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What is a Load Factor Based Upgrade?
Simply put, it’s when the airline discounts a seat because the cabin is undersold. In order to increased the “load” of the flight and cabin, they will discount the price of that premium seat.
- Often times a Load Factor Based Upgrade (LFB) will be offered at the kiosk when you check in for your flight
- You can ask if any LFBs are available at the ticket counter, lounge, and gate
- Since airlines are focused on generating more revenue, it’s not unusual to see premium seats being offered as an LFB when the cabin is fairly empty
When are Load Factor Based Upgrades available
Typically the cabin has to be very undersold. Recently, Miles worked with a client flying from the UK to NY and helped secure a LFB upgrade over the phone. That cabin was about 50% sold and the price to upgrade was $500. Not a cheap amount of money, but comparing it to the price to upgrade with points and cash, it’s a deal
|To/From||Discount Econ||Full-Fare Econ||Discount Business||Full-Fare Business|
|North America||Europe/Middle East||25k + $350||15k||25k + $550||25k|
How to ask for a Load Factor Based Upgrade
When you get to the ticket counter, lounge check-in, or lounge help desk ask if there are any Load Factor upgrades available. Specifically with American Airlines – if the agent does not know what you’re asking for, have them do this:
Access your PNR, Open Sable and hit Ctrl M
- This should show the agent your PNR ( Passenger Name Record) which shows your fare bucket and it’s ability to even be upgraded
- The second will allow the agent to access the load of the plane you’re flying on and whether an LFB is available.
Here’s a look at the expertflyer biz cabin on the 6/24 MAN-JFK flight operated by American and their new retrofit 767-300
Here’s what American Airlines lists as their LFB terms and conditions
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