I BID $290 FOR A PREMIUM ECONOMY SEAT ON A 10-HOUR LUFTHANSA FLIGHT. I'M GLAD I DIDN'T WIN.

  • Lufthansa allows passengers to place bids for cabin upgrades on some flights.
  • I placed a $290 bid to sit in premium economy, an upgrade that typically costs $1,490.
  • I didn't win the upgrade, but ultimately, I was glad I kept my window seat. 

I boarded a 10-hour Lufthansa flight from Denver to Germany and immediately questioned the decision I made just a day prior.

That decision was to bid on a premium economy seat for my return flight home.

Typically, passengers can pay outright for a higher class or earn seat upgrades through airline status programs.

But Lufthansa has a third avenue for getting a better seat. Using a scale, passengers can submit a price they're willing to pay for an upgrade, "and, with a little bit of luck, you'll receive your upgrade at the price you wanted," the airline's website says.

On long-haul flights, economy passengers can bid for either premium economy or business class. An upgrade to premium economy includes a more spacious seat, an upgraded meal, a welcome drink, and a toiletry kit. An upgrade to business class would've had a lie-flat seat, fine dining, lounge access, priority boarding, and mileage accrual.

Since bids for the business class cost more, I opted to bid on a premium economy seat. Here, bids started at 100 euros and went up to 550 euros. To upgrade my flight without the gamble would have cost $1,490.

I took advice from Simply Flying and placed a bid at 270 euros, or about $290, which, according to the online aviation publication, gave me a "strong shot at bagging the seat."

After submitting my bid, all I had to do was wait. An email confirmation from Lufthansa said I'd find out "in good time" before my departure if I won an upgrade to premium economy. Then, I'd be automatically charged my bidding price.

An email popped up two days before my return flight: "Unable to upgrade."

Instead of feeling disappointed, I was a bit relieved. A higher class would've been a treat, but I realized my preference for a window seat outweighed my desire for more legroom or a better meal.

I didn't think a better class was worth giving up a first-row window seat

There's only one place you'll find me on a long-haul flight, and that's in a window seat.

If I'm taking a long-haul flight, it's typically to a new destination. Whether it's watching the coastline of Panama City come into view or eyeing the mountains surrounding Queenstown, New Zealand, catching that first glimpse of an unfamiliar place from the window of a plane always feels special.

But even more important than the views is the window to lean against. For long-haul flights, my priority is sleeping, and having a wall to prop a pillow against has been the best way for me to catch some Zs while flying.

When I boarded my long-haul flight to Germany, I realized that upgrading to premium economy might require me to sacrifice my window seat.

I didn't want to give that up. I'd already spent $60 selecting a window seat at the front of the economy cabin, meaning I'd have a bit more legroom than usual and two beloved windows.

I'll admit the perks of premium economy were enticing, but I wasn't disappointed when I learned I hadn't won. Instead, I boarded my flight home, plopped into seat 11A, and happily napped the flight away.

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2024-06-25T09:47:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd