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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 Oct 6, 19, 7:58 am   -   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.

Check available seats before buying ticket (upgrade-types 1,2)
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, DXB, TLV 10,000 points one way
  • long haul 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, DXB, TLV 7,500 points

Process:




  • you can check availability here before booking (note that there are faults with this tool)
  • 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:



  • 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+)

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, DXB, TLV one "European" voucher for a one-way flight
  • longhaul 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
  • 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:



  • 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+)

Upgrades by bidding in an auction
These upgrades are not mentioned on the new (10/2019) upgrade webpage https://www.finnair.com/en/business-...pgrade-renewal but as the page promises to add more features in the future, it is possible that it will be back.

These upgrades are called "Name your price" on the upgrade webpage.
Requirements:





  • only available on some flights; if your flight is eligible, you can follow a link from MMB
  • availability may change over time, checking again later may prove successful
  • 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
  • award flights and points+money combos are ineligible (booking class X)
  • you cannot upgrade any codeshare flights

Cost:



  • you will determine the cost by committing to an amount you decide for yourself
  • there's a starting price below which you may not bid
  • AY will place your bid in one of five categories; a five-star bid has the highest odds and a one-star bid the lowest odds (and yes, FTers have placed one-star bids that have been accepted)

Process:



  • you will place your bid online following the Upgrade link in MMB
  • all bids will be put on a waitlist
  • offer is not binding, you can cancel it at any point, even after Finnair accepted the bid
  • bidding is closed 7 days before flight, and accepted bidders are notified 6-7 days before flight with a call to pay.
  • at this point, you can decide which (all, none, any) of the passengers in the reservation should be upgraded.
  • 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:



  • 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+)

Upgrades paid in cash at the airport

(Note that check-in agents are 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+)
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Old Oct 6, 19, 3:36 pm
  #1111  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Finnair Silver, Vistara Gold
Posts: 131
The DEL-HEL flight they hold on till the last minute. I think they just see if they get some paying full fare Indians/clients which is a big possibility from India. I am waitlisted on that segment for November with 50000 points on hold
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Old Oct 6, 19, 3:50 pm
  #1112  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT + hotels
Posts: 3,785
Originally Posted by jakas View Post
The DEL-HEL flight they hold on till the last minute. I think they just see if they get some paying full fare Indians/clients which is a big possibility from India. I am waitlisted on that segment for November with 50000 points on hold
In this particular case, the AY "view availability" tool shows 5+ seats for the flight both on the day before and the day after my flight. On the day of my flight, the tool shows 0 seats even if I'm logged in as Plat.

However, when I was Plat log in and go to the new upgrade page, the flight is readily available for upgrade with points, no waitlist needed.

My guess is that the view availability tool is not able to show additional, hidden Lumo/Platsku availability.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 3:59 pm
  #1113  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT + hotels
Posts: 3,785
I updated the wiki with some info about the renewed upgrade process and also added some more recent price info for Type 3 upgrades.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 7:47 pm
  #1114  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: Only Gold card I have is at F24Seven :D
Posts: 4,336
Yesterday they had some big update said a Lumo agent. Maybe related.
Also, I saw on the screens at gate ”business and exonomy comfort available” indicating they would want to sell upgrades at gate. Is that something new or have I just missed lookkng at the screen before?
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Old Oct 6, 19, 8:25 pm
  #1115  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: ATL/MCO
Programs: Free agent
Posts: 3,302
Originally Posted by FFlash View Post
Also, I saw on the screens at gate ”business and exonomy comfort available” indicating they would want to sell upgrades at gate. Is that something new or have I just missed lookkng at the screen before?
Have seen it before so IME not entirely new.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 10:47 pm
  #1116  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: Finnair (AY) Platinum
Posts: 1,132
Originally Posted by FFlash View Post
Yesterday they had some big update said a Lumo agent. Maybe related.
Also, I saw on the screens at gate ”business and exonomy comfort available” indicating they would want to sell upgrades at gate. Is that something new or have I just missed lookkng at the screen before?
They were for sure selling upgrades at the gate to J and Y+ in May and if my memory serves me well, even last year...
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Old Oct 6, 19, 10:49 pm
  #1117  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: Finnair (AY) Platinum
Posts: 1,132
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
The flight availability tool that I use surprisingly shows a whopping U9 for HEL-DEL, but U0 for DEL-HEL, which doesn't match the AY upgrade tool. I wonder if the DEL-HEL availability is Plat-only and somehow hidden.
What tool are you using to check availability? EF would come to mind and of course it shows U bucket, but that has no information on plat/lumo only availability.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 11:50 pm
  #1118  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Finnair Silver, Vistara Gold
Posts: 131
The app for the last 24 hours just does not update for me, yes what tool to check avaliability?
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Old Oct 6, 19, 11:52 pm
  #1119  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: Finnair (AY) Platinum
Posts: 1,132
Originally Posted by jakas View Post
The app for the last 24 hours just does not update for me, yes what tool to check avaliability?
There are occasions, when this has happened to me. It always solves it if I log out and then log back in again.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 12:17 am
  #1120  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Finnair Silver, Vistara Gold
Posts: 131
ok will try that
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Old Oct 9, 19, 3:18 pm
  #1121  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: London
Programs: AY+
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by Eyrie View Post
I don't think anyone has quoted the new upgrade system for Basic/Silver. This is what my September newsletter said:

"UUTTA: BUSINESSLUOKAN-KOROTUKSET HELPOSTI VERKOSTA

Voit hallinnoida businessluokan-korotuksia lokakuusta lähtien helposti uudessa verkkopalvelussamme. Businessluokan-korotuksia voi ostaa debit- tai luottokortilla, Finnair Plus pisteillä tai korotusedulla. Kun maksat pisteillä tai korotusedulla, korotusten saatavuuden tarkistaminen sekä varaus onnistuvat samasta paikasta. Basic- ja Silver-jäsenet voivat varata businessluokan-korotuksen 59 päivää ennen lennon lähtöä. Mikäli saatavuutta ei ole, voit jäädä jonotuslistalle. Jonotuslistalle päästyäsi ilmoitamme sinulle korotuksen tilasta aikaisintaan kahta kuukautta ja viimeistään 37 tuntia ennen lentoasi. Lisää tietoa tulossa pian."

So Basic/Silver members can also waitlist, starting from 59 days before departure, and they will notify 2 months to 37h before departure. I was quite surprised about this, as I assumed they would like to keep the waitlist as a status perk (justifiably, in my opinion, even though I'm a lowly Basic!). Not sure how they would rank a Gold member's waitlist, say, 40 days before departure in comparison to a Basic waitlisting 50 days before. Will the Basic always end up in the back of the queue, or can an early bird Basic score a waitlisted upgrade before a more last minute Gold?
Ok, so I have 75 days until departure, and I just checked the app for something and what do you know - waitlisting was open! Apparently the 59 days is not programmed properly in the system. Got an immediate email confirmation about the waitlisting so it went through. Will update when there's any other developments.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 4:21 pm
  #1122  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT + hotels
Posts: 3,785
Originally Posted by Steve_Hun View Post
What tool are you using to check availability? EF would come to mind and of course it shows U bucket, but that has no information on plat/lumo only availability.
This is free of charge: https://flightavailability.bcdtravel...MnAvlMain.aspx
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Old Oct 9, 19, 4:32 pm
  #1123  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Finnair Silver, Vistara Gold
Posts: 131
- Seat Availability
J - 9
C - 9
D - 9
I - 4
U - 9
Y - 9
B - 9
H - 9
K - 9


What should I understand from this ?
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Old Oct 9, 19, 4:46 pm
  #1124  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT + hotels
Posts: 3,785
That J cabin is (probably) almost empty and there're 9 seats available for upgrade.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:53 am
  #1125  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: MMX (CPH)
Programs: AY+ Platinum, A3*G, Eurobonus silver (!), Nordic Choice Platinum, Liberokerho GOLD
Posts: 10,479
Originally Posted by jakas View Post
- Seat Availability
...


What should I understand from this ?
This is a very large subject. Google something like "how to understand airline availability" or "understanding airline fare bucket".
In short, the numbers are the number of seats the airline in this exact moment is willing to sell in each bucket. For an outsider viewer this changes erratic.
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