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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The seat map indicated that the business was mostly empty.

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

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And requested that I choose a form of payment.

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Unfortunately there were no forms of payments to choose from.

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

Conclusion

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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