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Qantas launches world-first upgrade bidding system

Carrier also announces big boost to Queensland services

Qantas has launched an online, invitation-only bidding system to give its frequent flyers a new way in which to score an upgrade.


Bid Now Upgrades will be introduced across the Qantas network from this week and will enable the airline's Frequent Flyers to make an offer for a business upgrade using a combination of money and Qantas points.


“This is designed for Frequent Flyers who don’t have a balance high enough to request an upgrade using points alone,” Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant said.


“For a member who doesn’t have enough points to submit an upgrade request for their whole family, Bid Now Upgrades offers an alternative chance to travel at the front of the plane with their spouse and children using a combination of money and points.”


Other airlines to use a similar bidding process for upgrades include Air New Zealand (OneUp), Virgin Australia (UpgradeMe Premium Bid) and Malaysia Airlines (MHupgrade).


However, Qantas’s program is unique as it is the only system to offer fliers an upgrade option using a combination of points and money.


How it works:

1.     Customers invited to participate in Bid Now Upgrades will receive an email, seven days before departure, enabling them to make an offer for an upgrade within a set range of points and money.

2.     Minimums are from 3,000 Qantas Points for a domestic upgrade and from 5,000 Qantas Points for an international upgrade. A minimum dollar amount will also be required.

3.     Customers’ Bid Now Upgrades offer can be modified or cancelled at any time up until 24 hours before departure, but customers don’t see each other’s offers.

4.     Customers will be notified via email approximately one day before departure if their offer has been successful or not.

5.     If a customer is not successful, they pay nothing and keep their current seat.


Cathay Pacific pondering eBay-style upgrades

Qantas launches upgraded international A330 service

Is Qantas’ impeccable safety record under threat?


In other Qantas news, the carrier today announced plans to boost services into Queensland, with capacity on its upcoming Brisbane-Tokyo (Narita) flights to increase by 75 percent to over 4,000 seats a week.


Starting in August, Qantas will now operate a daily nonstop service between the two cities.


More than 15,000 seats a year will also be added to the Whitsunday Coast region, with the Flying Kangaroo to launch a twice weekly service (taking over from Jetstar) from Melbourne to Hamilton Island from 27 June, and Jetstar to commence a direct three-times weekly service between Melbourne and the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) from 25 June.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 11 February 2015

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