Apparently this has been around for 6 months, but I hadn’t heard about it: Air New Zealand has a program called OneUp where they will offer select flyers who have purchased long-haul tickets on ANZ’s website the opportunity to bid on a one-class upgrade on their next flight.
I received an email for my flight from LAX to Auckland at the end of the month asking me if I wanted to bid on an upgrade from Premium Economy (the class I’m booked in) to Business. The text of the email reads:
Want an upgrade? Make us an offer and go OneUp!
One or more of your flights is eligible for our new OneUp upgrade program. OneUp lets you make an offer to upgrade one cabin – from Economy class to Premium Economy or from Premium Economy to Business Premier. You tell us what you’re prepared to pay, and we’ll let you know 3 days before your flight if your offer is accepted. So, what are you waiting for – make us an offer!
I was thinking about it, and although the difference between Premium Economy and Business is about $1100 each way, I was willing, at first blush, to pay $179 each way to upgrade. Well, that wasn’t an option:
You can see in the cool little tool, that the landing page shows a $590 bid each way, with the little dial set at a “very poor” chance it will be accepted. Now, if I’ve learned anything from Priceline, always ignore it if they tell you there is a “very poor” chance.
The lowest bid, however, is $360 and the highest bid is $1570 each way. The high end is ridiculous, as I could’ve bought the ticket for less. $360 is not ridiculous, but when I think about paying $720 out of pocket, it makes me a little bit sick. Also, it’s telling me my chances at $360 each way are “very poor.”
Then I thought about it this way: United wants 30,000 miles + $350 each way to upgrade to business class from a mid-level economy fare. So perhaps this is a deal, since (assuming I’d get it for $350, which I likely won’t) they’d want 30,000 miles each way in addition to the price.
I’m likely going to pass on this, unless someone can convince me I should bid $360 (at least 1 way) for the upgrade from Premium Economy. Eh, who am I kidding? It’s my money – why am I asking you if I should spend it?
In any case, I thought that although this program is likely pissing off every ANZ frequent flyer (and me, since United won’t let me upgrade a Premium Economy ticket to Business with miles, even though I CAN upgrade using a cheaper coach ticket), it’s a pretty cool idea (at least I thought my friend Doug would like it).
(UPDATE: I bid $350 for the return flight. I’m on the ANZ SpaceSeat on the way down, which I’m interested in trying. I’m less interested in the non-SpaceSeat Premium Economy on the 747 on the way back. I’ll report back if I get the upgrade.)