Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Mon May 09 2016

Amadeus And Plusgrade Combine For Airline Bidding Beauty

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | May 09, 2016

Amadeus And Plusgrade Combine For Airline Bidding Beauty

Photo via Flickr

Boarding a plane and finding that there is no one taking up the seat next to you is one of life’s special little gifts. But what if there were a way for you the consumer to ensure you had that space?

Travel technology provider Amadeus announced it has partnered with Plusgrade to bring a wealth of opportunity to airlines and travelers in the form of technology that makes upgrading a bit easier and, dare we say, more fun.

For the uninitiated, Plusgrade works as a bidding system for leisure and business travelers to place bids on upgrades or open seats on their next flight.

For millions around the world, we are beholden to happenstance as to whether we win the flight lottery and sit next to an open seat. And an upgrade to, say, business class means plunking down an exorbitant amount of money.

For the corporate traveler who spends a significant amount of time on an airplane, an open seat can be a boon for the body and soul. It’s that rare but wonderful sigh of absolute bliss when we know the next few hours will feature an empty spot next to our wandering elbow.

For the airlines, well, we imagine they might like to get paid in some form for that seat.

Enter Plusgrade.

Ken Harris is Plusgrade's chief executive officer and offered some thoughts on the innovation as well as the partnership with Amadeus: “Plusgrade’s mission is to help airlines generate as much revenue as possible from every flight.”

Harris continued: “Our partnership with Amadeus further strengthens Plusgrade’s ability to innovate, lead and build upon the meaningful revenue streams and enhanced customer experiences for which our signature up-sell solutions are known. Together with Amadeus, we will deliver powerful end-to-end ancillary revenue solutions and experiences for our common customer base in a rapid timeframe.”

Plusgrade works like this: Travelers go online after securing a plane ticket and bid on various upgrades, which will garner an answer in 24-72 hours.

Air New Zealand, a Plusgrade partner, illustrates how it has incorporated the tech into its OneUp option.

For Amadeus, the technology will immediately infuse Altéa customers with useful options.

Julia Sattel, senior vice president, Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group explains, “Through this partnership, Altéa customers will be able to implement this solution much quicker than before. Airlines will be able to boost that all-important bottom line, whilst travelers will gain greatly from the increased choice and flexibility when deciding how they want their flight experience to be.”

Truly, one of the best things in life is finding airline gold in the form of an unexpected free amenity like an open seat.

But many of you would assuredly pay what you want for exactly the kind of comfort you desire.


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