Air India offers bid and upgrade plan on long-haul flights
NEW DELHI, Jan 10: Flyers can now bid for business class, while booking economy class, on Air India non-stop flights to the US, Australia and Europe. With this feature, the successful bidder will be able to land a business class seat for up to 75per cent less than the actual cost.
According to officials, an economy class flyer with Air India will be given the option to bid for business class while booking the flight. They said a higher bidding amount will translate to more chances of landing a business class seat.
A successful bid will lead to an upgrade to business class, and a new boarding pass will be issued at the boarding gate. The seat will be allotted after check-in and is subject to availability of seats in business class.
However, the upgrade will not allow access to lounge. Baggage allowance will also be as per economy class specifications. Only the meal and the seat will be business class.
Flyers will be refunded the amount in case of an unsuccessful bid. The bid will be allowed at different levels, officials said.
The India-US nonstop return ticket starts at Rs 2.5 lakh while economy starts at about Rs 70,000. "For US, the bidding amount starts at about $450. If a passenger bids and gets the seat, then he would have paid just $450 (about Rs 32,000 at current exchange rate) over and above the economy fare for one sector," said a senior AI official. -TNN