Have you always wanted to experience Business Class? We all hope to be magically upgraded when there are seats available just because we’re friendly at the gate, but this only happens in your dreams. That doesn’t mean business class is only for the happy few! Business Class does not have to cost you thousands of dollars and it’s more easily accessible than you might think. Icelandair has a service called Class Up.
Prior to your flight, you will be sent an email with the opportunity to bid for an upgrade to Economy Comfort or Saga Class. You can bid on any leg of your journey separately. If accepted, then that’s all you would pay for your upgrade, apart from what you’ve already paid for your economy ticket of course. If it isn’t accepted, nothing will be charged.
If you do decide to try out this Class Up service, then go all the way. Yes, Economy Comfort is better than Economy, the extra legroom is more than welcome. But it’ll only get you that far: it’s still the same crappy seats and airline food as in Economy. Saga Class offers so much more, you can read my full review here!
Let’s take my recent trip to Iceland and the Pacific Northwest as an example. I could bid on every leg of the journey (Brussels – Keflavik, Keflavik – Portland, Portland – Keflavik and Keflavik – Brussels) but it’s not obligated to do so. It’s perfectly possible to only bid for just one leg of the journey. So I decided to try my luck and placed a bid for Saga Class on the flight from Keflavik to Portland. And what do you know, it got accepted!
There are a few reasons why I chose to bid for an upgrade on this part of my journey and not the other legs. Firstly because I figured we were going to be very tired after having spent a week in Iceland, driving and hiking. Secondly because that day was going to be a very, very long day, especially considering the 7 hour time difference between Iceland and Oregon. That day, we had to get up early, drive from Husafell to Selfoss to give back the drone I’ve rented, then drive to the airport and wait for our flight, sit in an airplane for 8 hours, pick up our new rental car and take some pictures of the hotel I’ve reviewed there. Thirdly because I’ve heard that the Saga Lounge in the airport is amazing and fourthly because I’ve read (and experienced) that Keflavik Airport can get very crowded. So a nice and quiet Saga Lounge would be very welcome!
So anyway, my bid got accepted. Clicking the link on the email from Icelandair brings you to a web page where you can place a bid for Economy Comfort or for Business Class. There is a minimum and maximum bid. I don’t know the exact price anymore of the minimum bid for Economy Comfort on the flight from Keflavik to Portland, but I think it was something around 150 EUR. The minimum bid for Saga Class was 250 EUR. There is an icon in the form of a gauge to tell you how much of a chance you have for your bid to be accepted. The arrow can be in the red, orange, yellow or green (green is most likely to be accepted, but was something near 1000 EUR, ridiculous). Beware, the gauge-thing is nothing but a sleek marketing trick from Icelandair! Not many people use the Class Up Service so this gives your bid a higher chance of being accepted without having to bid a high amount of money. My bid was 265, just barely above the minimum, but it got accepted! The gauge was well in the red so it appeared as if my bid wouldn’t stand a chance! Again, don’t let this fool you!
To see if it was worth the money, we have to compare prices. The price for my return ticket in Economy was 850 EUR. For that price, I was able to stay a week in Iceland without having to pay extra. 265 EUR got me a taste of luxury and I arrived totally relaxed in the United States. Let’s say I had bid on all 4 legs of the journey (2 short ones and 2 transatlantic ones) and they all got accepted, it would have roughly doubled my price ticket to something in the range of 1700 EUR. That is still a whole lot cheaper than booking Saga Class straight-away!
Plus I’m going home with a great story, genuinely something to remember forever.
Have you tried Icelandair’s Class Up?