It was rather weird to read this as I sat in my J seat having been upgraded yesterday, no doubt it's a trend that to a certain extent is not one many frequent fliers with status will like:
Air New Zealand carried 13.1 million passengers last year but had 100,000 premium seats unsold. It plans to introduce eBay-like bidding for upgrades in May, and its elite members will have to bid along with everybody else.This drew a furious response from some, with one customer posting a photo of his chopped-up frequent-flyer card to an online forum and asking who it should be sent to. Another posted that it was “not a proud day to be a Kiwi”.
Penny Spencer, managing director of Sydney-based corporate travel agents Spencer Travel, said online auctions of flight upgrades was likely to have a negative impact on business travellers and travel management companies.
She said a business-class fare from Sydney to Manchester was usually worth about $11,000. If a traveller was successful with low bids on the Plusgrade system, the same journey would cost less than half that amount.
“This will ruffle the feathers of travel management companies and frequent flyers,” Ms Spencer said.