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Travel in Comfort – Airlines that Allow Bids for Seat Upgrades on USA to India Flights


Imagine being on a long-haul flight from USA to India and getting more legroom during your journey. Oh! How comforting! Sleeping on a lie-flat bed will let you wake up fresh and relaxed. Also, you might get your hands on world-class amenity kits and get an option to pick delicacies from a well-curated menu. The complimentary alcoholic beverages are an added bonus! You will find all these and a lot more when flying in business or first class. 

Premium passenger seats in business class and first class are expensive but offer the most comfort and facilities to fliers. But did you know that even after purchasing an economy ticket, you can upgrade to a premium class without spending an exorbitant amount? 

If you are a frequent flier, you must be aware of seat upgradation. You might or might not have asked for a seat upgrade on international flights. Many premium airlines offer passengers an opportunity to bid for seat upgrades. This might be on select routes or on all long-haul flights. Although the bidding price differs from airline to airline, it will definitely be nearly half of the original cost of these premium classes. 

How Do You Upgrade to a Premium Class? 

Most of the airlines have the same process for bidding to upgrade seats. Once you make your booking, either of the two scenarios mentioned below might initiate the bidding process: 

  1. You could receive an email offering you an opportunity to bid for an upgrade. 
  2. You can check the airline’s website to see if your booking is eligible for bidding. 

Which Airlines Allow You To Bid On Seat Upgrades?

If you are planning to travel to India from US, here are some of the top airlines that offer you an opportunity to place bids for seat upgrades. 

Etihad Airways

The good news when flying by Etihad Airways is, no matter what your destination, you will be eligible to place bids for seat upgrades to a premium class. But if you have used any promotions, free tickets, guest seat rewards, redemption tickets, flier miles etc. while booking your ticket, you won’t be eligible for bidding. Etihad only lets you upgrade one class so if you have booked economy, you can go business or if you have booked business, you can upgrade to Etihad’s first class. Keep in mind that you will only earn Etihad Guest miles depending on the base rate plus 10 percent of the service bonus in case your bid is a success. Although you will be able to enjoy the inflight facilities, you will not be offered a chauffeur service when getting upgraded from economy


Lufthansa allows you to upgrade from economy to premium economy only. Bids for seat upgrades are available on select long-haul flights that have premium economy. If you are eligible, you can visit the ‘myOffer’ section on Lufthansa’s website and place your bid. You might receive a bid acceptance notification at least 24-36 hours before your scheduled departure. 

Singapore Airlines

Bids for seat upgrades in cash (U.S dollars) or KrisFlyer miles are available via ‘mySQupgrade’ by Singapore Airlines. You will also get an opportunity to make, change or cancel your bid for up to 50 hours before your scheduled departure. A notification is sent 40 hours before your flight  in case your bid is successful. You can only upgrade to a class above your original booking but if you are flying business, you won’t be able to upgrade to Singapore Suites

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific also allows you to bid one class up but this is only available on select flights. So, if you book premium economy, you can upgrade to business and if you are flying business, you can bid for Cathay Pacific’s first class. 

Air India 

Popular Indian air carrier, Air India also allows passengers to place bids for seat upgrades. You can check if you are eligible by entering your PNR number on their website. Then you can place your bid and hope for the best. This airline even allows you to modify or cancel your bid for up to 60 hours before your flight. If your Air India bid for upgrade is successful, you will receive an email at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure.  

Other Airlines Offering Flight Upgrades 

In case your bid is not successful, you can try getting an upgrade for a fixed amount or by using your travel miles from these airlines: 

  1. Emirates
  2. United Airlines
  3. Delta Air Lines
  4. British Airways
  5. Qatar Airways

Booking Cheap Business Class Flights with Indian Eagle

Didn’t find success in placing bids for seat upgrades? Indian Eagle’s business class flights are the best way to fly in comfort when traveling from USA to India. You will get the best deals at a surprisingly low cost. So, why wait? Contact us to book the cheapest business class flight from major American cities to India.

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