There are many routes to travelling up front, and airlines have continued to monetize as they go forward each and every step towards travelling in the front row. The effort is always to derive as many seats as possible rather than leave them empty.
For the longest time, Jet Airways had a fixed price for their upgrades to Business Class or First Class. For instance, on flights on Mumbai to Bangalore, which is a frequent sector for us, I’ve heard a lot of times a quote of INR 8000 – INR 8500 approximately.
However, just a couple of days ago, Jet airways has now launched into the world of Bidding for upgrades. Sharad, who is a member of the LFAL India Travel Lounge, gave us the first view of the bidding that goes on now for an upgrade to Business or First Class.
As per him, the range for bidding on Business Class upgrade for the Bangalore – Mumbai sector, which is a 1.5 hour long flight, was from INR 3,850 to INR 9,950. He could also continue to buy an upgrade at a fixed price.
Remember, the upgrade invitation at a fixed price was always invite only, and no one knows who got invited and why. But the least I expected was that the invitations were always sent out closer to the date of the flight, since by then the airline had a better idea about how full the cabin would be.
How does Jet Airways Upgrade Bidding work?
So now that we know that Jet Airways has introduced bidding for upgrades, here are some of the other things to know about how the process works. Firstly, the airline will extend the bidding to all tickets issued by Jet Airways themselves (589 ticket stock), except for redemptions, staff tickets or G-fare bookings. Again, you should have an email address on record to get the invitation in the first place. And bidding is only possible with a credit card, not debit cards.
If your booking is eligible for an upgrade, you will receive an email invitation to bid or purchase instantly 331 days before departure. In case of a bid, you can make, change or cancel your bid for an upgrade any time before 25 hrs to departure. If your bid is successful, you will receive an e-mail notification anytime up to 24 hrs before departure. Only successful bids will be charged.
Bidding can be done for Economy to Business Class and Business to First Class. If you have a multiple segment journey, you can always bid a separate amount for each leg. But each bid submitted is for all members on a PNR. It is not possible to separate the passengers for the purpose of upgrades.
In terms of the benefits, the upgrade will allow you to travel in the business class or first class cabin, but this would not allow you to access other benefits such as more miles, lounge access or extra baggage if you are not eligible for that as per your tier or existing ticket.
I still have not had an opportunity to try this recently new feature on the Jet Airways website, but I will report back when I make a new reservation and it pops up for me. But I think this is a great improvement from Jet Airways, and for everyone a great opportunity to experience the Jet Airways Business & First Class products at a lower price than what we usually pay for these products.
I am not sure if this is going to work on international segments since Jet Airways already has full loads on their international Business Class flights, especially the long-hauls, but maybe it will on the short hauls regionally for sure.
What do you think of the new upgrade options provided by Jet Airways? If you have a question or have tried the upgrade bidding, do share your insights with us.