ANA All Nippon Airways just sent out an email that they will end their generous elite benefit of complimentary Premium Economy upgrades at time of check-in effective September 30 2019.
This can be seen as a transitional period and that’s a very fair system considering we’re talking about almost one and a half years in advance.
It’s very uncommon for Japanese companies to screw their customers like their counterparts from other countries do on a regular basis, giving a few weeks or sometimes even no notice at all even in case of drastic changes.
Here is the announcement from ANA Mileage Club they referenced in the email that just came out:
Currently Platinum, Diamond & Super Flyer elites are eligible to upgrade from Economy Class to Premium Economy at the time Check-In opens (both online and at the airport) which is a very valuable feature of ANA Elite Status (Platinum and above).
I was able to take advantage of this on three trips already following the recent ANA Platinum Promotion that I received through IHG Rewards Club earlier this year.
So all this free riding in Premium Economy will come to end end with the last day being September 30, 2019 after which the promotional period for requested complimentary upgrades will go live until the end of March 2019.
From how it appears the complimentary upgrades between October 1st 2019 and March 31st 2020 have to be requested either online or offline like a regular mileage upgrade which is then either confirmed or waitlisted.
ANA Mileage Club handles this benefit reduction very fair and while I’m sad to see it go one has to give them credit for the way it’s being communicated. It seems they do realize this was a very popular part of the program while at the same time unlimited free upgrades really make very little sense, especially on the long international sectors. Most airlines sell their Premium Economy seats to the last minute for a decent amount of money and maybe ANA wants to go this route as well.