Malaysia Airlines MHUpgrade Bidding – Time Your Ticket Purchase Properly In Order To Be Eligible

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Malaysia Airlines is one of the carriers that allow you to bid on a flight upgrade ahead of time and will notify you 48 hours prior to departure if it was successful.

Upgrade Bidding has been adopted by a good number of airlines that seek to sell their leftover Business Class and generate additional revenue on seats that would have otherwise gone out empty.

Malaysia Airlines is however kind of picky about the type of tickets it allows to bid and also has certain time restrictions on that process that eliminate many passengers from the get go (might still be able to purchase an upgrade at the airport though).

Here is a screenshot from the Malaysia Airlines MHUpgrade website (access here).

As you can see your ticket needs to be at least 48 hours old before being eligible for a bid, however it also closes 48h prior to departure so that leaves you in somewhat of a nomansland.

Essentially you need to purchase your ticket at least 4-5 days prior to departure if you want to be eligible to plane a bid under the MHupgrade scheme.

I found the information with historical data at this Flyertalk thread quite helpful. I lists several city pairs and what sort of bids were successful.

For Example:

KUL – ADL SGD250
KUL – AKL USD325
KUL – BKK SGD80
KUL – BKK USD65
KUL – CAN MYR345
KUL – CGK USD60
KUL – CGK MYR220
KUL – DPS SGD80
KUL – DPS AUD75
KUL – HAN AUD90
KUL – HKG MYR480
KUL – HKT USD50
KUL – HYD GBP90
KUL – HYD USD90
KUL – ICN SGD140
KUL – ICN MYR402
KUL – ICN EUR120
KUL – KIX MYR452
KUL – KUA MYR143
KUL – KCH MYR150
KUL – LGK MYR263
KUL – LHR MYR3,350
KUL – MEL MYR1,005
KUL – MEL MYR1300
KUL – PEK MYR345
KUL – PEN MYR170
KUL – PER GBP135
KUL – PER USD150
KUL – PER MYR524
KUL – PNH MYR200
KUL – PVG SGD120
KUL – PVG USD105
KUL – REP MYR150
KUL – RGN MYR305
KUL – SGN MYR210
KUL – SIN SGD50
KUL – SYD SGD300

Of course this is only historical data that depends on many circumstances, especially how heavy/light the flight is booked. Nevertheless it’s a good indicator for what you need to be prepared to pay.

It isn’t always a good deal though. If KUL-BKK is US$65 for example it can be cheaper to book a business class ticket outright. Especially the other way around ex Bangkok. You should always check the premium prices as well for Malaysia Airlines as they often have sales.

Malaysia Airlines also sells upgrades at the airport for mostly fixed (and more expensive) rates thank those available online.

Conclusion

It’s a nice way to upgrade a single flight segment out of many if the passenger wishes to do so. Especially flights out of KUL where MH operated a decent lounge in the Satellite Terminal.

They also offer upgrades from Business to First Class but from all I’ve seen these rates are rather unattractive in my opinion. It rarely makes sense to pay well beyond US$1000 to upgrade to MH First Class. Interesting also: My Lufthansa plated MH connection flight BKK-KUL isn’t available for bidding either.

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