TAP Air Portugal introduces new app to bid for upgrades

Oct 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Portuguese carrier TAP Air Portugal is making it easier for those who like to fly in comfort to snag an upgrade to business class.

The airline partnered with the tech company SeatBoost and last week introduced an app-based auction that lets passengers bid for a seat in the pointy end of the plane. Flyers can submit bids starting 24 hours before departure.

In order to bid, passengers will need both the TAP and SeatBoost apps. Available business-class seats will go to the highest bidder, who will be notified through the app and automatically receive a new boarding pass once they pay the agreed-upon fee.

The move allows TAP to make a little extra money off of business class seats that would otherwise fly empty, in addition to giving passengers more opportunities to sit up front.

SeatBoost/TAP Air Portugal upgrade apps. (Image courtesy of SeatBoost)
SeatBoost/TAP Air Portugal upgrade apps. (Image courtesy of SeatBoost)

The auction remains open up to 60 minutes before departure.

Other airlines also have bid to upgrade programs. U.S. customers in particular may remember SeatBoost as a partner of Virgin America, which ran similar auctions. That effort ended, however, after Virgin America was assimilated into merger partner Alaska Airlines. Now, SeatBoost is back in the U.S. market with its partner TAP.

A SeatBoost spokesperson told Business Traveller that TAP is the startup’s first international partner, and the company is optimistic that other airlines will be interested in starting upgrade auctions of their own.

The new app isn’t the only way for TAP passengers to get an upgrade. The airline also allows travelers to purchase an upgrade for a fixed price outside of the bid process 24 hours before their flights. There’s also an option to bid for an upgrade with cash or miles through the carrier’s website, but those auctions close 72 hours before departure.

Featured image courtesy of Airbus.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.