Upgrading On Etihad For Cash: Case Kuala Lumpur To Abu Dhabi


I just purchased a last minute one way from Kuala Lumpur to Barcelona on Alitalia in Economy for a rather low price of $530. I was targeted for double miles offer on Etihad and the Alitalia segments credit at 100% bonus to my Delta SkyMiles account.


Airlines often offer space available paid upgrades from economy to business. Etihad is supposedly using Plusgrade’s technology for bidding based upgrades.

I called Etihad to get their PNR number (I was on Alitalia codeshare) and associated the segment with my Etihad Guest Gold number.


It wasn’t a surprise that, when I logged to manage my booking and then chose the option to upgrade with miles, I was presented an offer to upgrade from economy to business for merely $302.


The seat map indicated that the business was mostly empty.


I tried to purchase the upgrade, but the system prompted that I wouldn’t have enough miles for the upgrade.


And requested that I choose a form of payment.


Unfortunately there were no forms of payments to choose from.


All the fare buckets are still open on this flight, so it is likely nowhere near full capacity.


I wouldn’t have minded to upgrade for $302, but maybe next time. It could be that Etihad still hasn’t fixed this function on their website after switching to a new GDS system earlier this year.

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