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Recent China Southern paid upgrade Economy to PE or Business

Recent China Southern paid upgrade Economy to PE or Business

Old Oct 10, 18, 9:43 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kobe, Japan
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum, IHG Platinum
Posts: 617
Recent China Southern paid upgrade Economy to PE or Business

At first I planned on China Eastern as the flight times are shorter, but the OTA couldn't actually book the flights.

Then they found flights on China Southern from KIX to LAX at Christmas time that were too cheap to ignore, just $650 roundtrip (half what United was asking), so booked 3 seats.

Now I am looking for a way to upgrade mine (my son and girlfriend can survive in economy). I see references for various airlines to using miles, auctions, paying at gate, and paying on board. I have never done any of these, so I am not sure which route to go. I have a lot of Korean Air Skypass points, but I am guessing my cheap flights will preclude me from using Skyteam miles to upgrade.

I have seen references to paying $150, and others $1,000. That is a pretty wide range, and it would be good to know what is typical.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 12:18 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 229
Originally Posted by JapanFlyerT View Post
At first I planned on China Eastern as the flight times are shorter, but the OTA couldn't actually book the flights.

Then they found flights on China Southern from KIX to LAX at Christmas time that were too cheap to ignore, just $650 roundtrip (half what United was asking), so booked 3 seats.

Now I am looking for a way to upgrade mine (my son and girlfriend can survive in economy). I see references for various airlines to using miles, auctions, paying at gate, and paying on board. I have never done any of these, so I am not sure which route to go. I have a lot of Korean Air Skypass points, but I am guessing my cheap flights will preclude me from using Skyteam miles to upgrade.

I have seen references to paying $150, and others $1,000. That is a pretty wide range, and it would be good to know what is typical.
CZ donít have auctions. You can ask at check-in, but it will be very expensive. If there is space available, upgrading on board is possible and will be cheaper than at check-in..,expect to pay in the vincinity of USD800-1000 (I presume you are only interested in the CAN-LAX leg). Cheap flight purchase wonít impact on on-board upgrade. They say you wonít get Bus meals, just seat...,but if you make nice, you might be lucky. You can certainly upgrade using miles....if youíve purchased a ticket in the lowest economy bucket, you can still upgrade....but expect it to be well in excess of 120,000km (CZ operate on km not miles). The upgrade to Bus on CAN-LAX will either be 777 or A380...both are very good in Bus. Good luck.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 9:40 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kobe, Japan
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum, IHG Platinum
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Originally Posted by Bub001 View Post
They say you wonít get Bus meals, just seat...,but if you make nice, you might be lucky. You can certainly upgrade using miles....if youíve purchased a ticket in the lowest economy bucket, you can still upgrade....but expect it to be well in excess of 120,000km (CZ operate on km not miles). The upgrade to Bus on CAN-LAX will either be 777 or A380...both are very good in Bus. Good luck.
Thank you for the tips. $800-1000 sounds pretty steep for a single leg, one way. without any guarantee of meals. I would probably be happy with PE.

I contacted KE and they said I could only use their miles on a Skyteam full fare economy ticket, so no luck there.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 7:10 am
  #4  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kobe, Japan
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Returned yesterday. None of the flights had PE.

For Business:

KIX-CAN is 1500 RMB $218 ($70/hr) no meals
CAN-LAX is 8500 RMB $1240 ($88/hr) not sure if food was possible

The price for the first flight was not bad, but the seats aren’t all that fancy and it is a short 3 hr flight. Also, I had two Econ seats to myself. Same situation on the return to KIX from CAN.

The flight to LA was 11hrs and I seriously considered it, but I got lucky and shared a 3 seat row with one other person in Econ. Plus 8500 RMB is not an insignificant amount of money in my book. Had it been the 5000 others have mentioned I would have gone for it.

On the return to CAN I was ready to pay, given it is a 14 hr flight, but both business and first were completely full.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:21 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Originally Posted by JapanFlyerT View Post
Returned yesterday. None of the flights had PE.

For Business:

KIX-CAN is 1500 RMB $218 ($70/hr) no meals
CAN-LAX is 8500 RMB $1240 ($88/hr) not sure if food was possible

The price for the first flight was not bad, but the seats arenít all that fancy and it is a short 3 hr flight. Also, I had two Econ seats to myself. Same situation on the return to KIX from CAN.

The flight to LA was 11hrs and I seriously considered it, but I got lucky and shared a 3 seat row with one other person in Econ. Plus 8500 RMB is not an insignificant amount of money in my book. Had it been the 5000 others have mentioned I would have gone for it.

On the return to CAN I was ready to pay, given it is a 14 hr flight, but both business and first were completely full.
Thanks for that data point. Were those prices on board or at check in? 8500RMB is not insignificant, but looking at the overall price you would have paid for the journey (your heavily discounted original + upgrade), thatís still s very cheap TPAC business seat... getting an empty seat is a real bonus...and makes it even more difficult to justify spending the money. The return flight...A380 or 777-300? I never ceased to be amazed at how many people travel in F and J..,,capacity on both aircraft is big. Again, thanks.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 10:27 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by Bub001 View Post


Thanks for that data point. Were those prices on board or at check in? 8500RMB is not insignificant, but looking at the overall price you would have paid for the journey (your heavily discounted original + upgrade), thatís still s very cheap TPAC business seat... getting an empty seat is a real bonus...and makes it even more difficult to justify spending the money. The return flight...A380 or 777-300? I never ceased to be amazed at how many people travel in F and J..,,capacity on both aircraft is big. Again, thanks.
I asked at check in and they said ask at the gate. They noted my seat number, and then approached me once the doors were closed.

Prices are all over the place for LAX-CAN, but given these were peak travel days (1/25 and 1/4) the 8500 was probably good compared to the normal fare for that day. Others have said 5000, which I was will to pay. I won't pay normal TPAC prices. Usually I get J by using miles I have bought or earned on credit cards.

CAN-LAX and return were both A380. Going had a dozen or so in J open. Coming back they said it was oversold by 1 (something like 76 booked into 75 seats).

I noticed the KIX-CAN econ seat on the A330-223 had a good extra inch between my knee and the seat when compared to the A380. Entertainment system was better was well.

Overall the service and experience was OK. KIX_CAN_KIX was a bit better, but of course the play had half the number of passengers. The attendants don't come round very often and the drink list is basic, but I was drinking water most of the time anyway. The toilets outbound to LA got pretty nasty, but on the return were fine.
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