Sydney | Published on 10th February 2015 at 7:56

Qantas Frequent Flyers now have another way to request an upgrade, with the launch of a new online invitation-only bidding system.

Bid Now Upgrades, to be gradually introduced across the Qantas network from this week, allows invited Frequent Flyers booked in Economy and Premium Economy to make an offer for a Business upgrade using a combination of money and Qantas Points.

Bid Now Upgrades will be allocated after all Classic Upgrade Rewards (which are points-only upgrades) have been processed. The new system ranks below Classic Upgrade Rewards in terms of priority and value, but gives members the flexibility to supplement points with a cash payment.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant said Bid Now Upgrades will provide greater opportunity for customers to travel in Qantas’ premium cabins.

“As Australia’s leading loyalty program we are always exploring new ways for our Frequent Flyers to redeem their Qantas Points and we know that upgrading to a more premium cabin is something that many of our members aspire to,” she said.

“This is designed for Frequent Flyers who don’t have a balance high enough to request an upgrade using points alone.

“For a member who doesn’t have enough points to submit an upgrade request for their whole family, Bid Now Upgrades offers an alternative chance to travel at the front of the plane with their spouse and children using a combination of money and points.”

Ms Grant said Bid Now Upgrades will not change the process or priority for Frequent Flyers submitting Classic Upgrade Rewards more than 24 hours out from their scheduled departure.

“This new initiative will in no way impact the chances of members securing a Classic Upgrade Reward – these will always be confirmed first regardless of their Frequent Flyer tier and they remain the best value option,” she said.

While many other airlines offer similar upgrade bidding processes, Qantas’ Bid Now Upgrades is unique in the market being the only system to offer customers an upgrade option using a combination of points and money.

The new upgrade option follows other changes by Qantas to unlock revenue opportunities, including a significant increase in aircraft utilisation that has seen new routes and extra services added to its network.

How it works
1.     Customers invited to participate in Bid Now Upgrades will receive an email, seven days before departure, enabling them to make an offer for an upgrade within a set range of points and money.

2.     Minimums are from 3,000 Qantas Points for a domestic upgrade and from 5,000 Qantas Points for an international upgrade. A minimum dollar amount will also be required.

3.     Customers’ Bid Now Upgrades offer can be modified or cancelled at any time up until 24 hours before departure, but customers don’t see each other’s offers.

4.     Customers will be notified via email approximately one day before departure if their offer has been successful or not.

5.     If a customer is not successful, they pay nothing and keep their current seat.

For more details, and a full list of terms and conditions, visit