Many airlines use a US company called PlusGrade to handle, and process paid cabin upgrades on their behalf.
Singapore Airlines, an airline not known for paid upgrades even for cash beyond fare class difference, uses the same company, as demonstrated in an email I received last week.
You can access Singapore Airlines page for upgrades here.
Singapore Airlines launched their June Spontaneous Escapes (discounted awards) on May 17 (read more here). I noted on that piece that I had already come across one of the routes where this was applicable and had issued an award.
Two days before the departure, the following email came from SQ:
The upgrade price was not disclosed in the email, so I decided to have a look.
The price of the upgrade, which would be immediately confirmed upon payment, was $1,732.
My friend thought that the price was a bit high and that he had been perhaps willing to pay $1,200 to upgrade the flight. I felt that the fair price would have been around $1K.
I sometimes pay to upgrade flights while other times do not. It all depends. This is one very long flight where the ability to sleep in a flat bed is essential.
Here are the terms and conditions of mySQupgrade:
The following definitions apply to the Terms and Conditions herein:
“Flight Segment” means the flight from one location to another on an aircraft (with zero or one scheduled stop(s) in between).
“Invitation” means an invitation to purchase upgrade for a Flight Segment on mySQupgrade.
“mySQupgrade” refers to a flight related service provided by Singapore Airlines which allows passengers who purchased a flight with Singapore Airlines to then purchase for an Upgraded class in relation to the same flight.
“Plusgrade” means Plusgrade LP, a US company with registered office at 16 West 36th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018, U.S.A, being Singapore Airlines’ partner for mySQupgrade.
“Relevant Booking” means the booking for which the upgrade purchase was made.
“Upgrade” means to upgrade via mySQupgrade.
“Upgraded class” means the higher cabin class which the passenger is upgraded to, being Premium Economy class, Business class, First class or Suites where applicable.
2. Upgrade Purchase Invitation
2.1 If a booking is eligible, Singapore Airlines may send an email Invitation to passengers to join mySQupgrade.
2.2 Subject to 2.3 below, an Invitation for online purchase of mySQupgrade shall be valid until 6 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the eligible Flight Segment.
2.3 An Invitation may be invalidated if the Relevant Booking is modified or cancelled at any time prior to the scheduled departure of the eligible Flight Segment. All decisions relating to the validity of an Invitation shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of Singapore Airlines, and shall be final and conclusive.
3. Upgrade Submission
3.1 An Upgrade purchase shall be taken as a purchase for all passengers named in the Relevant Booking, and shall be deemed an undertaking by the passenger making the submission of such Upgrade that he/she is authorised to act on behalf of all the passengers identified in the Relevant Booking.
3.2 Payment for an upgrade can be made by way of credit card. Payment by debit card and all other forms of payment are not accepted.
3.3 The passenger making the submission of an upgrade is responsible for ensuring that the credit card indicated as payment (the “Credit Card”) is valid and has sufficient funds for the upgrade purchase of the Flight Segment associated.
3.4 An upgrade purchase can be submitted online from the time of receipt of the Invitation until 6 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the Flight Segment associated with the upgrade purchase. No amendment or cancellation can be done once upgrade purchase is successful.
3.5 An upgrade purchase may be invalidated if the Relevant Booking is modified or cancelled at any time prior to the scheduled departure of the eligible Flight Segment. All decisions relating to the validity of an upgrade purchase shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of Singapore Airlines, and shall be final and conclusive.
3.6 The eligibility of any Flight Segment may be changed, subject to the availability of seats in the higher cabin class which are the subject matter of this mySQupgrade.
4. Upgrade Acceptance
4.1 The acceptance or rejection of an upgrade will be at Singapore Airlines’ sole and absolute discretion.
4.2 The submitted amount (in the submitted currency) will be deducted from the Credit Card by Singapore Airlines’ partner for mySQupgrade, Plusgrade, at the time of purchase acceptance. A fee or charge may be levied by the bank which issued the Credit Card, which fee or charge shall be borne by the passengers.
4.3 In the event that the amount has not been collected for whatever reason, and the Relevant Booking is Upgraded, Singapore Airlines reserves the right either to cancel the Upgrade or to deduct or retrieve the amount unpaid for the Upgrade at any time.
4.4 All fare conditions of a ticket with one or more Upgraded Flight Segments will remain the same as that of the ticket before the Flight Segment(s) were Upgraded. For the avoidance of doubt, no KrisFlyer miles, Elite miles, PPS Value, or miles from other KrisFlyer partner airlines shall be accrued on the basis of the Upgraded class.
4.5 The baggage allowance for the Upgraded passenger Flight Segment(s) in the Relevant Booking will be per Singapore Airlines’ prevailing free baggage allowance policy, except that extra baggage allowance may not be accorded when the itinerary contains a Flight Segment operated/marketed by another airline.
4.6 An Upgraded Flight Segment is not entitled to further upgrade regardless of the means of further upgrade.
4.7 An Upgraded passenger may not receive all benefits applicable to the Upgraded class. Please note that separate terms and conditions may apply to the said benefits.
4.8 Upon acceptance of an Upgrade, similar seating arrangements to the original booking cannot be guaranteed. Upgraded seats may only be available for selection at check-in
5. Upgrade Cancellation and Refund
5.1 With the sole exception of the scenarios mentioned in section 5.3 below, the Upgrade is non-refundable, non-transferrable and non-changeable (i.e. no date/flight/destination changes).
5.2 Singapore Airlines does not guarantee that the Relevant Booking, including but not limited to its fares, terms and conditions, will be available should the Upgrade be cancelled or forfeited for any reason whatsoever.
5.3 The amount (and, in the event of payment by way of miles, the miles) paid for an Upgrade of a Flight Segment for a passenger will only be refundable if (i) that Flight Segment has been cancelled by Singapore Airlines, (ii) that Flight Segment is eventually operated by an aircraft without a Premium Economy, First or Suites cabin due to an aircraft change, (iii) there is a change in flight timing by Singapore Airlines where the passenger is unable to accommodate the rescheduled timing, (iv) the passenger is eventually unable to travel in the Upgraded class on that Flight Segment because the Upgraded class cabin has been overbooked, or (v) the passenger misses the flight on that Flight Segment because he/she was on a delayed inbound connecting flight operated by Singapore Airlines. Notwithstanding the above, if the passenger in any of the above scenarios is re-accommodated on any seat of equivalent or higher class as the Upgraded seat on the same or a different flight, the amount and/or miles paid for the Upgrade shall not be refundable.
5.4 The refund pursuant to section 5.3 above will be made in the amount, currency and/or miles that was paid for the Upgrade, except that any fee and/or charge pursuant to section 4.2 above shall not be refundable by Singapore Airlines. The refund specified herein will be the full and final compensation from Singapore Airlines.
6.2 A passenger may at any time withdraw his or her consent to receive an email Invitation to join mySQupgrade. Singapore Airlines will provide such option in each email Invitation.
6.3 Singapore Airlines reserves the right to make changes to mySQupgrade, including but not limited to terminating mySQupgrade or any part thereof, at any time with or without prior notice. Singapore Airlines is not liable to customers for any loss of value or benefits that may arise as a result of any changes made to mySQupgrade.
6.4 Seat availability in the upgrade class is checked in real-time and may be different between the time you receive the invitation to purchase Upgrade and when you choose to make a purchase. The acceptance or rejection of purchases is at Singapore Airlines sole discretion.
6.5 Mileage accrual will be based on original booking. Confirmed upgrades are non-refundable and non-transferable. Changes cannot be made to upgraded flight segments.
6.6 Any purchase of seat selection and additional baggage on the original segment may be refunded if you have been upgraded on that segment, please contact us to enquire about the refund options available. After an upgrade is confirmed, seats should be re-selected in the upgraded class. Similar seating arrangements to the original booking cannot be guaranteed.
6.7 Pre-order of Book the Cook or Main courses must be made at least 24 hours prior to flight departure, and will not be available if you have checked in prior to upgrade. Book the Cook and pre-ordered main courses are subject to availability depending on the origin and duration of your flight segment. If you have pre-ordered a Book the Cook or main course in your original class, it will not be brought forward to the upgrade class.
6.8 Singapore Airlines may assign or deal with these Terms and Conditions in favour of any of its subsidiaries, subcontractors or appointed agents to carry out any of its obligations herein. Singapore Airlines shall not be responsible to the customer for any delay in performance or non-performance of its subcontractors and/or agents due to causes beyond its reasonable control.