Passengers on Cathay Pacific may soon be able to bid online for an upgrade to a premium class seat. In an effort to boost earnings the airline is considering a pilot project that would sell premium economy and business class seats through an online auction. The plan would offer premium seats at cheaper prices and allow the airline to fly fully booked more often. All available premium seat upgrades would be opened up for any passenger to bid on prior to departure with winning bidders being notified of their upgrade about four days prior to their flight.
Bottom line: Some fear that free upgrades for elite Asia Miles members may be scaled back or that it might deter passengers from paying the full premium fare upfront. It is unclear if, after the auction, available premium seats would be released to Marco Polo Club members for purchase or for mileage redemption. Cathay maintains that they are examining new initiatives that will allow the airline to offer passengers, including Marco Polo Club members, different ways to get an upgrade and reminds passengers that the project is still in the study phase.