I received an unexpected, and quite intriguing, email from Singapore Airlines this morning announcing their new mySQupgrade program that allows passengers in Economy the option to bid on upgrades to the new Premium Economy cabin.
Dear Mr East,
We would like to introduce mySQupgrade, a new invitation-only bidding system to allow customers to make an online bid for a one-cabin upgrade.
mySQupgrade will initially allow invited customers booked to travel in Economy Class, the opportunity to make a bid for a seat in Premium Economy Class. This functionality will be gradually introduced across the network, and provide customers another option to upgrade their class of travel, and enjoy greater levels of comfort when they fly.
This is an interesting development from the airline famous for never issuing operational upgrades from Economy to Business. In ten years of travelling on SQ I have never had a sniff of an upgrade, though I have had quite a few from BA and EVA.
Anecdotally SQ may not be filling their Premium Economy cabins as much as they might have hoped, so this program could be just what they need to increase revenue per seat at minimal extra cost. Several carriers, for example Malaysia and Qatar, have provided bidding systems on Business Class upgrades for some time, so SQ is only cautiously dipping a toe into an existing party pool.
Applying for mySQupgrade
So if you have an Economy booking on a flight with a Premium Economy cabin you may receive an email inviting you to bid on an upgrade about a week out. You’ll have a few days to consider and place a bid.
How much to bid for mySQupgrade?
Well, this is the $99 question. SQ admit in their T&Cs that bid size is not the only criteria, so other factors like original ticket price and status may also be involved. You may want to check the bid experience thread on FT to give you an idea about what might be accepted. How kiasu will you go?