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American to let fliers bid on first-class upgrades

A customer can bid to upgrade to the next-highest class of service on their flight. When the flier does, he or she must also submit their credit card information along with their suggested price. If American likes a flier's offer, that passenger's card will automatically be charged and the upgrade will be confirmed. If American does not accept the offer, the flier's card is not charged. ( Mehr...

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Ric Wernicke 4
This is really nothing more than a reverse auction. The chance of a seat actually being sold on this basis is almost nil. Currently on most airlines first class is filled first with the few people using OPM (other people's money)to purchase a ticket. The rest of the seats go to the elite fliers.

Practice is that unless you want to pay an expensive fare upgrade, there will usually be people who are above you in the pecking order to get the seat.

First class has been adjusted to match the revenue stream with less service, less quality alcohol and food, smaller seats, shorter pitch, and no ground amenities like truly first class lounges, complementary portage, bags delivered first (they all give a label, but it is ignored), isles blocked to allow disembarking ahead of the crowd, and a concierge to assist.

This type of auction is unfair to the bidders. In a fair auction the current bid is known to all bidders, and recent sales are reported to all at the same time. This is what makes the stock market work.

American wants to have its cake and eat it too.

All airlines offer the same service. The key to compete is to enhance the passenger experience. That is why the carpet is worn at the entrance to Emirates.
joe johnson 3
Maybe they can generate enough revenue to get a livery worth a damn.
I'm surprised something like this hasn't been tried already. People LOVE to bid on things!
Daniel Baker 1
Air New Zealand currently operates this system for upgrades to Premium Economy and Business.
PhotoFinish 1
It's been around:
Paul Glick 1
That is the goofiest thing I have ever heard. I am a gold flier on Delta with over two million miles. I have no idea how they determine who gets upgraded and either do they. Only the computer knows. Is this bidding done when you purchase your ticket? Is it a one bid only? I have been on over two thousand airplanes and I do not care anymore. I probably make the upgrade now about 30% of the time. It used to be about 75%. It depends on where you fly. Not long ago I flew a red eye from SEA to ATL and I was like 40th on the list for about 24 seats.

Delta has worn me down with their constant changes. I give up, put me in the back with the commoners. Let me fight for luggage space, use dirty restrooms and wait forever as the folks that bring their on all their worldly goods with them disembark the plane. I never thought the airlines could pull off the extra fees but they did it. I am in the very latter part of my traveling career and I have pity on the future travelers of America as they try to outshout the guy next to him on their cell saying, "can you hear me."
sparkie624 1
LOL... Gate agents will now have to be auctioneers.. LOL, maybe they can make a TV program out of.... Call it "First Class Bidders". I can just now see intimidation factors at the gate as people are bidding against each other...
PhotoFinish 1
It happens mostly in advance, not at the gate. But the image was worth a good chuckle.

The bottom line is that on busy routes(where there are already more people wanting upgrades than available) it will be worth it to bid on an upgrade.

On sleepier flights (or those in which not much sleep will be happening) the status upgrades should still be available.

Come on people. They were freebies for when no one had paid for a seat. But if people are willing to pay for a seat, suck it up. Pay for it (bid) or sut in the back.
gary cusack 1
virgin Australia has just started doing this on domestic flights
Brian Bishop 1
Great idea. I'd bid on it.
bbabis 1
"Rest assured that elite status member upgrade requests will continue to be given priority and will not be impacted by this program," AA says on its Plusgrade page. Yeah, Right. Bidding starts 6 days before a flight and elite status members can't request an upgrade until 4 days before. Just another airline debacle.
Of course the real purpose is to bid the price up on available seats.

[This poster has been suspended.]


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