Paid upgrade to biz at the airport?

Old Oct 22, 17, 8:52 pm
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Paid upgrade to biz at the airport?

I have an MRU-JNB flight coming up. I am in Y but already selected an exit row seat. It's not a terribly long flight, so if there's no way to upgrade, it's not a big deal. Just wondering if anyone familiar with ex-MRU flights knows if it's possible/how to go about upgrading at check-in. My only experience doing this was ex-DAR and it seemed the check-in agent made up an arbitrary (but reasonable) #, since I don't recall her checking anything in the computer. I was told I had to pay cash and she printed me a new pass.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 11:54 am
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You can do a quick pit-stop at the ticketing counter before or after checkin. If you do it after checkin you will obviously need them to print a new boarding pass. Grabbed a few deals this way.
With that said, its a wager, but on overbooked flights I sometimes scored complimentary upgrades when holding off the urge to check (and pay) for upgrades before checkin.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
... seemed the check-in agent made up an arbitrary (but reasonable) #, since I don't recall her checking anything in the computer. I was told I had to pay cash and she printed me a new pass.
I chuckle.

TIA.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Mohammade Check View Post
You can do a quick pit-stop at the ticketing counter before or after checkin. If you do it after checkin you will obviously need them to print a new boarding pass. Grabbed a few deals this way.
With that said, its a wager, but on overbooked flights I sometimes scored complimentary upgrades when holding off the urge to check (and pay) for upgrades before checkin.
Yea, I am ok with rolling the dice since my exit row seat should be sufficient for a short flight, but I suppose I'll see how much they want. Thx
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Old Nov 13, 17, 11:00 am
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Might I hijack this thread with a similar query - I am stuck on a SAA Accra-Jo'burg night flight in Y and looking to see whether and if I can upgrade to J. Is this something I can do online or should I wait to get to the airport in Accra and roll the dice? Sorry, almost exclusively a DL flyer so no real experience with SAA...
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Old Nov 13, 17, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by powerful pete View Post
Might I hijack this thread with a similar query - I am stuck on a SAA Accra-Jo'burg night flight in Y and looking to see whether and if I can upgrade to J. Is this something I can do online or should I wait to get to the airport in Accra and roll the dice? Sorry, almost exclusively a DL flyer so no real experience with SAA...
Both, SAA have a bid to upgrade app on their website. Also, it'll depend which ACC-JNB flight since upgrades on the SA53 or SA57 flights will likely be easier than the SA 210 flight (the latter originating at IAD).
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Old Nov 13, 17, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by evanb View Post
Both, SAA have a bid to upgrade app on their website. Also, it'll depend which ACC-JNB flight since upgrades on the SA53 or SA57 flights will likely be easier than the SA 210 flight (the latter originating at IAD).
Ah thanks evanb - it's SA57. Let's see how the online bidding thingamajig works and we can then fall back on check-in groveling!

I'll update the thread as things develop...
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Old Nov 13, 17, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by powerful pete View Post
Ah thanks evanb - it's SA57. Let's see how the online bidding thingamajig works and we can then fall back on check-in groveling!

I'll update the thread as things develop...
I suspect that SA57 is easier to get an upgrade on than SA210. SA57 originates in Abidjan and I once struggled to get a mileage upgrade on ABJ-JNB even though there was inventory in I class on the ACC-JNB leg. Not sure if that helps.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:33 am
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Thanks - no idea - let's see what happens. Any thoughts on where to start on the bidding? Going on the SAA website a business one-way is listed at ~1.2 million XOF, so around $2K.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by powerful pete View Post
Thanks - no idea - let's see what happens. Any thoughts on where to start on the bidding? Going on the SAA website a business one-way is listed at ~1.2 million XOF, so around $2K.
I've never tried the bidding online. Always used miles or paid at the counter.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 12:20 pm
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Thanks evanb - might I ask what you paid at the counter in cash? If this is somehow not appropriate, I of course understand. Thanks again!
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Old Nov 15, 17, 7:25 am
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Purely in the interests of research, I bid on a domestic flight, JNB-CPT. I submitted the minimum bid allowed - and received an email 24 hours before departure to say it had been accepted.

If it is unlikely that the price at the airport will be less than the minimum bid, then presumably the best strategy is to make the minimum bid and, if unsuccessful, have another go at the airport?
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Old Nov 15, 17, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post

If it is unlikely that the price at the airport will be less than the minimum bid, then presumably the best strategy is to make the minimum bid and, if unsuccessful, have another go at the airport?
Given that the at-the-airport amount seems to be entirely negotiated on the fly and in cash, it seems to be a bit of a gamble. With an online bid that's accepted, you at least have a "guarantee" of the upgrade and the "system" would automatically spit out your new BP for the upgraded seat. At the gate seems to be just a random convergence of offer, willingness to accept and acceptance without the "system" backing up the whole transaction.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 6:55 am
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Thanks again to all who provided advice. I was unable to log into the SAA website for days on end (dodgy African internet? don't know) and ended up asking about the upgrade at the airport in Abidjan. Was quoted $750 and the agent would not budge. I decided that was a bit much and had a not-too-bad trip in the back of the bus. Maybe next time!
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