Optiontown.com paid upgrades on SAS

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Old Jul 8, 15, 1:17 am   -   Wikipost
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Optiontown - Upgrade on SK flights
SAS Scandinavian Airlines offers, via partner Optiontown, all customers the opportunity to purchase an upgrade on SK operated flights, which will be confirmed 72-24 hours prior to departure, pending on seat availability.

SAS Go passengers can purchase an upgrade to SAS Plus on all flights and to SAS Business class on SAS’s intercontinental flights between Scandinavia, the US and Asia, while SAS Plus passengers also can buy an upgrade to SAS Business class on intercontinental flights.
Booking class Europe: A (SAS Plus)
Booking classes Intercontinental: Z (Business) and P (SAS Plus)
Note: All upgrades will be handled by Optiontown.
Contact to Optiontown

Phone: UK +44 (0) 203 371 7854
E-mail: [email protected]
Homepage: www.optiontown.com
Upgrade fees

Intercontinental flights:
Upgrade fees will range between EUR140 and EUR900, depending on availability, destination and service class.
European flights:
Upgrade fees will range between EUR30 and EUR75, depending on availability, destination and service class.
Sign up fee Optiontown

EUR 1 (one) for short haul flights
EUR 5 (five) for long haul flights.
Sign up fee is not refundable.
Note: During the period 10JUN15-31AUG15, no sign up fee will be charged.
Reservation

All upgraded PNRs will be updated with and include OS SK OPTIONTOWN UPGRADE.
Reservation for non 117-documents (only applicable on long haul flights)

Reservations for non 117-documents will be updated by Optiontown with the following information:

OS SK UTO
SR CKIN SK KK. ATTN CHECK-IN. UTO PSGR. PLS UPGRADE TO (CLASS) ACC TO PROC ON SKXXX (DATE), UPG ALREADY PAID BRGDS REV MNGT.
Note: Tickets will not be reissued and upgrade will take place at check-in counter.
Rebooking
If the passenger wants to rebook a flight with confirmed upgrade via Optiontown, always use the original ticket fare, found in TWD, to calculate the fare difference.
Change fee must be collected if applicable for the original ticket.

Refund

After requesting upgrade it is not possible to change or cancel the upgrade request.
Upgrade amount is not refundable.

If the passengers upgrade request is not successful, the upgrade fee will be refunded.
Optiontown must be contacted for refund.
Restrictions

Upgrade of the following passengers cannot be performed:

Travel Pass passengers
Groups (booking class G)
Passengers holding award tickets (booking classes I and X)
ID-passengers (booking classes R and N)

Irregularity

Rebooking procedures for passengers with an upgrade, affected by irregularity:

Rebooking to other SK-flight
If the same booking class as passenger was upgraded to is available - rebook the passenger in the upgraded booking class.
If the same booking class as passenger was upgraded to is not available - rebook the passenger in the same service class as originally booked and refund the upgrade.
Rebooking to other airline
Rebook the passenger in the same service class as originally booked and refund the upgrade.

Note: In case of refund in above cases, the passenger himself must contact Optiontown and request refund.
Benefits

The upgraded passenger is entitled to:

Baggage allowance according to the new class
Star Alliance Priority tag
SAS Business check-in
Fast Track security
SAS Lounge access
EuroBonus points earned according to the new class
Onboard service according to the new class

Passenger process

Passenger makes a reservation on an SAS operated flight. Reservation must be confirmed.
Passenger logs onto www.optiontown.com, creates an account and enters credit card info.
Passenger can register the upgrade request immediately after reservation is made
Sign-up must be made latest 36 hours before departure

Optiontown selects the passengers to be upgraded according to conditions set forth by SAS

If there are seats available and the upgrade request is successful, the upgrade will be confirmed 72-24 hours prior to departure.
Updated 03JUL15 08.57
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Old Jan 21, 10, 8:59 pm
  #16  
fcl
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Linköping, Sweden
Programs: EBS
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by fcl View Post
I am right now waiting for M->Y upgrade to clear on CPH-NRT tomorrow (cost was €199).
Well now it is tomorrow and I received notification from OptionTown that the
upgrade did not clear.

An hypothesis based on the other posted experiences would then be that upgrades only occur if SK thinks there will be an operational reason, like over booking). Another would be that there is a random factor involved to encourage purchase of the higher fare directly rather than the cheaper upgrade. That would kind of explain the logic behind allowing points upgrade as that would allow frequent flyers to "taste" higher classes sometimes and create a demand but not be able to cheaply upgrade using points on each flight.

I might hesitate to sign up for OptionTown for future flights if I expect (based on availability and seat map) that the flight will not have a need for operational upgrades.
fcl is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 9:41 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Finland
Programs: AY Platinum Lumo,SPG Gold,HH Gold,Sixt Platinum,Hertz PC,AMEX Platinum (IEC&FI)
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Originally Posted by fcl View Post
An hypothesis based on the other posted experiences would then be that upgrades only occur if SK thinks there will be an operational reason, like over booking).
I have always understood it like that. It is just a nice way for SAS to solve the overbooking problem already before people start arriving to the airports.
miikka is offline  
Old Jan 22, 10, 6:45 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Göteborg Sweden
Programs: SPG GOLD / BA GOLD/Club Carlson Gold/AMEX Plat.
Posts: 1,035
Originally Posted by fcl View Post
Well now it is tomorrow and I received notification from OptionTown that the
upgrade did not clear.

An hypothesis based on the other posted experiences would then be that upgrades only occur if SK thinks there will be an operational reason, like over booking). Another would be that there is a random factor involved to encourage purchase of the higher fare directly rather than the cheaper upgrade. That would kind of explain the logic behind allowing points upgrade as that would allow frequent flyers to "taste" higher classes sometimes and create a demand but not be able to cheaply upgrade using points on each flight.

I might hesitate to sign up for OptionTown for future flights if I expect (based on availability and seat map) that the flight will not have a need for operational upgrades.
If you dont get the upgrade, do you get your payment back ?
Flyiboy is offline  
Old Jan 22, 10, 12:58 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: HEL
Programs: SK*G
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by Flyiboy View Post
If you dont get the upgrade, do you get your payment back ?
Yes, they automatically refund your money.
blue192 is offline  
Old Jan 22, 10, 2:54 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Programs: Flying Blue, Eurobonus
Posts: 173
Originally Posted by fcl View Post
An hypothesis based on the other posted experiences would then be that upgrades only occur if SK thinks there will be an operational reason, like over booking.
I think that's true. So basically, for an EBG it might make more sense to just ignore it and hope for an op-up instead. I have a feeling I would have been upgraded anyway that one time my Optiontown upgrade cleared. Of course, we don't know how EBG and Optiontowners rank in the overall scheme of things, they probably upgrade the paying ones first?
rumble is offline  
Old Jan 23, 10, 1:25 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: LLA
Programs: EB*G
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by jth View Post
A bit OT but:
Actually, if you do a points upgrade at the checkin it says in the terms you are NOT entitled to ground services such as lounges. But your C-class BP looks the same as everybody elses so they cannot tell the difference. I have never been denied access, anyway
I've never got the upgrade to clear right at the check-in, but rather at the gate? In that case, I don't get my new BP until at the gate (shortly before departure).
caravaca is offline  
Old Jan 23, 10, 11:33 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Programs: Flying Blue, Eurobonus
Posts: 173
At Narita I've done points upgrades several times at check-in and got my business class boarding card immediately. I assume it should be enough to get me into the lounge, although I've also got my gold card.
rumble is offline  
Old Jan 26, 10, 5:55 am
  #23  
jth
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ARN/STO
Programs: SK EBS, BAEC blue, SPG
Posts: 586
Originally Posted by caravaca View Post
I've never got the upgrade to clear right at the check-in, but rather at the gate? In that case, I don't get my new BP until at the gate (shortly before departure).
I have gotten the pts upgrade to clear at the CI two times (both at ARN). However, the load were quite low as i remember so i suppose it will be a judgement call for the CI agent whether to confirm the upgrade. If C is close to sold-out they might want to wait for last-second paying passengers.
I also had a points upgrade denied once at BKK. There were only two seats left in C so i was put on a waitlist. At the gate i was told that there were no seats available for upgrades as the flight was fully booked.
jth is offline  
Old Jan 29, 10, 7:23 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vantaa, Finland
Programs: AY Lumo, FB Gold
Posts: 1,658
Optiontown is now offering upgrades for airBaltic flights as well. HEL-RIX seems to have a going price of 160 EUR which is way too much (although still cheaper than buying business in the first place!). LGW-RIX is 220 EUR which is a bit more value for money but still way expensive considering that all it gets you is a hot meal, blocked middle seat and free booze (oh and lounge access as well, I guess). Apart from the middle seat one can buy all of the others separately for less money.
FlyingFinn is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 8:02 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: London UK
Programs: BA, Virgin, SAS, ANA, JAL, Asiana but sadly no longer Daimond Club
Posts: 6
Maybe not surprisingly the option town upgrade didn't work outbound to Narita. I found out about 12 hours before the flight (about 2am UK time).. I'd say premium and business was around 60% full. On the flip side I was in row 14 and no one at the window seat so I had loads of room.

Got bumped to C on the way back which was great (I didn't try the optiontown offer on the way back). Looked like all the seats in economy plus and business were taken though. It mentions the more often you try Optiontown, the more likely the upgrade is. I wonder how affective this is (or not). It looked like Kingfisher were more frequent with the upgrades. Saying that, looking at some recent posts maybe they are cutting back as well....
paulwoodh is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 8:33 am
  #26  
jth
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ARN/STO
Programs: SK EBS, BAEC blue, SPG
Posts: 586
Originally Posted by paulwoodh View Post
It looked like Kingfisher were more frequent with the upgrades. Saying that, looking at some recent posts maybe they are cutting back as well....
The exact strategy behind the optiontown upgrades clearing or not seem to be a wellkept secret.
I was involved in a recent optiontown thread in the airlines of india forum, where it seems that Kingfisher is using the upgrades differently (often accepting them even if there is no o/b situation) than SAS. I guess it is up to the airline to decide how to use it.
Edit: For Kingfisher, it also seems that the fare class comes into play. I have no idea if this is the case for SAS too.
jth is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 8:34 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tampere
Programs: BA EC Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,997
Another data point, for whoever's interested. Last October I booked the cheapest possible return ARN-EWR-ARN for mid-late Feb (i.e., later this week). I immediately bought the Optiontown Y upgrade. Six days before the outbound I got a phone call from Optiontown. Nice lady asked if I wanted to upgrade my upgrade from Y to C -- 'the price has really come down', she said. In fact, it didn't sound much less than it was back in October, so I said 'no, thanks'. The next morning (i.e., five days before flying) I got an e-mail that my Y upgrade was confirmed (on the outbound). The return is early next week; still 'upgrade decision pending' on that one.

cheers,

Henry
henry999 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 11:31 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Programs: EB*G, BT VIP
Posts: 756
RIX-LGW upgrade for EUR 220 sounds not very good value. I know that regular price is around EUR 500-550, but corporate fares (which lots of companies have) is much much less making no sence to try upgrade at all.
another_shot is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 3:12 pm
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: here and there
Programs: EB*G, UA ex1K
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Originally Posted by miikka View Post
I have always understood it like that. It is just a nice way for SAS to solve the overbooking problem already before people start arriving to the airports.
This would match my limited sample. On my outbound flight, the optiontown upgrade cleared a couple of days in advance (V fare) and the flight was full or very close to it. On the return (T fare) the optiontown upgrade didn't clear and the flight was perhaps 2/3 - 3/4 load. Optiontown price was 175 EUR both ways, which surprised me, given the different fare classes.

The odd thing was that I was able to upgrade M->Y for points at CI. I would rather have paid the 175 EUR and earned the points!
neko is offline  
Old Feb 17, 10, 8:50 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ARN
Posts: 2,321
If optiontown is even calling up people trying to convince them to upgrade, that raises the question of how much they cut in between?
SAS should use the money to make it work like the new AF/KL check in where you can do upgrades yourself in the OLCI interface.
The optiontown thing really feels like FR way of doing business.
SK_RSJ is offline  

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