Bidding for Upgrades vs Buying Business

Old Sep 5, 19, 8:18 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Lightbulb Bidding for Upgrades vs Buying Business

Hello fellow South Americans! Hope you are doing well.

I'll be flying between Sao Paulo and Santiago twice in the coming months. As I want to test out some business class products in this route, I'd like your input on what do you guys believe it is the wiser way to book this itinerary:

Itinerary:
GRU-SCL 11/29/2019
SCL-GRU 12/3/2019
GRU-SCL 01/08/2020
SCL-GRU 02/05/2020

I have come up with some options:

Option 1 - GRU-SCL from 11/19 to 02/05 for 18k miles and SCL-GRU from 12/3 to 01/08 paying money. Is the 9k miles ticket upgradable?

Option 2 - GRU-SCL from 11/19 to 02/05 for 66k miles on business and 12/3 to 01/08 as a regular biz paying customer.

Option 3 - Trying to get the 9k miles price for each leg and bidding to upgrade.

Option 4 - Getting the cheapest Y tickets around and bidding to upgrade.

What are your experiences with bidding to upgrade with LATAM? I know this are not super long flights but I would really like to experience both Brazilian and Chilean LATAM J products.

Thanks everyone!

Happy flying!
MrKeynes is offline  
Old Sep 6, 19, 10:46 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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The upgrade bidding works with paid and award tickets. The program only works in certain routes (I'm not sure if SCL-GRU is already included) and there is a minimum bid. Now you are going to get better chances since you are ahead of almost everybody except Black and Black Signature (OWE) passengers using coupons

Make sure to book a flight with a wide-body aircraft (767, 787 or 350) to get Premium Business, otherwise you are going to get only Premium Economy which is like European Business with the middle-seat blocked and extra pitch between seats.

66k miles (AA miles?) looks a lot to me for a 4 hour flight. I'd book one leg with Paid J and the rest with a mix of Paid Y and Award Y
Semphyra is offline  
Old Sep 6, 19, 1:13 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Semphyra View Post
The upgrade bidding works with paid and award tickets. The program only works in certain routes (I'm not sure if SCL-GRU is already included) and there is a minimum bid. Now you are going to get better chances since you are ahead of almost everybody except Black and Black Signature (OWE) passengers using coupons

Make sure to book a flight with a wide-body aircraft (767, 787 or 350) to get Premium Business, otherwise you are going to get only Premium Economy which is like European Business with the middle-seat blocked and extra pitch between seats.

66k miles (AA miles?) looks a lot to me for a 4 hour flight. I'd book one leg with Paid J and the rest with a mix of Paid Y and Award Y

Am I getting priority in the bidding because of my AA status or is it that the bidding system trumps elite upgrades, like AV? Should a minimum bid be enough? Any famous threads with other people experience on that?

I don't really care for business in this short flights but I'd be pleased to test the 350, thats one of the reasons I'm trying to figure out a way to fly LATAM to SCL. D

Last but not least, 66k livelo points to be transformed in Multiplus, I have a ton of almost useless livelo points after Amex shifted from membership rewards to this stupid program in Brasil.
MrKeynes is offline  
Old Sep 6, 19, 3:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Yeah, the bidding system trumps most elite upgrades except the top tier. I believe the minimum bid should be enough

Good luck!
Semphyra is offline  
Old Sep 6, 19, 4:50 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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You may want to take into account that GRU - SCL (and vice versa) is an elite-heavy route and much of C class is actually sold as well. Just bear in mind that, except for MAD (and indirectly FRA), the big bulk of SCL's intercontinental traffic bound for Europe transits via GRU.

Even as a Black, bidding for upgrades with coupons is not always successful between these two cities, so I would not set my hopes too high. On the other hand, I have always been able to book C class with miles, even as much as three or four seats on the same flight. However, 66k sounds excessive to me. The standard fee - with LATAM Pass - is around 35k. At least, this is what I have dished out for the last trips in July (actually booked only one month or so in advance).
SenSCL is offline  
Old Sep 6, 19, 10:40 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by SenSCL View Post
You may want to take into account that GRU - SCL (and vice versa) is an elite-heavy route and much of C class is actually sold as well. Just bear in mind that, except for MAD (and indirectly FRA), the big bulk of SCL's intercontinental traffic bound for Europe transits via GRU.

Even as a Black, bidding for upgrades with coupons is not always successful between these two cities, so I would not set my hopes too high. On the other hand, I have always been able to book C class with miles, even as much as three or four seats on the same flight. However, 66k sounds excessive to me. The standard fee - with LATAM Pass - is around 35k. At least, this is what I have dished out for the last trips in July (actually booked only one month or so in advance).
I'm talking about 66k roundtrip, to be clear. Is that so out of range?

At this point I'm seriously considering the option of pursuing a ticket in G3 GRU-SCL in economy, and an LA ticket SCL-GRU, in business. I'd arrange so that I go out on the first ticket and come back on the first leg of the second, my second trip would start as the return leg from the second ticket and finish with the return leg of the G3 ticket. Either that or accepting LA's Y and doing the same but replacing the G3 segments for LA ones and use only 28.5k points. I wonder why it is so much cheaper to fly C out of SCL when compared to GRU...
MrKeynes is offline  
Old Sep 7, 19, 4:02 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by MrKeynes View Post
I'm talking about 66k roundtrip, to be clear. Is that so out of range?
I was speaking roundtrip as well and 66k sounds steep to me. LATAM Pass does not allow to book one-ways on international itineraries. One (of the now many) downsides to this programme.

Yes, flying out of SCL - especially on intercontinental trips - is often (yet not always) cheaper than from "neighbouring" places such as LIM, EZE or even GRU. This for sure has to do with local regulations and perhaps even with a certain overcapacity on some routes.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 5:09 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by SenSCL View Post
I was speaking roundtrip as well and 66k sounds steep to me. LATAM Pass does not allow to book one-ways on international itineraries. One (of the now many) downsides to this programme.

Yes, flying out of SCL - especially on intercontinental trips - is often (yet not always) cheaper than from "neighbouring" places such as LIM, EZE or even GRU. This for sure has to do with local regulations and perhaps even with a certain overcapacity on some routes.
Looks like Multiplus is really, really bad then. Tried numerous dates and can't get anything below 66k to fly C in the GRU-SCL route. Avianca is charging 40k for a dreadful GRU-BOG-SCL-LIM-GRU in C, just for comparison. I just want to find a good valuable way to use multiplus, and keep my Lifemiles and my AAdvange accounts intact. Starting to get a little frustrated with the program.
MrKeynes is offline  
Old Oct 31, 19, 10:38 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Flying JFK - LIMA round trip on a Friday night then Wednesday night return in a few weeks. Flights currently have 9 / 11 business class seats available for bidding.

What is the process? Top bids first then remaining seats go to status holders?

Also the plane seems to be wide open, so if I dont get business, I am hoping for an entire row in the back. Thoughts on my strategy regarding the bidding amount?
ajg1002 is offline  

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