. Upgrades with vouchers
3. Cash upgrades (targeted and not targeted)
4. Upgrades by bidding
5. Cash upgrades at airport
6. Complimentary upgrades



Upgrades with AY+ points

Requirements:
  • flight marketed and operated by AY (operated by Norra is also eligible)
  • ticketed booking in paid economy (there must be a ticket number in your reservation)
  • all paid economy booking classes are eligible
  • award flights and points+money combos are ineligible (booking class X)
    • however, some reports state that it is possible to upgrade these
  • you cannot upgrade any codeshare flights
  • It is not required to have a Finnair-issued ticket

Cost:
  • Northern Europe (GOT, CPH, SVO, OSL, ARN, WAW, VNO, KEF, BGO) 7,500 points one way
  • Rest of Europe, TLV 10,000 points one way
  • long haul (including DXB, DOH) 50,000 points one way
    • as you upgrade a longhaul with points, the SH feeder upgrade will be included in the price.
  • there have been some occasional promotions especially for short haul upgrades (winter and summer campaigns)
    • Northern Europe 5,000 points, rest of Europe, TLV 7,500 points

Process:
  • you can check availability here before booking (Tool currently unavailable. Said by AY rep in OCT-2021 to be in development for new site.)
  • once you have a ticketed booking, you can process your upgrade online here
  • you may also call AY to process your upgrade
    • note that during the campaigns the campaign prices are only for self-service upgrades
  • If there is no availability, you can waitlist. A waitlisted upgrade may clear within hours of your request or up to 37 hours before STD. If it doesn't clear, after T-37 you may call AY, use the chat or go to the check-in desk at the airport and enquire about an upgrade.
    • your status will play a role in this
    • If there is no SH availability you can still upgrade the LH and waitlist the shorthaul. You'll pay the same points price even if SH does not clear though.
    • NOTE: If you wish to do Advance Seat Reservation (ASR) in Economy class, select the desired seats before waitlisting. After waitlisting it is not possible to select seats via Manage My Booking, however one can do that via Chat or Call Center.
  • if you waitlist, your points will be taken from your account immediately; if the upgrade does not clear, your points will be returned to you but you will lose any points that have expired during the waiting time
  • your points need to be valid at time of processing the request but they do not need to be valid on the day of the flight
  • you will receive a new e-ticket showing booking class U but you will receive points/miles according to your original booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)
  • Once you have a new ticket, your upgrade is confirmed. However, if J is overbooked on your flight, you will be among the first pax that AY will bump back into Y. J rarely gets overbooked, though.
  • as an unpublished perk, you may choose to change your upgrade from a points one to a voucher one by calling AY; your points will be returned to you save for any points that may have expired
  • If you change your mind about the upgrade you may conctact CS and ask to cancel the upgrade and have points returned. There likely must be seats left in Y cabin to allow this, and your points expiry date must not have passed.

Perks:
  • Most of the J perks like priority check-in, priority security where available, lounge access, priority boarding. However the luggage allowance is one additional piece at 32kg (on top of your existing economy allowance).
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original economy class booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)

Upgrades with vouchers
Vouchers are given to Finnair+ members upon advancing to and retaining the platinum and gold tiers. You can see number of vouchers, their type and expiry in your Finnair+ account.

Requirements:
  • flight marketed and operated by AY (operated by Norra is also eligible)
  • ticketed booking in economy (there must be a ticket number in your reservation)
  • all paid economy booking classes are eligible
  • award flights booked via AY+ are also eligible (booking class X)
  • most likely, points+money combos are eligible, too, since they book into X, but we have no verification of this
  • award flights booked via parners (eg. Avios, AAdvantage etc) are not eligible
  • you cannot upgrade any codeshare flights
  • It is not required to have a Finnair-issued ticket

Cost:
  • Northern Europe one "European" voucher for a one-way flight
  • Rest of Europe, TLV one "European" voucher for a one-way flight
  • longhaul (including DXB, DOH) one "Longhaul" voucher for a one-way flight
  • LH voucher does not include upgrade for connecting shorthaul (like it does with points upgrades), SH flight requires a separate voucher/points upgrade
  • you may exchange four European vouchers for one "Longhaul" voucher by calling AY

Process:
  • you can check availability here before booking. Tool currently unavailable. Said by AY rep in OCT-2021 to be in development for new site.
  • once you have a ticketed booking, you can process your upgrade online here
  • you may also call AY to process your upgrade
  • If there is no availability, you can waitlist. A waitlisted upgrade may clear within hours of your request or up to 37 hours before STD. If it doesn't clear, after T-37 you may call AY, use the chat or go to the check-in desk at the airport and enquire about an upgrade.
    • higher tiers will be prioritized
  • if you waitlist, your voucher will be taken from your account immediately; if the upgrade does not clear, your voucher will be returned to you but you will lose any vouchers that have expired during the waiting time
  • you will receive a new e-ticket showing booking class U but you will receive points/miles according to your original booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)
  • Once you have a new ticket, your upgrade is confirmed. However, if J is overbooked on your flight, you will be among the first pax that AY will bump back into Y. J rarely gets overbooked, though.
  • If you change your mind about the upgrade you can contact CS and ask to cancel the upgrade and have voucher returned. There likely must be seats left in Y cabin to allow this, and your voucher expiry date must not have passed.

Perks:
  • all usual J perks like priority check-in, increased baggage allowance, priority security where available, lounge access, priority boarding
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original economy class booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)

Cash upgrades, offered via email / SMS / app or found under "Last minute offers"
AY will contact you about these targeted upgrade offers; you might receive an email or an SMS suggesting an upgrade at a fixed price or it can pop up in the Finnair app. You can find and report offers in this thread.
These fixed price upgrades might also be seen at the upgrade page, at earliest 4 days before take-off, under the section "Last-minute-offer". Offer can stay active on the page until as late as 2-24 hours before take-off, depending on route and availability.

Requirements:
  • Finnair selects targets for these upgrades on unknown factors
  • you might be contacted roughly 3–14 days before your flight
  • Same offer might be announced on website to all 4 days before the flight
  • flight marketed and operated by AY (or operated by Norra)
  • ticketed booking in paid economy (there must be a ticket number in your reservation)
  • all paid economy booking classes are eligible
  • you cannot upgrade any codeshare flights
  • you do not need to be a AY+ member

Cost:
Process:
  • follow the link on your email / SMS to process the upgrade
  • If no solicited offer, monitor webpage from T-4 days
  • Do not sloth if you want the upgrade, as they may send out more offers than actual seats available
  • you will receive a new e-ticket showing booking class F but you will receive points/miles according to your original booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)
  • Once you have a new ticket, your upgrade is confirmed. However, if J is overbooked on your flight, you will be among the first pax that AY will bump back into Y. J rarely gets overbooked, though.

Perks:
  • Most of the J perks like priority check-in, priority security where available, lounge access, priority boarding. However the luggage allowance is one additional piece at 32kg (on top of your existing economy allowance).
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original economy class booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)

Upgrades paid in cash at the airport

(Note that check-in agents are in some cases only able to process last-minute points and voucher upgrades.)

Requirements:
  • upgrades may be available for purchase at check-in
  • flight operated by AY or Norra
  • ticketed booking in economy
  • all paid economy booking classes are eligible
  • most likely AY+ & partner award flights in economy are eligible, too, though this is unconfirmed
  • the marketing carrier does not matter, so this is the only upgrade where codeshares are eligible

Cost:
  • varies, expect to pay some hundreds of euros for long haul one way

Process:
  • the upgrade will be processed and paid for at the check-in desk of the airport of departure
  • most likely the above means the airport of departure of that particular flight, so to upgrade HEL-BKK on a CPH-HEL-BKK itinerary, you would need to contact (transfer) check-in at HEL
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)
  • Once you have a new ticket, your upgrade is confirmed. The odds of being bumped back into Y are close to 0 as AY will not offer these upgrades if J is overbooked

Perks:
  • in practice, priority check-in is not possible since you will be an economy passenger when choosing the queue at the airport
  • all other usual J perks like increased baggage allowance, priority security where available, lounge access, priority boarding
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original economy class booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)

Complimentary operational upgrades
  • usually just a new boarding pass & seat either at the gate, at check-in or even after you have boarded
  • few and far between
  • the decision whom to upgrade on a particular flight seems a bit random but is at least partially dependent on the price of your ticket, booking class and status
    • an overheard policy was AY Plats, AY Golds and then anyone else
  • in theory, all usual J perks apply but in practice this depends on when you get to know about your upgrade; if you receive the upgrade at the gate, you will have checked in and there's no time to visit the lounge etc
  • you will receive points/miles according to your original economy class booking class (this may require a retroclaim if earning on other programmes than AY+)
Print Wikipost

Old Jun 18, 22, 4:50 am
  #2131  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum Lumo, TK Elite, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT, WB + hotels
Posts: 7,306
The text in your screenshot says otherwise, which is interesting (cancellation fee + service fee 75 EUR). Moreover, your taxes are suspiciously high. There is no YQ on AY awards, and when I tried to make an award booking HEL-LAX-HEL, it only charges me 37 EUR in taxes.

Also, you are booking a oneway, yet it charges you 160k, whiich is the return charge. Everything seems to be wrong in this screenshot.

It used to be so that you receive all taxes back, minus 50 EUR. But maybe this has changed?
ffay005 is online now  
Old Jun 18, 22, 5:22 am
  #2132  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Helsinki-Vantaa APT, Finland
Programs: AY GUEST
Posts: 5,485
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Also, you are booking a oneway, yet it charges you 160k, whiich is the return charge. Everything seems to be wrong in this screenshot.
Two pax: 80 000 x 2 and fees 118,56€ x 2.

I think it's correct.
OH-LGG is offline  
Old Jun 18, 22, 5:41 am
  #2133  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum Lumo, TK Elite, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT, WB + hotels
Posts: 7,306
Oh, two pax, didn't think of that. The fees are still high. Does FRA airport charge some superhigh taxes?
ffay005 is online now  
Old Jun 18, 22, 5:47 am
  #2134  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Helsinki-Vantaa APT, Finland
Programs: AY GUEST
Posts: 5,485
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Does FRA airport charge some superhigh taxes?
No detailed information by airport:

Customs User Fee 5,84 €
Immigration User Fee 6,69 €
Passenger Fee (International Transit) 4,88 €
Passenger Service Charge - International 28,29 €
Air Transport Supervision Charge 0,90 €
Airport Security Charge 9,95 €
Air Transport Tax 58,23 €
APHIS User Fee 3,78 €

118,56 €
OH-LGG is offline  
Old Jun 18, 22, 7:01 am
  #2135  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum Lumo, TK Elite, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT, WB + hotels
Posts: 7,306
Wow.

So now the only mystery is the 75 EUR fee although after reading more carefully it talks about a partial refund (which in the case of a one-way shouldn't be possible).
ffay005 is online now  
Old Jun 18, 22, 7:13 am
  #2136  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Programs: AY+, SK EB
Posts: 2,486
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Wow.
The German APD is cheap in J compared to the UK.


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Jainzar is offline  
Old Jun 18, 22, 7:21 am
  #2137  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum Lumo, TK Elite, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT, WB + hotels
Posts: 7,306
Saving the planet one euro at a time?
ffay005 is online now  
Old Jun 18, 22, 8:34 am
  #2138  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+ Lumo (OWE), Accor Gold, Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 2,301
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Wow.

So now the only mystery is the 75 EUR fee although after reading more carefully it talks about a partial refund (which in the case of a one-way shouldn't be possible).
75 USD, isn’t it? Seems like different pricing for different POS.
lkrt is offline  
Old Jun 26, 22, 7:26 pm
  #2139  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Programs: Aegean Mils & Bonus
Posts: 12
Has anyone any experience of buying an upgrade from economy to business class at the airport for the Finnair flight to/from Los Angeles? Either with cash or with points?
igelkotten is offline  
Old Jun 26, 22, 11:08 pm
  #2140  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seat 1L these days :)
Programs: AF Platinum Ultimate/SK EBD/baEC G/MR tit/A3 *G/RR G/HH D/IHG Diamon/ay platinum Lumo
Posts: 6,846
Originally Posted by igelkotten View Post
Has anyone any experience of buying an upgrade from economy to business class at the airport for the Finnair flight to/from Los Angeles? Either with cash or with points?
You might find some experiences in the big upgrade thread here on th3 finnair forum


Or the upgrade offer thread
kauppias is online now  
Old Jun 27, 22, 9:18 am
  #2141  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: BA Gold (OWE) since 2007, Star Alliance Gold, Jetairways Gold, Sky Team Silver
Posts: 22
Last week I upgraded my economy Brussels - Helsinki flight on the Finnair app to business using 10,000 points. The original ticket had no check-in baggage. The upgrade ticket type was: Business Light. I was afraid that the business light ticket would not allow for priority security lane or business lounge access in Brussels as according to the ticket type it is limited to a business class seat. However, I was able to use the security priority lane and also got access to the business lounge in Brussels. What is the official new policy of upgrading using points and the upgrade ticket type? I would presume that the upgrade point requirement should be less than 10,000 if the upgraded ticket class was limited to only the seat (business light) without other services?
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Old Jun 27, 22, 9:35 am
  #2142  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+ Lumo (OWE), Accor Gold, Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 2,301
Originally Posted by peteglobus View Post
Last week I upgraded my economy Brussels - Helsinki flight on the Finnair app to business using 10,000 points. The original ticket had no check-in baggage. The upgrade ticket type was: Business Light. I was afraid that the business light ticket would not allow for priority security lane or business lounge access in Brussels as according to the ticket type it is limited to a business class seat. However, I was able to use the security priority lane and also got access to the business lounge in Brussels. What is the official new policy of upgrading using points and the upgrade ticket type? I would presume that the upgrade point requirement should be less than 10,000 if the upgraded ticket class was limited to only the seat (business light) without other services?
Upgraded ticket's benefits are as set out on this page. Even though the boarding pass says Business [insert your Economy ticket type], benefits are always the same.
lkrt is offline  
Old Jun 27, 22, 9:37 am
  #2143  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seat 1L these days :)
Programs: AF Platinum Ultimate/SK EBD/baEC G/MR tit/A3 *G/RR G/HH D/IHG Diamon/ay platinum Lumo
Posts: 6,846
Originally Posted by lkrt View Post
Upgraded ticket's benefits are as set out on this page. Even though the boarding pass says Business [insert your Economy ticket type], benefits are always the same.
Wasnt it that way for upgrades done before the airport but airport upgrades excluded certain services?
kauppias is online now  
Old Jun 27, 22, 9:38 am
  #2144  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+ Lumo (OWE), Accor Gold, Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 2,301
Originally Posted by kauppias View Post
Wasnt it that way for upgrades done before the airport but airport upgrades excluded certain services?
Yes, that's correct. For airport upgrades only onboard service included.
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lkrt is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 9:56 am
  #2145  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 38
When did the possibility to upgrade with points or voucher at check-in get enhanced?
Yrittaja is offline  

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