Questions and Answers

Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.

While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!

This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!

Filter by:

Alaska Airline Miles – British Airways First Class

2

ANA Mileage Club – Can’t book a ticket for my partner?

1

Mixed class itineraries no longer available on JAL using Alaska Miles

2

LH First award space on partner airlines missing

1

ORD to Italy in style!!

7

recommendation to use amex points

2

Asiana Redemption 2022 x KAL Acquisition

2

IC bora bora 4 night up for grab

1

Newbie searching flights to Thailand with Miles

2

Virgin Atlantic

1

Ask a Question

Everyone can read and comment, but you must login to post a new comment.

Answers (10)

Booking economy with miles, paying for upgrade with cash

Booking economy with miles, paying for upgrade with cash

  1. Anonymous

    Hello! This is my first time posting on this forum. Recently a friend of mine told me that it is ‘more economical’ to book an economy ticket with miles, and then pay for the upgrade into a higher fare class (say, economy to business) using cash. Is this true? What are typical prices people have paid for the upgrade fee? What are the limitations?

  2. Anonymous

    Hi! I actually don’t know of any programs where it’s possible to book the base ticket with miles and then pay for the upgrade with cash, other than what might be offered on the day of departure. Do you know what airline they’ve tried this with?

    The opposite is certainly true, but it depends upon the airline as to whether or not it’s a good deal.

  3. Donna

    I’ve been in three award programs over the past ten years (AA, US Airways and Delta) and I was told in each program that you cannot upgrade an award ticket.

  4. David W

    Yeah, I dont think thats possible. It’s probably easier to find a cheap flight and use miles to upgrade.

    A while back, [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] posted about cheap AA flights to Milan that were ~$450 round trip. I booked it and paid 25k miles+$350 to upgrade the return to business class. I also paid with the CitiPrestige so the $250 airline credit kicked in. Not the [I]best[/I] use of miles but all things considered, I’m happy with it and sort of excited to fly AA J.

  5. Jyoti

    Thank you everyone for your response!

    So it sounds like you can pay cash for an economy class ticket, and then use miles to upgrade and possibly an additional fee. The ‘value’ of this is in the eye of the beholder. Using David’s example, he basically paid $550 plus 25,000 miles to fly business to Milan, versus the, say, 57,500 one way if he had used his saver miles entirely to fly there.

    How would you evaluate if it is a good deal to pay cash for the economy ticket and then pay cash for an upgrade versus just booking the business class ticket entirely on miles?

  6. Gaurav

    [USER=2117]@Jyoti[/USER], you need to have a value in place for your miles and then an estimation on your mileage balance vs. needs in the near future. Once you have that in place, then it’s just math.

  7. Jyoti

    Thank you Gaurav!

  8. phize

    Hi there,

    In June, my family and I traveled to Tahiti with Air France. Per usual, there was no premium AF award space. We just booked economy tickets with the revenue based Bank of America points and then paid for an upgrade to business class or premium economy. It was great because we got Business at a fraction of the price, and we were even able to jump up 2 cabins instead of 1.

  9. Jyoti

    [QUOTE=”phize, post: 18872, member: 1164″]Hi there,

    In June, my family and I traveled to Tahiti with Air France. Per usual, there was no premium AF award space. We just booked economy tickets with the revenue based Bank of America points and then paid for an upgrade to business class or premium economy. It was great because we got Business at a fraction of the price, and we were even able to jump up 2 cabins instead of 1.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Phize, how much did the upgrade cost you to go from economy to business class?

  10. phize

    [USER=2117]@Jyoti[/USER] Hi there! For the 8 1/2 hour flight from Lax – Ppt it was about $400 US dollars per person. Very worth it for a flight leaving at midnight, in my opinion.

Sign in to help answer questions.