?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

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msk
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?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by msk » Wed May 16, 2018 3:39 am

Being a BH deep down inside I feel gypped when I travel Business Class, but given my age, mid 70s, I now resign to being ripped off. Context: Myself and DW have an intercontinental trip coming up and have already coughed up $10k just for the long flight legs in Business Class. Missing leg is a daytime (no sleeper seats) 6-hour flight. Paid for Economy but we have the option to bid for the upgrade to Business (depending on availability). For a firm reservation the upgrade costs about $100/hour of flight ($600 each or $1200 for two). Obviously I balked at paying the full additional $100/hr. We can afford it, just that for a stingy BH I would prefer gifting the $1200 to my grandkids. What do people usually bid? Half? One quarter? Anyone able to relate previous successful bids?

DoTheMath
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by DoTheMath » Wed May 16, 2018 6:22 am

msk wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:39 am
Being a BH deep down inside I feel gypped when I travel Business Class, but given my age, mid 70s, I now resign to being ripped off. Context: Myself and DW have an intercontinental trip coming up and have already coughed up $10k just for the long flight legs in Business Class. Missing leg is a daytime (no sleeper seats) 6-hour flight. Paid for Economy but we have the option to bid for the upgrade to Business (depending on availability). For a firm reservation the upgrade costs about $100/hour of flight ($600 each or $1200 for two). Obviously I balked at paying the full additional $100/hr. We can afford it, just that for a stingy BH I would prefer gifting the $1200 to my grandkids. What do people usually bid? Half? One quarter? Anyone able to relate previous successful bids?
I'm sure this depends on the airline, the time of year, and how busy the route is. General guidelines aren't going to be too helpful. You will probably get more useful replies on a website devoted to travel hacking. You might have better luck on, for example, flyertalk.com.

Personally, I would say your grandkids prefer you spend the money on yourselves. A 6-hour flight is long enough to make the upgrade worthwhile, especially for those of us who aren't as young as we used to be. Alternatively, you could take the half-price option: pay for your DW's upgrade and enjoy your savings in Economy. :-)

Also, you may not know this but "gypped" is a pejorative reference to the Roma (aka Gypsies). Like similar words which refer to other groups of people, it is kinder to avoid using it.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir

msk
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by msk » Wed May 16, 2018 6:25 am

DoTheMath wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:22 am
Also, you may not know this but "gypped" is a pejorative reference to the Roma (aka Gypsies). Like similar words which refer to other groups of people, it is kinder to avoid using it.
Oops! Was not aware :shock:

stlrick
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by stlrick » Wed May 16, 2018 7:27 am

First consideration is the quality of the economy class. Singapore Airlines and Spirit are different experiences. Six hours is a long flight. I would unquestionably go for the business upgrade if economy seating was three across and one of you would have a middle seat.

Aren't you already paying more than $100 per hour for the upgrade on the intercontinental flight? You clearly have a very long trip to deal with. In terms of overall comfort and arriving at your destination as pleasantly as possible, not investing in the upgrade for the six hour trip diminishes the value of the business seats you have already paid for.

TravelGeek
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 8:35 am

stlrick wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:27 am
First consideration is the quality of the economy class. Singapore Airlines and Spirit are different experiences. Six hours is a long flight. I would unquestionably go for the business upgrade if economy seating was three across and one of you would have a middle seat.
And the quality of the premium class seat I would be getting matters a lot, too. I would not pay a lot more for a domestic “First Class” upgrade.

stan1
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by stan1 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:47 am

So much is situational and your personal preferences. If you'll be miserable for days because you had to sit in a cramped economy seat by all means upgrade. If its a minor inconvenience save some money. Personally I find a 6 hour daytime flight in an economy window seat to be fine and would pay to make sure I got that. I do upgrade to at least premium economy on a 10+ hour overnight flight. I find the benefits of upgrading on a 7-8 hour overnight flight to be negligible but that's me.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed May 16, 2018 8:48 am

Let me know how this turns out. I’m also stingy when it comes to upgrades on airplanes. We could afford to fly first class, but very seldom fly business class, or even whatever the upgraded coach is called. Our kids would really rather we spend the money on ourselves; they won’t want for anything, but it’s just really hard to pull the trigger.

ssquared87
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by ssquared87 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:52 am

There’s no point in getting cheap on one segment even though they don’t have lie flat seats. After spending $10k on the other segments, if your economy segment is terrible, it will ruin your experience on the others. I’ve had this happen a few times where I flew first on the long segment and then had a completely miserable experience on the next 3hr segment and it completely overshadowed the good experience I had in first.

stan1
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by stan1 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:54 am

I'd have a very different perspective if I was 5'4" and 120 pounds than if I was 6'5" and 300 pounds.

msk
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by msk » Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am

I have already paid for the seats next to the emergency exits for the extra leg room. I am 5'7" and DW even shorter by 5" :D Basically I am reluctant to pay an extra $100/hr/person on sort-of-domestic Air Canada (to the Caribbean), but of course there is some number that I would have no guilt about. $20/hr/p would be a no brainer but I wonder whether anyone has won a bid with such a low ball bid. That's essentially my query here. 50%? 75%? Of course one can win only if there are empty seats in Business. Ah well, I might yet break down and just pay full whack.YOLO.

TravelGeek
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 9:40 am

msk wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am
I have already paid for the seats next to the emergency exits for the extra leg room. I am 5'7" and DW even shorter by 5" :D Basically I am reluctant to pay an extra $100/hr/person on sort-of-domestic Air Canada (to the Caribbean), but of course there is some number that I would have no guilt about. $20/hr/p would be a no brainer but I wonder whether anyone has won a bid with such a low ball bid. That's essentially my query here. 50%? 75%? Of course one can win only if there are empty seats in Business. Ah well, I might yet break down and just pay full whack.YOLO.
You probably have a better chance getting data on the Flyertalk site.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed May 16, 2018 9:52 am

5'4" and 6'3" here. I'm the short one, he's the cheap one. But I make the reservations. Just recently started springing for Early Bird Check-in on Southwest, the airline we fly most often. Comfort plus for other domestic flights over 2 hours.

New rule is business class for any ocean crossing, but that probably includes any flight over 5 hours. Haven't taken that kind of trip the last couple of years, but we will next year. Just started signing up for credit cards with mileage programs, until now have been mostly just using points for cash back. The extra room is more because of age and fatigue than height or girth. I can't sleep even in comfort plus seats, and don't like arriving at a vacation spot exhausted.

ResearchMed
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by ResearchMed » Wed May 16, 2018 10:03 am

msk wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:39 am
Being a BH deep down inside I feel gypped when I travel Business Class, but given my age, mid 70s, I now resign to being ripped off. Context: Myself and DW have an intercontinental trip coming up and have already coughed up $10k just for the long flight legs in Business Class. Missing leg is a daytime (no sleeper seats) 6-hour flight. Paid for Economy but we have the option to bid for the upgrade to Business (depending on availability). For a firm reservation the upgrade costs about $100/hour of flight ($600 each or $1200 for two). Obviously I balked at paying the full additional $100/hr. We can afford it, just that for a stingy BH I would prefer gifting the $1200 to my grandkids. What do people usually bid? Half? One quarter? Anyone able to relate previous successful bids?
We use awards for upgrades on ANY long flight nowadays. We never needed this, or even thought about it, when younger. But recently... after agony during a long flight (7-8 hours), plus pain for the first few days of the vacation... no more!

We can purchase awards if we run out, and if it's cheaper to use awards than to pay cash for better class, we'll do it... one way or another.
For shorter domestic flights, we find the extra space on Jet Blue quite fine.

So our "rule" is to use whichever is the least expensive way to get the "right" seats, meaning "lie flat" for long-haul.
But we are not willing to risk not getting an upgrade, so we just pay for what we want, when we see the appropriate seats available.
This - comfortable travel - is part of what we were saving for, all this time after all.

Thus far, when we've used awards, we've been able to "pay extra in points" for about $400-500 extra [pp, one way], to get First instead of Business. It's been well worth it on the ultra-long-haul, meaning a 14-15+ hour leg.
On shorter international flights, Business class would usually be fine.
But some of those "pods" can feel like coffins after several hours. They are narrow in the shoulders, and some don't really even have proper "foot room", which is absurd. Neither of us is unusually large, so we can't imagine how someone larger must feel in these same pods.

Something else for OP to consider.
IF you have a long connection, the premium class (First or Business) will frequently allow you access to a much nicer lounge area. But those can vary dramatically by what the airline has access to, to the airport.

We are just too old and creaky to fly economy (or premium economy) on long-haul flights anymore.
That seemed to happen relatively suddenly, circa some key birthday "celebrations" :annoyed

RM
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TravelGeek
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 10:15 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:03 am
On shorter international flights, Business class would usually be fine.
But some of those "pods" can feel like coffins after several hours. They are narrow in the shoulders, and some don't really even have proper "foot room", which is absurd. Neither of us is unusually large, so we can't imagine how someone larger must feel in these same pods.
I am not at the point (yet?) where I consider business class “only” for shorter international flights. I agree that some of the pods are somewhat claustrophobic, but a quick peek behind the curtain separating business class from coach usually puts things into perspective ;)

Also, more and more airlines are eliminating (Int’l) First Class anyway.

curmudgeon
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by curmudgeon » Wed May 16, 2018 10:27 am

I usually take a look at seatguru.com to see how the plane is configured. Not 100% reliable (sometimes a plane is switched on a route), but pretty good information. You can see which airlines have crammed extra seats into the plane by skimping further on legroom or hiproom. I've noticed this on United in particular, going to 10-across on planes designed for 9-across, or packing extra-narrow seats in the back of new 737s. I find some airlines seats better than others (especially as the newer thin seats have phased in), so it can be tricky to judge purely on seat pitch.

I suspect the upgrade on the flight in question would be to the equivalent of "domestic first". I got those last minute on a Hawaii trip a couple of years ago for $50 each way. Even at that low price, one way they felt worthwhile, the other not so much. The difference was that the service was very good one way, and fairly non-existent the other. For me, having exit row seats already, I wouldn't bid more that 25% for the upgrade in this case.

Luckywon
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Re: ?$ Bid for Upgrade to Business Class (per flight hour)

Post by Luckywon » Wed May 16, 2018 11:03 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:03 am
On shorter international flights, Business class would usually be fine.
But some of those "pods" can feel like coffins after several hours.
I have a feeling you are not going to get much sympathy on this :happy

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