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Topic # 69890 14-Oct-2010 22:14
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What's the chances of upgrading an Air New Zealand Wellington - Tokyo flight on the day, to Business Premier class for less than actually paying a business class price, which is about $12k for 2.

Is this what airlines do to fill seats? Has anyone else experienced an option to upgrade for a great price?

I think 6-$8K for 2 people is reasonable but not $12K. 


Better yet, anyone have any connections Wink ...?

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  Reply # 392010 14-Oct-2010 22:29
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assuming they actually have spare seats, I suppose it's possible, but the extra cost will still be significant - several thousand dollars I imagine.

Sadly gone are the days where you could bung the flight attendant $500 when you boarded to give you an upgrade.


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  Reply # 392012 14-Oct-2010 22:37
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ahh, they are w****kers in my experience. You are pushing it up hill unless you are a really frequent traveller.

I had purchased business class tickets auckland->london return, via LA.

I changed the dates on the return flight, but they said there were no business class seats for LA->auckland so I'd need to go cattle class (with no refund).

So, get to LA, ask at the front desk if any business class seats opened up , and yes, they have. They initially said I couldn't be upgraded to them, but I explained I had paid business class and they could see this in their system.

But, they were demanding a more cash to put me back into business class since the seats had a different grade (same seats, but, they seem to allocate a set number of seats to different grades) .

Even worse, when I eventually got my airpoints, they only gave me the points for economy on the return trip, even though I'd paid business classs.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 392016 14-Oct-2010 22:51
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jjnz1: What's the chances of upgrading an Air New Zealand Wellington - Tokyo flight on the day, to Business Premier class for less than actually paying a business class price, which is about $12k for 2.

You will most likely be looking at the fare difference, unless they're really oversold in Economy and Premium Economy which is... unlikely.

If you have Airpoints (and, ideally, status) then you can request an upgrade using those.
jjnz1: Is this what airlines do to fill seats? Has anyone else experienced an option to upgrade for a great price

Yes - bankrupt ones.  Why would they do this? It encourages people not to book business class seats at full price, but to instead wait.


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  Reply # 392344 15-Oct-2010 18:11
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PenultimateHop: Yes - bankrupt ones.? Why would they do this? It encourages people not to book business class seats at full price, but to instead wait.



I'm assuming they would do this if there were customers on standby. Bumping you up to business and allowing others to fill your seats might make them some cash...

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  Reply # 392371 15-Oct-2010 19:39
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I would say not a chance. Business class although normally not quite full gets filled with those with complementary upgrades (frequent fliers). There are three levels of people vying for those sets starting with Gold elite and working down to Silver. If by some chance there are still not enough people waiting for the upgrade seats (which is very unlikely) then they will bump up a Gold elite or Gold flier. This then allows them to put someone that is on standby into economy.







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  Reply # 393000 18-Oct-2010 04:33
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1080p: I'm assuming they would do this if there were customers on standby. Bumping you up to business and allowing others to fill your seats might make them some cash...

"Standby" as a concept doesn't really exist anymore.  Waitlisting does, but you are still on the waitlist at the point flight editing is doing their job you are unlikely to clear.

Inventory management at an airline is very sophisticated and they will know a long time in advance if they're oversold and need people to upgrade - but as mentioned they will first take those who have requested an upgrade via some kind of instrument (upgrade vouchers; Airpoints), then they may cast around for those willing to upgrade for cash.  It's rare on most airlines that you will see this, with the exception of those based in the US who are not exactly known for their profitability or their premium cabins.

I've watched people ask at various Air NZ checkin desks and the answer has almost always been "sure - for the fare difference" as it's better overall for the airline to let premium cabin seats go empty rather than fill them for token amounts of cash, given that it may in the future make a premium cabin passenger take his chances by buying a cheap fare and a $500 upgrade at the airport, instead of that $12,000 fare he was previously buying.

I certainly wouldn't expect it, but you might (might!) get lucky. On Air New Zealand, the best way is with Airpoints Dollars or upgrade certificates.

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  Reply # 393042 18-Oct-2010 09:15
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I was really disappointed with air nz business class, tray table was broken, napkin was dirty, lost the menu's for the food... Singapore airlines on the other hand, amazing.

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  Reply # 393115 18-Oct-2010 12:07
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gumgem: I was really disappointed with air nz business class, tray table was broken, napkin was dirty, lost the menu's for the food... Singapore airlines on the other hand, amazing.


Long haul? My experience's have been very positive with both business class and premiere economy. The old business class was never that good from a comfort/tech point of view but the service I have always found to be very good. Lie flat bed is heaven.
However I have never flown business class with a different airline so cannot compare. Singapore are a very good airline though. Only negative I have with them is legroom in economy which is less then AirNZ. 







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  Reply # 393139 18-Oct-2010 12:54
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You could plead your case to @AirNZFairy via Twitter

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  Reply # 393168 18-Oct-2010 14:06
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Nety:
gumgem: I was really disappointed with air nz business class, tray table was broken, napkin was dirty, lost the menu's for the food... Singapore airlines on the other hand, amazing.


Long haul? My experience's have been very positive with both business class and premiere economy. The old business class was never that good from a comfort/tech point of view but the service I have always found to be very good. Lie flat bed is heaven.
However I have never flown business class with a different airline so cannot compare. Singapore are a very good airline though. Only negative I have with them is legroom in economy which is less then AirNZ. 


I haven't flown recently but last time I flew with Singapore Airlines their business class was not as good as Air NZ.  The chairs "slid down" and your feet went underneath the seat in front.  This was not as comfortable as Air NZ where the seats are truly flat and horizontal.  Most so called "lie flat" seats the airlines promote still have a slope on them and I find this makes it harder to sleep.

Singapore Airlines is the only airline I've seen where they tell you as you get off the plane that your luggage isn't there (and that was an economy ticket).  It kind of makes up for their poor training of business class staff.  When I asked what wine they had, the answer was "red or white", when I asked what red, the answer was "red".  Laughing

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