Jet Airways introduces Bid for upgrade scheme-Reviewed

India’s Jet Airways has introduced a bid feature in which passengers can bid a price of their choice to get upgraded to first class or premiere. Srilankan Airlines had this feature since years, I believe Air India also has similar feature (Get Upfront). Premiere is Jet Airways equivalent of Business Class.
Review of Jet Airways Bid for Upgrade scheme:

I had a Jet Airways ticket and promptly got a mail asking me to bid for an upgrade. I tried this new Jet Airways bid feature and below are my findings. Note that this entire post is about one way ticket- prices shown are for one way, not return.
You can bid only if you have an existing ticket-economy seat (if you have premiere ticket and aircraft has first class you can bid for first class)

When you begin to bid, you'v two options- pay full price and get instant confirmation or bid any amount.

If you’re willing to shell out the full price of premiere, you will be offered an instant confirmation. But this isn’t usually an economical option- For instant confirmation between Chennai and Delhi I was asked to pay 22205 (See right most corner in above pic). Not worth it

For example, for the same upgrade that is being sold to me at 22205, which will actually cost me 26k (22.2 upgrade fee + 3.7 paid for original economy seat), a fresh premiere ticket is available for 19766. So why would I pay 26k for upgrade? But do check for your flight- the numbers could be different.

I feel this is wrong. Jet Airways should ensure that price of Instant upgrade is lot lower than what it costs to buy a new Premiere ticket, given that guest would have paid several k for economy seat already. May be since these are the early days of this scheme concerned people didn't notice the mistake-hopefully they will rectify this in future and ensure that upgrade price is always cheaper than buying new ticket.

It wasn't clear if the upgrade is for which sub category in premiere- saver, classic or flex. I am assuming the cheapest one, saver.

Obvious option will be to bid. Bid price for Chennai-Delhi started at around INR 7315-this is the lowest amount you can bid, which if accepted will get you a premier class seat for a total price of around 11k or half of what it costs for instant confirmation. (7.3k + 3.7k I had originally paid for the economy seat)- do check price of fresh premier seat-it may be cheaper than the upgrade amount you’re paying. If you try to bid zero you website won't let you proceed.

In above example, you stand to save up to 45% on premier fare, if your lowest bid is accepted (11k vs 19.7k) But if you bid at lowest price, probability of upgrade will be too low, as there will be others who might have bid higher amount and will be given preference. If you're bidding at around 10k, you're paying a total of 14k and your effective savings will be less than 30% the price of a premiere ticket.

Premiere gets you slightly wider and more reclining seats and a bit of better food and priority check-in. There is no mention of extra baggage allowance and lounge access- I am guessing these are not included. Would you pay 10-20k for such an upgrade? I wouldn’t. I will probably spend that money on a new ticket to some other destination. But yes, there are people who might want to try their luck or are willing to pay a premium. This bid feature is useful for them.

May be if the bid started a bit lower- at say INR 2000-3000, more people would have considered. This is my opinion. But each aircraft has only 6-8 premiere seats-naturally Jet Airways wants to optimize profit by offering it to only those who are willing to shell out a premium. I think they are confident of getting people willing to pay 7-10k more and bid for an upgrade, hence don't want to dilute the proposition by offering it cheaper.

You need to provide payment details- Jet says your card will be charged only if your bid is accepted.

Disclaimer: As experienced for a ticket I had. Prices may differ based on what sector you're flying and various other factors. Numbers for reference only and may vary.

For hotel booking, there is a website offering similar bidding feature-check my review of TravelSpice

Let me know what you think of this feature- would you bid?
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