Lufthansa has fully embraced the upgrade monetization game with its upgrade bidding system and more aggressive fixed-price upgrade offers.
A client is traveling from Paris to Frankfurt this week. We just booked an “Economy Classic” ticket for her, the cheapest available at the last-minute, and found two upgrade offers when pulling up her itinerary online to assign a seat.
A confirmed upgrade to business class was available for 160USD.
There was also a bidding tool in which a bid could be placed for the upgrade. The lowest bid accepted was 90USD (you could bid up to 250USD, which of course was nonsensical considering a confirmed upgrade was only 160USD).
Frankly, even $90 is hardly worthwhile for such a short flight. I do like the Lufthansa Business Lounges in Frankfurt and it is nice to have the middle seat blocked and small meal, but for an hour-long flight, I can eat on the ground and deal with a seatmate.
I happened to be in Frankfurt myself earlier this week and noticed the following landing page when joining the wi-fi network in the lounge:
The ability to upgrade and even the myOffer upgrade system are not new. But it does appear that Lufthansa is pushing this stream of ancillary revenue more aggressively than in the past. Plus, Lufthansa is offering more last-minute fixed price upgrade offers.
Lufthansa Upgrade Bidding FAQs
Lufthansa has a detailed website about its upgrades here. Theoretically, you can bid for an upgrade on nearly any flight as long as your ticket is issued on Lufthansa stock. No upgrades are available on flights from India and on flights to/from Japan. The rules say an upgrade must be requested at least 72 hours prior to departure and you will be notified 24-36 hours before departure if your upgrade has been accepted. But it appears Lufthansa is now trying to offer more last-minute, fixed-price upgrades as well.
Finally, note that if you are upgraded you will earn miles as if you had originally booked the higher cabin of service and will also have full lounge access.
I like business class on intra-Europe flights. That said, I don’t think it is worthwhile if more than about $40/hr to upgrade. On longer flights, I can definitely see where bidding for an upgrade, even if you lowball it, would be worth a shot.
Have you been offered an upgrade recently on Lufthansa?