For many travelers, flying business class can feel out of reach.
But one Aussie believes she has found a clever way to score a bargain upgrade.
Psychologist Steph Georgiou was flying from Melbourne to Gold Coast on Australian regional airline Rex when she scored a $17 upgrade and shared the experience on TikTok, shocking fellow travelers.
However, it’s not the first time.
Georgiou told news.com.au she secured a cheap business class upgrade twice domestically and once internationally this year by following the same method: bidding the lowest amount possible close to takeoff.
“The first time I tried, it was actually at the airport when I was checking in,” she said.
“I asked the man at the desk at check in ‘how is business class looking.’ He said there is a seat available but you need to bid online. This was about 2 to 3 hours before my flight.”
The second time, Georgiou said she bid the day before but was informed she had been outbid.
“I left this as I felt lucky … I’m like nah, they will come around,” she said.
“Then at 4.04am on the 23rd of July – day of my flight – they said I had been upgraded.”
Georgiou wanted to test her theory on an international flight.
She bid the lowest possible amount for an upgrade to business class the day before her flight to Bali with Virgin Australia.
Her bid was accepted the morning of her flight for $275.
“I am a really big believer in manifesting and acting as though you have already achieved the goal you want before it happens,” Georgiou said.
“I told my partner ‘I am going to fly business class today’ and then it happened.”
Reviewing the business class experience with Rex Airlines on TikTok, Georgiou described the lounge at Melbourne Airport like a “glorified staffroom with Nutri Grain and other cereals.”
Although, she was impressed with the food on-board.
“Once I got on my flight, there was no one next to me, which means you could have bid for this flight and we could have been friends for [$17],” she said.
On Rex Airlines, passengers can check if they are eligible to “Bid Up” online or they may receive an email within 7 days of their flight.
“You can bid an amount of your choosing within the minimum and maximum bid settings for your flight, the more you bid the higher chance you may have of receiving an upgrade,” the website states.
“However, if your bid is unsuccessful you will not be charged and you will retain your original seat.”
On Virgin Australia, the same concept is called “UpgradeMe.”