This program lets you buy an airline ticket -- and then watch it grow in value
At TPG, we paused traveling to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Local and federal governments around the globe are now debating the appropriate levels of isolation and distancing. Before booking that next trip, we recommend you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions. TPG is continuing to publish deals, reviews and general travel news to inform and prepare you for that trip, whether it is next month or next year.
Not sure when to book that future trip? Plusgrade may have a solution that could help you get better value out of your next flight.
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Plusgrade, the company behind many airline upgrade bidding systems, just launched a new initiative called "Travel Again" that aims to accelerate the travel industry's post-coronavirus recovery. Its plan? Entice travelers with certificates for flights that will grow in value over time. The first major airline to join the initiative will be LATAM airlines.
Related: Guide to bidding for flight upgrades for premium seats
Here's how it works: You buy a certificate for $100 to $1,200 and that value will grow over time at a rate set by the airline. In LATAM's case, the rate is set at 5%, so if you bought a travel certificate for $500, it would increase by $150 over six months, upgrading your certificate value to $650.
Related: State-by-state guide to reopenings
Related: Country-by-country guide to coronavirus reopenings
Airlines can choose to use the program differently to incentivize travelers who want to travel sooner. For example, Plusgrade said in a press release that it is "encouraging participating airlines and cruise lines to weight the significance of earlier travel. The suggested configuration is to make the certificate worth its highest value shortly after purchase, and then reach a lower level of increase as time goes on."
Related: 16 industry experts share their thoughts on the future of travel
“In a world where people dream of traveling by air again as soon as possible, the Plusgrade Travel Again program helps both airlines and passengers by creating a genuine win-win scenario,” said Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). “The program helps our airlines worldwide receive revenue today. It helps airline passengers that see their travel certificate investment grow quickly.”
Additional resources for traveling during the coronavirus outbreak:
- How coronavirus is impacting airline award availability
- How coronavirus has left the travel industry reeling
- Airlines scale back inflight offerings due to coronavirus
- How to ward off coronavirus in your hotel room
- Guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak
- Extreme measures cruise lines are taking during coronavirus
Features photo by John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.