Lonely Planet Writer

Hawaiian becomes the latest airline to let passengers bid on first class upgrades

If you’re looking to make a trip to Hawaii even more amazing, one airline will now let passengers bid on an upgrade to first class when flying to the islands.

Tropical reef under rural cliffs in Hawaii. Image by Colin Anderson/Getty Images

Following similar services from other airlines, Hawaiian Airlines has launched “Bid Up”, a service that will auction available first class seats to passengers travelling between Hawaii and North America.

The service will be available to the airline’s main cabin guests whose flight itinerary contains one segment between Hawaii and North America. Guests who fit the restrictions will get an email about 10 days before their departure, inviting them to place a bid for what they are willing to pay for the available first class seats. Those who win the bid will be notified 48 hours before their flight.

Hawaii. Image by Sandy Kelly

While it’s not the free upgrade most of us dream of, those who win the bid will also get the added benefits like two complimentary checked bags and priority baggage handling, expedited check-in lines, access to the Hawaiian Airline Premier Clubs, priority pre-boarding, unlimited in-flight beverage service, food and access to the latest movies and TV programming.

Hawaiian Airlines is not the first to add a bidding feature to help passengers get an upgrade. Other airlines allow the practice, such as Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Etihad and more, though restrictions vary by airline.