Executive Traveller exclusive
Travellers on Regional Express’ 737 jet network will soon be able to bid for an upgrade to business class – but just like a real auction, they’ll be able to increase their bid to beat out other passengers in competing for the premium seats.
And those bids “will start from as little as $10” as part of a special introductory offer to launch the Rex Bid Up program, the airline promises.
“All passengers love an upgrade,” explains Michael Venus, Rex’s Director of Media and External Relations.
"This new element of gamification in the bidding process will be a fun and economical way for our economy passengers to experience our amazing business class product and service.”
Venus tells Executive Traveller the upgrade auctions are one of several passenger enhancements leading up to the launch of Rex’s new frequent flyer program.
Also on the way: “neighbour-free seating” in economy – an option Qantas is now trialling – and a new lounge at Brisbane to bed down the challenger’s position on the lucrative ‘triangle’ between Australia’s east coast capital cities.
How Rex Bid Up works
Passengers booked in economy on a Rex Boeing 737 flight will invited by email to bid for a business class upgrade seven days before departure or visiting the Rex Bid Up page at rex.com.au/rexbidup.
However, unlike upgrade auctions held by many other airlines – including the Qantas Bid Now program – that bid isn’t a ‘one and done’ deal.
Instead, travellers will be able to increase their offering whenever they are outbid, boosting their chance of securing that upgrade.
A minimum and maximum bid range will be set for each flight, with credit card payment details taken with your starting bid and reused for any following bid.
If a fellow passenger lobs in an upgrade bid higher than yours, you’ll receive an email advising that you have been outbid and have the opportunity to make a higher offer.
The Rex Bid Up page will always show the highest current offer for that upgrade on your flight, although it “doesn’t let you know exactly where you fall in the list,” Rex says.
“You can choose to increase your bid to outbid this amount, or you can choose to bid an amount between your initial bid and the maximum bid possible,” the airline suggests.
Bidding closes three hours before departure, with upgrades confirmations issued shortly after.
Of course, you can opt out of the auction at any time if the stakes are getting too high, either by cancelling your bid or just leaving your last bid in place as others race above it.