Exciting news, that was first reported this morning at InsideFlyer Denmark. SAS is introducing an upgrade bidding program. This program will provide an opportunity to bid for upgrade on flights to the United States, Asia, Europe and within the Nordic region. I have previously talked about upgrade auctions (bidding) for KLM. SAS has put together a nice informational site with details about their Business Class and SAS Plus (premium economy) products.
Bid for an Upgrade on your SAS Flight
Starting on the 25th of April SAS is introducing a new program called SAS Upgrade. This program allows one bid for an upgrade to SAS Plus or SAS Business Class. SAS Plus is a premium economy product that provides more space, a larger seat and more comfort than standard economy class. With the new bidding/auction program SAS customers can now decide how much they are willing to pay for an upgrade. There will also be the ability to pay for upgrades with cash or EuroBonus points. The opportunity to bid for upgrades will be available immediately after booking and up to 48 hour prior to departure.
How SAS Upgrade Bidding Works
The new upgrade program can be found at a new SAS Upgrade Page starting on the 25th of April. (I’ll update this article with the link when it is LIVE.) This new upgrade option will replace upgrades via OptionTown. It will also still be possible to buy upgrades at the airport starting 22 hours prior to departure. Upgrading to Business Class will be available for longer routes to the USA and Asia. On other routes, you can bid on upgrades for SAS Plus. It is possible to chose to upgrade your departure, return flight or both. You will also be able to cancel or change your bid up until 48 hours prior to departure. As expected, rules for cancellation and rebooking remain as the rules of the original booking class, even after an upgrade bid has been accepted. Passengers in the same record (PNR) will be able to bid together.
In essence, your upgrade options will include :
- Go to Plus (short haul and long haul)
- Go to Business (long haul only)
- Plus to Business (long haul only)
Upgrade Bidding with More Benefits
One of the nice features of the SAS upgrade bidding program is that one can bid for SAS Plus as well as SAS Business Class. Passengers will also earn EuroBonus points according to the new booking class when the bid is confirmed. A great perk, since upgrades purchased at the airport do not get the benefit of earning (additional) points for the new (upgraded) booking class. Many programs, like the KLM bidding program, do not earn additional points or elite qualification points when your bid is accepted.
Another interesting detail, is that those traveling with a child/infant will not be able to upgrade to Business Class, but only to SAS Plus. KLM also restricts upgrade bidding (to business class) to those passengers 18 years or older. When upgraded with this program you will also get the upgraded baggage allowance, fast track and lounge access in accordance to the class of service you are upgraded to. The ability to use EuroBonus points to pay for your bid is another valuable and welcome feature.
It is also nice to see that SAS appreciates their Elite members, and that Gold and Diamond members of EuroBonus members will be given bidding priority. As with any new program, it will be interesting to see the system in operation. As with most upgrade bidding programs, the highest bid will win the auction. I have not seen further clarification if there will be a guarantee that all flights with auction bidding will award upgraded seats. Some programs such as the KLM program have the ultimate decision with regard to awarding upgrades, even if one is the highest bidder and seats are available. Based on the press release I am quite impressed with the details of the SAS program. It is nice to see an airline introduce an upgrade bidding program that provides more features than some of the current programs offered by competitors.