Fabulous Fridays: Upgrading Cheap Economy Tickets To Business Class Via Bidding Process – Royal Jordanian Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok

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This weeks Fabulous Friday is about the ability to upgrade super low fares on certain airlines (here: Royal Jordanian) to Business Class via online bidding.

I just completed a one way flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok and decided to upgrade the cheap ticket to Business, just to see if the airline would accept the lowest bid.

I have taken the 5th Freedom flight from KL to Bangkok many times and not only is the price ridiculously low (usually US$54) but since the carrier is part of the oneWorld alliance I’m also able to use the Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge in the satellite terminal.

The aircraft used on this route is a 787 Dreamliner and it departs quite late (22:40h) which allows for a full day in KL before heading out.

I was always happy with that flight but this time I decided to try their Business Class out of curiosity, yet I wasn’t willing to pay the fare they ask (US$175) for the brief 2 hour flight. Instead I purchased the cheapest ticket available via Orbitz and then placed my upgrade bid at the minimum amount of US$75.

After placing the bid I got the confirmation that they would notify me if the offer was successful.

In fact the confirmation arrived roughly 14 hours later via email. I was then able to check in online and to pick my seat in Business Class.

One thing I didn’t like is that the upgraded class now books into ‘U’ class which is an award booking class for Business so I will definitely not earn any miles extra for this. In fact I’d be surprised if I even get the miles for Q class (should earn 187 miles and 5 Tier Points at BAEC) as I haven’t even received those for my last two tickets.

Since you can’t claim Royal Jordanian flights online with BA Executive Club and the amount is so low I’ll wait and see if it’s worth it to go through the hassle at all. Usually I’m way over the 1,500 Tier Point threshold.

Conclusion

To me this was an experiment to see if RJ would accept the lowest bid which essentially gave me the Business Class one way for US$130 which is fair. Sure I could have spent another US$45 to also get the points credit but to be honest it wasn’t really worth it to me. In fact it makes little sense for me to even spend the extra 75 bucks considering my oneWorld Emerald status gives me all the benefits except sitting in the actual Business Class seat for 2 hours and an express lane card for the immigration in Bangkok (which is usually a mess around midnight when the RJ flight arrives).

It does however make a lot of sense for passengers who don’t have any status whatsoever and buy the cheapest ticket such as this. They are able to cut all the lines at the airport especially at check-in, receive extra baggage allowance, lounge access and priority baggage apart from the flight itself in Business Class. A real steal for $75. The cheapest Malaysia Airlines ticket in Economy Class would have been US$134 in my case.

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