On-board upgrade for miles - worth it?

Old Aug 22, 17, 7:16 am
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On-board upgrade for miles - worth it?

Hello,

Travelled LAX->AMS yesterday. After take-off, a Flight Attendant offered me to upgrade from Economy (M) to Business Class for 45000 miles.

Unsure it was a good offer or not, and considering 45k miles is roughly what I won in a year, I declined.

What would an upgrade at OLCI cost in euros only? Was 45k miles worth it?

Last edited by Zarmakuizz; Aug 22, 17 at 7:22 am
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Old Aug 22, 17, 7:20 am
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45K miles is the amount you would need to upgrade from a Q or L booking class, a straight out redemption starts at 62.5K

Whether it's worth it or not is completely up to you, OLCI upgrades in € are probably anywhere between 300-800€, depends on the load.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 11:17 am
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At 1 cents per mile that is about 450 euros worth of miles. OLCI offers start at about 300, but can be higher too. Personally I would probably not have done it, but there are situations where an upgrade for a semi reasonable price can be very useful.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
45K miles is the amount you would need to upgrade from a Q or L booking class.
Given that the upgrade was only offered after take-off, the OP ought to have bargained for a 10% discount, having already spent an hour or so in Y. An upgrade at that late stage also doesn't come with lounge access, nor priority boarding.

Johan
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Old Aug 22, 17, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Given that the upgrade was only offered after take-off, the OP ought to have bargained for a 10% discount, having already spent an hour or so in Y. An upgrade at that late stage also doesn't come with lounge access, nor priority boarding.

Johan
OP was in anyway booked in M class (which he edited and added after my comment), from M it would have been only 25K if he have upgraded prior to boarding.

But either way, onboard upgrades are usually very expensive, some recent examples includes 15K for a short European flight, and 55K for an AMS-CPT flight (or 25K for an EC seat on the same flight)

Given that OP is already FB Gold, he gets lounge access and priority boarding anyway
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Old Aug 23, 17, 3:44 am
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Yes, I found out later that I was M, sorry for not having said that earlier.

Looking at the Flight Attendant's screen, an upgrade to Economy Premium would have costed me 25k miles.
If moving from M "should" have costed me 25k, that 45k price (even with a 10% discount, if I was right to claim it) becomes a rip-off. Then, I had no way from the website or the app to upgrade to Business before departure, so i'll try and ask by phone next time. 25k would have been worth it for sure - I might have had a better sleep.

Thank you all for your answers !
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Old Aug 23, 17, 4:11 am
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Originally Posted by Zarmakuizz View Post
Yes, I found out later that I was M, sorry for not having said that earlier.

Looking at the Flight Attendant's screen, an upgrade to Economy Premium would have costed me 25k miles.
If moving from M "should" have costed me 25k, that 45k price (even with a 10% discount, if I was right to claim it) becomes a rip-off. Then, I had no way from the website or the app to upgrade to Business before departure, so i'll try and ask by phone next time. 25k would have been worth it for sure - I might have had a better sleep.

Thank you all for your answers !
The website/app are not very good when it comes to upgrade options (except for the OLCI cash ones), only once when I clicked on the "check option for upgrade with miles" it had positive outcome, never hurts to ask over the phone/check-in counter/lounge.

Prices for onboard upgrade are usually expensive, and I think they come at a 'fixed' rate irrespective of your booking class.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 2:46 am
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Originally Posted by Zarmakuizz View Post
Hello,

Travelled LAX->AMS yesterday. After take-off, a Flight Attendant offered me to upgrade from Economy (M) to Business Class for 45000 miles.

Unsure it was a good offer or not, and considering 45k miles is roughly what I won in a year, I declined.

What would an upgrade at OLCI cost in euros only? Was 45k miles worth it?
You made the right call.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 3:11 am
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Oh, thank you for the picture, I didn't think about the flight miles calculator! I'll be sure to use it before a long-haul flight, as well as calling the customer service for an affordable upgrade.

I reported this incident in my feedback about the flight. Either the flight attendant's app had no clue about my booking in M class and they need to fix it, or this is deliberate and for shame.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 3:15 am
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Mind you, you'll only be able to get 25000 miles "price" if the booking class for upgrades is available. If it's not your only chance of upgrading is a day-of-departure upgrade at the airport or on board at the higher price. It always depends on the route what's available and what's not, of course.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 3:53 am
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I totally get that availability is key.

There were no upgrades prior to boarding. Enough seats were available in Economy and Premium Economy. I saw on the Flight Attendant's app that another pax got offered to upgrade to Premium Economy for 25k miles, but N/A for Business for said pax.

I think I remember having 25k to go to Premium Economy displayed on the app, but not mentioned by the flight attendant ; the other possibility being that I had N/A for Premium Economy. I was pretty tired at that moment, still I believe the former to be true: there were 2 lines for every pax, one for BC (with 45k displayed for me, N/A for the other pax) and one for EC (with the 25k displayed for both the other pax and me).
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by Zarmakuizz View Post
I think I remember having 25k to go to Premium Economy displayed on the app, but not mentioned by the flight attendant ; the other possibility being that I had N/A for Premium Economy. I was pretty tired at that moment, still I believe the former to be true: there were 2 lines for every pax, one for BC (with 45k displayed for me, N/A for the other pax) and one for EC (with the 25k displayed for both the other pax and me).
There is no Premium Economy on KLM [there is economy comfort, but that is just a few rows of Economy, and it is not an upgrade as it is not a separate service class or cabin]. Were you actually flying LAX-CDG-AMS?
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:13 am
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Oh, Premium Economy is the name for Air France then? I meant the "Economy but you got extra leg space, a USB plug that actually works, and Sky Priority boarding", which is probably Economy Comfort. Thank you for pointing this out.

It really was a LAX->AMS direct, KL604.

Surprising that Economy Comfort is not supposed to be an upgrade. I clearly remember two options to upgrade for miles.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:19 am
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When you check-in you can choose an EC seat for extra cash/miles, with ratios that doesn't always make sense.

It would be interesting to hear what you get back from KL on your feedback, I'm pretty sure it's not an "error", it's just the way things are, upgrading on board is more "expensive" than on the ground.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by Zarmakuizz View Post
Oh, Premium Economy is the name for Air France then? I meant the "Economy but you got extra leg space, a USB plug that actually works, and Sky Priority boarding", which is probably Economy Comfort. Thank you for pointing this out.
Premium Economy is a separate cabin in Air France, with a different type of seat, and a different type of service. You can buy a seat in Economy, Premium Economy, Business [or First Class on certain routes] on AF long haul.

Economy Comfort is merely an "option" you can add on to an existing economy class reservation. There is something similar on Air France. It's like buying a seat in a row of 2, or buying an exit row seat, or buying an "a la carte" meal - it is NOT an upgrade, just an option for which you can pay an extra fee. You are still in Economy Class - it is NOT an upgrade.

KLM cannot upgrade you to Premium Economy because they do not have a Premium Economy cabin - only AF has that.

Originally Posted by Zarmakuizz View Post
Surprising that Economy Comfort is not supposed to be an upgrade. I clearly remember two options to upgrade for miles.
You can pay (cash, or miles) for a seat in the Economy Comfort section.

KLM have recently removed all reference to the costs for this; it is only revealed when you actually have a booking to consult. When first introduced, it used to be a fixed amount per route. But from my shorthaul bookings more recently, it does seem that they have moved to an element of variable pricing for the option for Economy Comfort.

However, asking 25k miles just to sit in economy comfort when the same amount could have got you an upgrade to business class from booking class M is, in my opinion, clearly extortionate. I would be surprised if the amount requested in miles to move to Economy Comfort at any time in manage my booking would have been anything close to that.
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