I had many choices to fly from Bali to Singapore, but could not turn down the chance to sample KLM’s 777-300ER on an exotic Fifth Freedom route. It turned out to be a tremendous deal as well.
I may love to fly in premium cabins, but I’m also pragmatic when it comes to out-of-pocket spending. I’m willing to spend the money when necessary, but try not to throw away money unnecessarily. Plus, economy class reviews on this blog often score more traffic than some premium cabin reviews. Thus, I’m okay flying economy class on shorter flights.
A lie-flat seat is always nice, even on a two-hour trip, but my initial plan was to remain in economy class. Well, my second plan actually.
When I first started looking at ticket prices, economy class was $249 and business class was $359. When faced with that choice, I would have just splurged for business class…a $110 upgrade is not bad, especially considering it would be a lie-flat bed.
But a couple days before travel the economy class ticket priced dropped to $154. I could not pass it up and immediately booked. I’d like to think my time is worth more than $100/hour, but that’s a stupid argument. I often find myself more productive in an economy class seat than business class, so it is not about maximizing my time in business class, only my comfort.
When checking in on the KLM app, I noticed “Economy Comfort” upgrades were only 20EUR, though these seats are just extra legroom seats, not a true premium economy product. Usually the KLM app will also offer business class upgrades, but not in this case.
The Airport Upgrade
When checking in at the airport, I found over 100 people in line for economy class check-in but the business class check-in line empty. I proceeded to the business class line and asked if it was possible to purchase a business class upgrade. The agent said YES, took my passport, and typed away for a few minutes. She then wrote the price on a piece of paper and handed it to me:
1,560,000 Indonesian Rupiah. That’s 99EUR or 112USD. I said yes, she took my credit card, and moments later I was issued a business class boarding pass.
Thus, I scored business class for $266, almost what I was about to pay for an economy class ticket!
I’ll provide details about the flight in my next post, but wanted to discuss the airport upgrade in a separate post. $359 wasn’t a bad price, but $266 was an even better price. If you want business class on this flight for the cheapest price possible, consider buying economy and upgrading at the airport.
image: KLM (yes, I know it is a 747, not 777 — same seat though!)