Airlines are known to leave no stone unturned in seeking additional revenue streams (generally referred to as ancillary revenue), especially those with little to no cost. Airline auctions are a new tool being used by airlines to sell upgraded seats to the highest bidder in the days prior to a flight departure. As compared to simply giving such upgrades away to passengers based upon frequent flier status, airline auctions provide an immediate boost to revenues and profits.
Airline Auctions Explained
Premium airline seats often come with extremely high fares, which often results in such seats going unsold. As a result, airlines seek ways to fill these seats, including by offering upgrades to passengers who have purchased economy or other non-premium seats. Airline auctions involve the sale of upgraded seats, which may include first class, business class and premium coach seats. In addition, some airlines have even offered passengers the ability to purchase a seat next to an empty seat, offering what could be termed “neighbor-free” seating. [···]