Cost of updating an international flight to business class
The process is rather simple and involves either choosing the upgrade bid option (on the KLM website while viewing the “My bookings” screen) or via the KLM upgrade yourself web site.
(link updated 14 December 2016) While it is a simple process, there are many caveats.
As a general rule of thumb, I feel it is best to purchase a flight as a KLM flight number instead of a Delta codeshare (of a KLM flight).
You can often do this even if purchasing tickets from an online travel agency or Delta.
Be aware, some cities flying (nonstop) to Amsterdam to/from the USA are only serviced by Delta though often KLM code-share flight numbers might appear when you search for a flight.
KLM upgrade bidding is only applicable to actual KLM flights (not Delta codeshares), otherwise known as “KLM-metal.” Before I share the process for trying to bid for an upgrade, I’ll touch on the “value” of a KLM business class upgrade.
These additional upgrade topics are beyond the scope of this article, but if you purchase an “expensive” ticket it is always best to weigh all of the potential options.
Clearly, this upgrade scheme is most cost effective if you have purchased a low priced long-haul ticket.
I am going to focus on bidding for long-haul upgrades, since these tend to represent the best value.
Some might say that a flight to JFK is too short to require an upgrade especially if they are eligible for free Economy Comfort or Extra Legroom seats on KLM due to their Flying Blue, Delta or other Sky Team Elite status.
For example, after booking this flight, there were many good economy class seats (KLM 747) available on my flight.