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Purchasing an upgrade upon check-in: what fare class am I in, and what do I earn?
We all know it is becoming more common for airlines to dangle paid upgrades in front of us upon check-in. For instance, a few months ago I was flying American ZRH-JFK (on a paid economy ticket) and when I checked in online it asked if I wanted to upgrade to business for around $500. I decided not to do it, but I would have been more tempted if I could have earned miles like I was in business. But I just wasn’t sure which cabin I’d be earning in! This has happened when I’ve flown various other airlines as well.
I will be right at the edge of Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75k status this year, so in my case specifically I’m curious about whether paid upgrades (when I fly Alaska or Alaska’s partners) change my fare class and therefore my elite-qualifying mileage bonuses. But I’m sure others are curious about this question more generally. Apologies if this has already been answered! I searched and couldn’t find quite the right answer.
You will earn based on the original fare class at booking. Usually, these kinds of upgrades go into a separate fare class for upgrades so you wouldnt earn based on the class of service.