Getting bumped into business class or even first class can be a difficult venture. You either have to be at the airport early, be willing to get moved to a different flight, or be willing to pay a much higher price for the ticket. There is a new way to potentially get cheap business class tickets to Paris or any other location without having to pay such high costs – airline auctions, and here is how they work.
Bid on Seats
Online auctions are not a new trend with goods and services being auctioned off on a daily basis on several popular websites. The airline industry is now getting into the action with auction sites of their own such as Plusgrade. There are airlines who do offer auctions on their own websites, but you will have to check with your preferred carrier to see if that is an option.
When airlines haven't booked all the seats on their plane, they lose money on those empty seats. If a plane has too many seats vacant they will offer up those seats in an auction where anyone holding an economy class of ticket may bid on an upgrade. Since so many people in economy class would want to get that seat, the airline holds a blind-bidding auction for it. This means you will not know what other passengers are bidding for that same seat, you simply place what you are willing to pay for it.
Who Can Bid?
Each airline has their own rules and way of going through the bidding process, so you will need to check with them and learn their own system. For the most part, any passenger who has already purchased a ticket for a certain flight along a route may receive an invitation in their email for the chance at bidding at an upgrade. If you are a frequent flyer and loyal to that airline that will help your chances. There also has to be enough business class seats available for the airline to consider auctioning them.
How Much Should I Bid?
There really isn't a right answer to that question. You simply bid what you feel comfortable paying. For the most part, those who have been successful at winning upgrades tend to bid at least $200-$350 for the ticket. This is on top of what you have already paid for your economy class ticket. This is still much less than the regular cost of a business class ticket if you had purchased it at the regular rate.