The new function will give customers the choice to bid on their upgrades using miles in addition to the existing credit card option.
Guests will be able to see real-time notifications of their bid displayed on their screen, allowing two or more individual bids at the same time. Regular email and SMS updates will also be sent to notify them of the status of their bid.
Jamal Al Awadhi, Etihad Airways Vice President of Products & Guest Experience, said: “Etihad Guest members are important to us and offering them a new opportunity to redeem their earned miles is a sign of our commitment to them. Our customer experience philosophy is centered around choice and how our guests choose to enhance their journey with us.”
Etihad Guest members will receive an email invitation to bid for a one-cabin upgrade seven days prior to their flight, or they can visit the etihad.com ‘Manage Your Booking’ page, or etihadguest.com.
The auction will take place from 48 to six hours prior to their flight’s departure. Once the auction closes, the successful winner will be notified immediately.
Bidding guests are encouraged to still check-in online up to 48 hours prior to departure on the Etihad Airways Mobile App or on etihad.com via the Self Service Hub, as the optimised system will still process successful upgrades. If an upgrade offer is accepted, a new boarding pass will automatically be available on the Etihad Airways Mobile App or will be provided at check-in.
Future enhancements will enable Etihad Guest members to bid with their miles on Neighbour-Free seats as well as allowing guests to combine cash and miles for bidding.
Etihad Airways has been offering guests bidding upgrades since 2012.