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Airline Tickets and Upgrades: Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!

, Airline Tickets and Upgrades: Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!, eTurboNews | eTN
image courtesy of Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Linda S. Hohnholz
Written by Linda S. Hohnholz

Potential airline customers have the option of bidding on airline tickets as well as upgrades through auctions, usually held online.


Usually, any unsold seats on airline flights are available to flyers through a bidding process that allows travelers to bid on available seats for a specific flight and potentially secure a ticket at a lower price than the regular fare.

The concept behind airline auctions is to fill up empty seats that might otherwise go unsold. By allowing customers to bid on these seats, airlines aim to maximize their revenue and reduce the number of empty seats on their flights. This benefits both the airline, as it generates additional revenue, and the travelers, who have the opportunity to secure discounted tickets.

The auction process usually starts with the airline setting a minimum price for the auctioned seat.

Potential travelers then place their bids, and the highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the seat. Some airline auctions have a fixed duration, while others may have a dynamic end time, extending the auction if new bids are placed within a certain period.

It’s important to note that airline auctions are not as common as traditional ticket purchasing methods, such as booking through an airline’s website, travel agents, or online travel agencies. Auctions are typically used for last-minute seat sales or to fill unsold inventory closer to the departure date. However, the availability and frequency of airline auctions may vary among different airlines and regions.

For those interested in participating in an airline auction, it’s advisable to visit the websites of airlines being considered and checking if they offer such services. Additionally, third-party auction platforms may exist that aggregate auction listings from multiple airlines, providing a central place for travelers to find and bid on available seats.

Ticket Upgrades

Another auction development is an online tool that allows airline passengers to upgrade their tickets for less. This is becoming more and more popular, as it is a very simple way for passengers to secure an upgrade.

This means that economy class or business class customers can browse for upgrades on their flight and submit a bid on any available seats. In  most cases, passengers can bid up to 24 hours before departure, with successful bidders moving to the front of the plane.

About the author

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda Hohnholz has been an editor for eTurboNews for many years. She is in charge of all premium content and press releases.

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