a group of cell phones with a screen on

2020 Update: this app has failed to launch, and investors are now worried. We’ve written a follow up which is worth reading here.

Original article below…

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This could be a game changer…

When people think upgrades they think two things: “yay, woohoo” and “ugh, red tape”. This begs the very obvious travel question: why should upgrading a flight require a PhD? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just press a button, see a price and make a decision without even having to pick up the phone? An innovative new app is coming to market, and we have the only route available to get in early.

cathay firstMeet Upgrade Pack

When I heard about Upgrade Pack, I approached it with a fair degree of skepticism. Surely it couldn’t be that easy. But after speaking to Founder & CEO Craig Unsworth, it appears that it actually is. Upgrade Pack allows you to add your reservation with a selection of airlines and hotels and receive an instant upgrade price quote. Not only that, there’s a discount involved too – in the region of 20-30% of the upgrade price.

My First Question Is Probably Yours

Why would an airline allow someone other than themselves to sell upgrades? The answer is found in the Upgrade Pack business model, which doesn’t take anything from the transaction. Airlines are always keen to make extra revenue and Upgrade Pack creates a distinct possibility to do this by instantly pricing out the difference in fare between the booked cabin and the desired cabin. It takes into account any and all fees and just gives you a number, with a discount built in directly from the airline as an incentive. The fact it’s a closed marketplace, being members only, offers discretion to the airlines and hotels.

So Who Is It For?

The first launch countries for 2019 will be: UK, US, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The service will be exclusive as a benefit to premium credit card brands when officially launched, but a “founders membership” for £99 is being offered for beta users. That’s right – this offer is pretty much your only chance to get in. Not everyone can be black card holder. As a premium benefit, Upgrade Pack is able to create this no fee upgrade solution, which makes it legitimately easier to upgrade than just about any other service imaginable.

a large building with many peoplePerfect Examples Uses

Know this: premium economy and business class flash sales are more common than ever.

There are many times where the difference between what a company or travelers pays for an economy or premium economy ticket and what a discount business ticket is selling for is minimal. This could be an absolute game changer for travelers who are stuck with tight corporate travel policies or who book economy but wish to regularly check on upgrade prices as dates approach. They buy coach, you get an instant figure on what it would take to upgrade, at a price lower than you’d find publicly available, thanks to the unique Upgrade Pack discount. There’s no red tape like special fare availability or anything like that. If there’s a seat, you’ll get a price. Whether or not that price is “insane”, or an “insane bargain” depends on the flight. If you’re curious which airlines and hotel are already involved, read between the lines on the launch markets…

Airlines Yes, But Hotels Too

Upgrade Pack is bringing upgrades back. With one tap in the app, you’ll be able to upgrade a room or a flight with ease, or at the very least figure out how much it costs. For airlines it’s a win win, because more people will be enticed thanks to the seamless process.  No long phone holds with jazz music and “your call is important to us” are needed to process the upgrade transaction. For travelers, a one time £99 fee to potentially save 20-30% on every upgrade, and also make the process far simpler is a lot of upside at a very low price. You can learn more and sign up here

upgrade pack

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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    1. Where did you encounter that? Did you get that request after you went through the initial sign up/payment page? I don’t see it on that page and don’t want to get booby trapped after submitting payment

  1. Is it available now for immediate use? As in if I signed up today could I upgrade flights leaving in a few weeks time? Thanks 🙂

    1. Good question – how will these purchases code? Probably falls under Chase’s definition of travel but would wonder about Citi’s or Amex’s definitions of airfare. GSTP, any more information?

  2. I’m missing completely what app store this is ready for? Apple AND android? Doesn’t seem to mention anywhere.

  3. I have signed up to this tonight. Will see what happens tomorrow. Seems risky blindly paying £99 but I assume that GSTP is not being conned.

  4. Tried to buy it but will not allow me to pay with any of my cards Amex , Mastercard, Visa. I suspect their site has crashed. Does not bode well…

  5. Get all the way to the end to get an error message. Then it says “contact us” but provides no method of contact.

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