Money Hack: Bid for a flight upgrade

Stephanie Yip 27 January 2018 NEWS

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...Or at least to nab some added flight perks.

Everybody dreams of swanning up to the airport ticket counter and being told they've been upgraded to first or business class, but few of us have had the chance.

While you can try and work all the "hacks" such as dressing nicely, calling the customer service representative at the counter by their first name or mentioning that you're travelling for a special occasion, there is no guarantee that you'll convert that standard economy seat into something more luxurious.

However, what can increase your chances of doing so are bid programs.

The hack

Auction sites such as Optiontown give you the opportunity to see what life is like on the other side by letting you bid for an upgrade on select flights. Once you've made your flight booking, simply login to the auction site and bid on your extras. These can be anything from class upgrades and extra baggage allowance to priority check-in or in-flight meals.

Sure, you'll have to shell out if you win, but depending on your luck you could get away with savings of up to 75% off compared with if you purchased it in the first place. Yup, up to 75% off.

You won't be charged if you don't win, so there's no harm in it. Just be aware of your limits and don't bid anything more than you're willing to pay for the said upgrade.

Auctions sites aren't the only place you can bid for an upgrade either, with many airlines specifically offering upgrades on their flights. You can discover a full list here.

Even if the airline you've booked with doesn't offer a "bid for an upgrade" option, some airlines, including Jetstar, will contact you if the plane isn't full close to the date and offer to upgrade you to a premium seat at a discounted price. Again, make sure the price is right for this because you don't have to say yes if the cost is still too high.

Good luck and happy travels!


finder money hacks is a bi-weekly roundup of the latest tips and tricks to improve your finances. Check back every Wednesday and Saturday for new hacks.

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