Has anyone ever paid to upgrade at the airport and is it cheaper?

(5 Posts)
theclick Mon 29-Aug-16 11:53:04

A few times I've been travelling with friends to the states we've been asked if we wanted to upgrade to premium for £250, which is cheaper than an upgrade when booking the trip at the start. DH and I are considering whether to book premium flights when booking our whole trip or take a chance on getting a deal at the airport. Wondered if anyone knew how often it happened that you could be offered a cheap upgrade at the airport. Will probably fly BA...

PollyCoddle Mon 29-Aug-16 12:03:17

I tried to do this on another airline recently, but premium was full. So I guess it's a gamble.

Optimist1 Mon 29-Aug-16 12:07:23

BA like to reward their frequent flyer members to keep them loyal to the airline, so it's common for gold and silver status members to be offered upgrades on the day of travel. So if you're not a gold or silver card holder and you're hoping to upgrade on the day, you're banking on a) premium seats being available, b) gold and silver car holders not being booked in standard economy and c) other passengers ahead of you in the queue not wanting to upgrade. So IMO it's a possibility, but not a strong one.

My experience of paying to upgrade was on a flight from Vancouver to London via a US city. The checkin agent asked me if I'd like to upgrade from economy to business for $200 (both flights). Ooh yes, I said, and started pulling out my credit card. She tap tapped on her computer and looked puzzled. Tap tapped again and sighed. Apologised and called her supervisor across. Supervisor took a look at the reservation and said the $200 offer was for flights within N America only and not transatlantic so didn't apply to me. sad I'd felt that the offer seemed too good to be true, but still felt very hard done by.

2014newme Mon 29-Aug-16 12:13:34

We have just booked flights with upgrades to premium economy for next year, a one way upgrade for way back was £10 each with Virgin. Think it was about £100 each outbound. I think you get better deals booking in advance

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 29-Aug-16 20:16:08

With BA (and their One World Alliance partners) you are more likely to be offered such an upgrade if you are already a long standing member of their Executive Club and have gold or silver status. Loyalty these days pays when it comes to airlines.

Have only been offered a pay to upgrade class of travel once on BA in all my years of flying.

It also very much depends on the time of day, the month of travel and the route. On more "popular" routes an upgrade is unlikely to be offered in any case because the flight is full. I would book the premium seats in advance.

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