June 24, 2013

Paid upgrades, the new pricing trend in travel


Hotels, airlines and car rental agencies are more aggressively promoting the chance to upgrade your room, seat or set of wheels for a price that is often less than you would have paid if you had reserved that business-class ticket or hotel suite in the first place.

With all the complaints about escalating fees that travelers have to pay, another pricing trend is on the rise that some customers may actually like: paid upgrades.

Hotels, airlines and car rental agencies are more aggressively promoting the chance to upgrade your room, seat or set of wheels for a price that is often (but not always) less than you would have paid if you had reserved that business-class ticket or hotel suite in the first place.

Usually, these offers are presented at check-in, when travel companies figure it’s too late to sell their premium inventory to somebody else. But sometimes the upselling begins just after you’ve booked.

Elite members of travel loyalty programs are not necessarily happy about this development, because it can mean fewer free upgrades for them, although some companies are figuring out ways to keep these perks in the mix for their most loyal customers. Below are more details about who is offering paid upgrades, and how to decide if they are worth the price.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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