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-   -   Optiontown.com paid upgrades on SAS (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/sas-eurobonus/1041467-optiontown-com-paid-upgrades-sas.html)

neko Jan 19, 10 9:14 am

Optiontown.com paid upgrades on SAS
 
Has anyone had recent experience with the 'optiontown.com' upgrades?

Is this program still running? Do flights still get status points of the upgraded class? Any sense of whether flights booked close in (couple of weeks before) do better or worse than flights booked way in advanced?

Thanks,

paulwoodh Jan 19, 10 9:32 am

On the back of this, any idea if the business lounge access is given or is it purely the flight upgrade?

As it goes I noticed optiontown about two weeks back. I,ve tried this for a flight to Tokyo next week so I'll let you know how it goes.

seat56f Jan 19, 10 10:30 am


Originally Posted by neko (Post 13210744)
Has anyone had recent experience with the 'optiontown.com' upgrades?

Is this program still running? Do flights still get status points of the upgraded class? Any sense of whether flights booked close in (couple of weeks before) do better or worse than flights booked way in advanced?

Thanks,

Data point: CPH-BKK return. Applied early October for upgrade, Eco to Eco Extra. Outbound (Nov 26) I was not upgraded, return flight (Dec 12) I did get the upgrade.

On the upgraded return flight I also got the 150% points of upgraded class.

SK_RSJ Jan 19, 10 5:18 pm


Originally Posted by paulwoodh (Post 13210870)
On the back of this, any idea if the business lounge access is given or is it purely the flight upgrade?

As it goes I noticed optiontown about two weeks back. I,ve tried this for a flight to Tokyo next week so I'll let you know how it goes.

If you get upgraded to Business Class using Optiontown, *A upgrade or point upgrade at CI you will have access to the Business Class lounge SAS uses at the departing airport.

This is not clearly stated on the SAS homepage, but as you hold a C-class BP you will be let in without problems.

maarit Jan 20, 10 12:05 am

Upgraded a Jan 8 ARN-EWR flight successfully from economy to economy extra, applied for the upgrade at the end of December. Got points for Y.

paulwoodh Jan 20, 10 1:12 am

Ah brilliant, thanks for the info there. Well fingers crossed.

jth Jan 20, 10 1:46 am


Originally Posted by SK_RSJ (Post 13213919)
If you get upgraded to Business Class using Optiontown, *A upgrade or point upgrade at CI you will have access to the Business Class lounge SAS uses at the departing airport.

This is not clearly stated on the SAS homepage, but as you hold a C-class BP you will be let in without problems.

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 :)

AspirationalFF Jan 20, 10 3:51 am

Do any of you have any experience with optiontown upgrades intra-Europe? If so, what are typical costs of such an upgrade? Success rate of getting upgraded? Is it at all worth it?


-AspFF

caravaca Jan 20, 10 4:18 am

I just got my confirmation for a ORD-ARN flight on Saturday. Applied yesterday and the cost was 175 Euro for cheap Economy > Economy Extra. Now I hope to be able to use 20,000 points to upgrade to C at the airport.

And of course the 150% earning is way better than 25%, especially with the double status points offer currently running.

maarit Jan 20, 10 4:59 am


Originally Posted by caravaca (Post 13216649)
I just got my confirmation for a ORD-ARN flight on Saturday. Applied yesterday and the cost was 175 Euro for cheap Economy > Economy Extra. Now I hope to be able to use 20,000 points to upgrade to C at the airport.

And of course the 150% earning is way better than 25%, especially with the double status points offer currently running.

Do you know how much approx. they charge for an Economy Extra > Business upgrade on the same leg?

jth Jan 20, 10 5:35 am


Originally Posted by AspirationalFF (Post 13216569)
Do any of you have any experience with optiontown upgrades intra-Europe?

They only offer upgrades on the longhaul routes, so you cannot upgrade on europan flights.

AspirationalFF Jan 20, 10 9:52 am


Originally Posted by jth (Post 13216861)
They only offer upgrades on the longhaul routes, so you cannot upgrade on europan flights.

Right. Thanks for the clarification!

-AspFF

caravaca Jan 20, 10 9:09 pm


Originally Posted by maarit (Post 13216768)
Do you know how much approx. they charge for an Economy Extra > Business upgrade on the same leg?

If I remember correctly my Y+ ticket ARN-EWR would be about 475 Euro to upgrade to C. I did not go for it on the outbound flight.

fcl Jan 21, 10 8:16 am

I am right now waiting for M->Y upgrade to clear on CPH-NRT tomorrow (cost was €199). There is availablity in all cabins on this flight but I hope SAS wants the extra added revenue for the upgrade even if they don't need to clear space in M. I am wondering whether I will kill the chance of it clearing if I check in online? What is the closest time to departure that an optiontown upgrade has been cleared for those who have tried it here?

rumble Jan 21, 10 11:38 am

My experience with Optiontown upgrades has not been so good! Last two flights I tried it (both Tokyo-Copenhagen) the upgrades did not clear. But there was plenty of room in C so I upgraded with points instead. I found that weird that they would not take my money but accept points for an upgrade?! The only time it did work was when Economy was obviously full, so I would probably have been op-uped anyway.

fcl Jan 21, 10 8:59 pm


Originally Posted by fcl (Post 13224988)
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.

miikka Jan 21, 10 9:41 pm


Originally Posted by fcl (Post 13230477)
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.

Flyiboy Jan 22, 10 6:45 am


Originally Posted by fcl (Post 13230477)
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 ?

blue192 Jan 22, 10 12:58 pm


Originally Posted by Flyiboy (Post 13232379)
If you dont get the upgrade, do you get your payment back ?

Yes, they automatically refund your money.

rumble Jan 22, 10 2:54 pm


Originally Posted by fcl (Post 13230477)
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?

caravaca Jan 23, 10 1:25 pm


Originally Posted by jth (Post 13216289)
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).

rumble Jan 23, 10 11:33 pm

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.

jth Jan 26, 10 5:55 am


Originally Posted by caravaca (Post 13240793)
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.

FlyingFinn Jan 29, 10 7:23 am

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.

paulwoodh Feb 17, 10 8:02 am

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....

jth Feb 17, 10 8:33 am


Originally Posted by paulwoodh (Post 13406501)
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. :p
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.

henry999 Feb 17, 10 8:34 am

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

another_shot Feb 17, 10 11:31 am

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.

neko Feb 17, 10 3:12 pm


Originally Posted by miikka (Post 13230755)
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!

SK_RSJ Feb 17, 10 8:50 pm

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.

Koru Flyer Feb 17, 10 10:28 pm

For today's flight (18/2) ARN-ORD Optiontown cleared a Y(S)-->C(Z) flight for €272. I put in the request on 15/2 and was confirmed on 16/2. Overall straightforward experience.

Flight is busy but not really overbooked, and actually surprised as /C/ is showing only 3 seats available that they did not try to hold them for sale?

SK 945 ARN 10:20 ORD 12:30 333 0 A0 C3 D3 J3 Z0 Y9 S9 B0 E3 M3 H3 Q3 V0 W0 U0 K0 L0 T0 G3

Was rebooked in /Z/ which is great, less stress, more miles and seems better value than points.

jth Feb 17, 10 10:34 pm


Originally Posted by Koru Flyer (Post 13411774)
For today's flight (18/2) ARN-ORD Optiontown cleared a Y(S)-->C(Z) flight for €272. I put in the request on 15/2 and was confirmed on 16/2. Overall straightforward experience.

Flight is busy but not really overbooked, and actually surprised as /C/ is showing only 3 seats available that they did not try to hold them for sale?

Interesting observation. Maybe they think they can sell those last Y class seats easier? There shouldn't really be no issues with op-ups since Economy extra is wide open. Great that you got a C class seat, i'm stuck in 16H on economy extra :p Come by and say hi if you like :D

Shoes99 Feb 19, 10 3:35 pm

We purchased economy tickets on SAS, EWR to CPH. R/T $1003 each, $2006 total. June 2010 travel.
I signed up for upgrades from optiontown for $1044.00. My optiontown transactions were processed and I was already charged $1044 (4segments).
Do you know if purchasing my SAS tickets thru Orbitz will make any difference in my chance to be upgraded to Economy Plus on SAS.

Koru Flyer Feb 19, 10 7:07 pm


Originally Posted by jth (Post 13411805)
i'm stuck in 16H on economy extra :p Come by and say hi if you like :D

Sorry, I missed your post and ignored you. Flight in /C/ was fine, only 50% open in the cabin (why then J=3?). Otherwise good flight except the nice red was ditched for some chilean wine so had a choice between a chilean and argentinain which not really acceptable. And do people actually like the smörrebrod they serve before landing - would prefer just a sandwich or anything!

vilntrav May 13, 10 9:44 pm

I understand upgrade with Optiontown does give miles rewards with SAS but not with Airbaltic.
My question : when using Optiontown to upgrade from economy to business with Airbaltic, do I "lose" only additional miles which come with business, or also miles which I normally would have earned by flying Economy class ?
By the way I was proposed 99 Eur for VNO-CDG upgrade to business

vilntrav May 14, 10 2:40 am

I got the answer from Optiontown : when being upgraded through them on a Air Baltic flight Baltic miles corresponding to economic fare are credited.

dabee69 May 14, 10 8:00 pm


Originally Posted by vilntrav (Post 13955739)
I got the answer from Optiontown : when being upgraded through them on a Air Baltic flight Baltic miles corresponding to economic fare are credited.

I've done 5 OT upgrades on BT. So far, none of the original flights was credited automatically. Retro claim did work. I got economy miles.

vilntrav May 15, 10 8:22 am


Originally Posted by dabee69 (Post 13960424)
I've done 5 OT upgrades on BT. So far, none of the original flights was credited automatically. Retro claim did work. I got economy miles.

Thanks. When doing retroclaims did you state your original "economy class" booking, or tried to get through writing on the formular you were "business" ?

freeman_swe May 20, 10 10:06 am

Hi,

Im organizing a business trip to New York and since the whole group is flying in economy i thought I should try OT for myself.

Is it possible to only upgrade myself if I book all of us on the same ticket?

Br
Niclas

dabee69 May 20, 10 10:52 am


Originally Posted by vilntrav (Post 13962275)
Thanks. When doing retroclaims did you state your original "economy class" booking, or tried to get through writing on the formular you were "business" ?

I've done retro claim in several different ways. They are very strict and I always got economy miles, even if the only thing I sent was C boarding pass.

That makes me think that they do have access to the actual ticket details. Therefore, asking for a boarding pass could be a hope that maybe they will not have to register miles in case it's lost.


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