Can you upgrade a premium economy redemption ticket to business class?


If I’ve secured a premium economy ticket via points, is it possible to upgrade that to Business via points later on?

Hi @jlui

Two questions: First, which airline are you flying? Second, which frequent flyer programme’s points did you use to get the premium economy ticket (the same airline or a different airline)?

Hi @sixtyeight,

I haven’t booked any tickets yet - I’ve been looking at heaps of frequent flyer programmes as basically just trying to see if there is any availability for the Asia to Europe sector (dep May/June and return end July for 4 ppl). I know it’s a super long shot so the premium economy/business upgrade question was in the case that I did find a premium seat and wanted to hold onto it in case I was able to get more points and then upgrade closer to the date.

Thanks @jlui

I feel a little out of my depth here because every airline has different rules and different upgrade policies. You can upgrade reward bookings on Qantas, but you can’t on Singapore Airlines, Qatar, Emirates, and many (most) other airlines. So you’ll need to carefully check the rules of whatever airline you book.

The best way to secure a business class seat using points is to book a business class seat in the first place. If you find a premium economy seat, only you can decide whether it’s worth holding your nerve until a business class seat comes along (and you have the points), or whether to play it safe and book the PE seat.

What you have going for you is that late May/early June, and late July, avoid the Australian school holidays. But they’re still the European peak/summer period, and your travel dates are rapidly approaching. If it were me, I’d snaffle whatever seats you can get, as soon as they come along.

I hope this helps (though I don’t feel I’ve been able to help much)!

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@sixtyeight is pretty much on the ball here! Out of the majors we fly with as an Australian, IIRC only Qantas really gives you a pathway to ‘upgrade’ as in put you on a waiting list to get bumped up even if award space isn’t available in the higher class. Other airlines (and Qantas) do allow you to change from PE to Business IF reward seats suddenly become available in the higher class - you just need to change your ticket to that higher class and pay the change fee + additional fare difference.

Thanks @sixtyeight and @djtech ! I’ve had some luck finding PE by searching in Asia Miles for one-way trips from HK to LHR/FRA/AMS. A bit trickier for the return Europe - HKG leg though because I’ve got to coordinate the flights from Bergen or another Norwegian airport to LHR or FRA for that leg to HKG. Really don’t want to be stuck in Economy on these legs haha!

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Just jumping on this thread to ask a similar question about the order in which upgrades happen.
Who gets priority for a business points upgrade:

  • book economy with $$
  • book PE with points

This article might have some good nuggets of info.