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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 314 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 Sep 27, 22, 8:48 pm
  #2416  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: SFO
Programs: AY Plat, LH FTL
Posts: 6,583
Originally Posted by Flightson View Post
Could anyone with EF inform what is the availability for AY144, BKK-HEL tomorrow, 29 Sept in J C D?

Got my voucher UG request denied at t-37hrs after 2 months on the waitlist as an AY Plat.

Any advice how to be added again on the waitlist? I am not paying them a single penny for a cash UG, if my vouchers don't clear.
AY 144 BKK 9:30p → HEL 5:50a
J5 C4 D0 R0 I0 U0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0 Z0 G0 X2
​​​
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work2fly is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 10:39 pm
  #2417  
 
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: 6,838
Originally Posted by Flightson View Post
Could anyone with EF inform what is the availability for AY144, BKK-HEL tomorrow, 29 Sept in J C D?

Got my voucher UG request denied at t-37hrs after 2 months on the waitlist as an AY Plat.

Any advice how to be added again on the waitlist? I am not paying them a single penny for a cash UG, if my vouchers don't clear.
There seems to be some slight hope EX BKK to get UPG processed there without cash but I would mentally prepare for a trip in Y and thats not pretty with ay these days, been there doen that as a LUMO with denied upgrades...
kauppias is offline  
Old Sep 28, 22, 1:41 am
  #2418  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: TKU
Programs: AY+ Gold
Posts: 21
Upgrade for tomorrow's HEL-NAP AY1791 got denied. It seems they changed the aircraft as well, it now shows A319 and I'm pretty sure that a few days ago it was A320 Always charming to hear "The flight is full, the last seat in business can be purchased at check-in."
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Purserin painajainen is offline  
Old Sep 28, 22, 2:09 am
  #2419  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: AY, SK, TK
Posts: 6,760
Originally Posted by Purserin painajainen View Post
Upgrade for tomorrow's HEL-NAP AY1791 got denied. It seems they changed the aircraft as well, it now shows A319 and I'm pretty sure that a few days ago it was A320 Always charming to hear "The flight is full, the last seat in business can be purchased at check-in."
Ha, I feel ya.
Isnt it so hard to crank the curtain down the aircraft body, oh well but then they should load more J food and booze which is unsustainable.
Shame on unsustainable SK which once had the Plus class curtain drawn almost down the back part exit row on a A321 😂😂🤣
FFlash is offline  
Old Sep 28, 22, 2:10 am
  #2420  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Helsinki-Vantaa APT, Finland
Programs: AY GUEST
Posts: 5,481
This is nothing new that AY changes aircraft at short notice.
florens likes this.
OH-LGG is online now  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:03 am
  #2421  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: ZRH
Programs: AY Plat, Swiss SEN, Hertz Gold, HH Gold, Marriott Gold, Sixt Platinum
Posts: 60
As I mention earlier, AY has our AY1 flight rescheduled and put us (1 Plat + 1 Gold) in Eco with Waitlist for C, even though we already had confirm Upgrades in U for the old flight.

These days, T-59 went by and I give it a try to call the Hotline. Despite only U is Zero out, the others are still on 9, the Agent mention that there is nothing she can do, because it is all computerized

I will keep on track and try it next at T-21
dennyzrh is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:10 am
  #2422  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: GOT
Programs: Eurobonus Diamond [*AG], Finnair Platinum [OWE] HHonors Diamond, Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 235
Originally Posted by dennyzrh View Post
As I mention earlier, AY has our AY1 flight rescheduled and put us (1 Plat + 1 Gold) in Eco with Waitlist for C, even though we already had confirm Upgrades in U for the old flight.

These days, T-59 went by and I give it a try to call the Hotline. Despite only U is Zero out, the others are still on 9, the Agent mention that there is nothing she can do, because it is all computerized

I will keep on track and try it next at T-21
Where can one check U availability for a upcoming flight?
GOTBound is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:26 am
  #2423  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: MMX (CPH)
Programs: Eurobonus Diamond, QR Platinum, AY+ Platinum, A3*G, Nordic Choice Lifetime Platinum, SJ Prio Black
Posts: 13,009
Originally Posted by GOTBound View Post
Where can one check U availability for a upcoming flight?
Use ordinary award search. Upgrades and business award are sadly both U bucket
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intuition is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:36 am
  #2424  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: ZRH
Programs: AY Plat, Swiss SEN, Hertz Gold, HH Gold, Marriott Gold, Sixt Platinum
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by GOTBound View Post
Where can one check U availability for a upcoming flight?
I use ExpertFlyer
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dennyzrh is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:46 am
  #2425  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Helsinki-Vantaa APT, Finland
Programs: AY GUEST
Posts: 5,481
ExpertFlyer's letters and numbers are useless and hphp:

Mostly AY U availability is 0 and upgrades are like roulette. Upgrades clearing or not clearing have nothing to do with EF numbers/letters.
intuition and dennyzrh like this.
OH-LGG is online now  
Old Oct 1, 22, 8:59 am
  #2426  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: ZRH
Programs: AY Plat, Swiss SEN, Hertz Gold, HH Gold, Marriott Gold, Sixt Platinum
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by OH-LGG View Post
ExpertFlyer's letters and numbers are useless and hphp:

Mostly AY U availability is 0 and upgrades are like roulette. Upgrades clearing or not clearing have nothing to do with EF numbers/letters.
I doesnt know that.

Thanks!
dennyzrh is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 9:12 am
  #2427  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: HEL
Programs: SPG-P ALL/HH/IHG-D NCH-P, BA/A3-G AF/QR/AY-P, Octopus
Posts: 5,585
Originally Posted by OH-LGG View Post
ExpertFlyer's letters and numbers are useless and hphp:

Mostly AY U availability is 0 and upgrades are like roulette. Upgrades clearing or not clearing have nothing to do with EF numbers/letters.
Not sure there was sarcasm there but for sure U availability correlates between immediate upgrade availability or no. In cases where U0 weeks before flight anything can change, however.
Steve_Hun likes this.
remymartin is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 3:21 am
  #2428  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: TKU
Programs: AY+ Gold
Posts: 21
A 58 upgrade offer for two pax via the app for tomorrow's HEL-SPU AY1843. It's a E190, but for that price, sign me up
Purserin painajainen is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 3:32 am
  #2429  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Finnair Gold, Vistara Gold, Marriot Gold
Posts: 177
Hel-Delhi 2 pax 1388 Economy full flex to business
jakas is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 7:02 am
  #2430  
Ambassador: Finnair
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Plat, BA Silver, HHonors/Carlson Gold
Posts: 4,032
Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
Not sure there was sarcasm there but for sure U availability correlates between immediate upgrade availability or no. In cases where U0 weeks before flight anything can change, however.
Second to that. EF U availability correlates 100% to J award/upgrade availability, nothing hp there.

Its another discussion if theres any U ever released, or not, but if there is, it always shows on EF.
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