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Airlines Auction Empty Business Class Seats to Economy Flyers

Excerpt from CNN

Sep 05, 2013 9:36 am

Skift Take

The new technology will not devalue business class seats as flyers that can afford their preferred seat will continue buying premium products ahead of time.

— Samantha Shankman

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…getting bumped up to Business Class just got more affordable. Last month, Iberia became the latest carrier to roll out an online auction scheme that allows customers to bid for seating upgrades.

“Everyone knows that if no one is sitting in seat 2a when the plane takes off from London to New York, it’s a loss for the airline. But everyone in economy wants that seat,” explains Ken Harris, the founder and CEO of Plusgrade, the software company that developed the system. “The idea was to help correct that, and do it intelligently.”

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