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How I successfully bid on an Ethiopian Airlines Business Class upgrade
Ethiopian Airlines operates a 787 in and out of Dublin with their new business class. It’s a great route that can be used to access Europe as it avoids a ton of taxes (boring) and fees (boooorrrring) that get tacked on to award tickets when flying through the UK or even France. What’s even better, is Ethiopian runs a buy up program for business class, or as they call it, CloudNine, prior to the flight. This creates an interesting value proposition when deciding whether to use points or just pay outright. In this situation, business class wasn’t an option with points, and coach was very affordable so I thought I’d give Ethiopian’s bid to upgrade program a go for a trip I’m handling for a loved one. Here’s how I successfully bid on an Ethiopian Airlines Business Class upgrade and saved over $2000. BYAH!
Here’s the cash rates for the flights. As you can see $620 vs $3500
and the earn rate based on fare bucket if you were to credit to Singapore Airlines…which I typically do now.
The main factor affecting your bid to upgrade will be load. How full is the cabin? I use Expertflyer to check
Economy is on the left and business on the right. As you can see – it’s WIDE open.
Cabin is wide open so assuming the fare qualifies…I’d guess there’s a good chance of bidding and winning. They have a site setup for bids.
If your flight is eligible for upgrade you’ll see this:
The offers are given a sliding scale of strength. In this situation the scale was from $600 to $900. In most situations I’d recommend plopping a bid right down the middle, but there wasn’t a big financial difference between down the middle and strong. I wasn’t willing to lose an upgrade over $50 – $75 so I made a strong bid.
$775 isn’t cheap. But in total…that’s less than $1400 for a one way, close to flying, business class seat. That’s not terrible and it’s over $2000 cheaper than the discount business at $3500
Less than 24 hours later I received a confirmation email. Yeahya!
In the end…I was able to book a revenue fare, earn some miles, and fly business for a fraction of the cost because of strategy and knowing some options. Hope this helps. BYAH!
*main photo is from Ethiopian’s Facebook page
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