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Month: January 2018

Award Upgrades – Is there any logic?

Award Upgrades – Is there any logic?

I am at a loss about award upgrades


I recently booked flights on Emirates business; Heathrow to Dubai and then onward to Bangkok.

I registered for the award upgrade alerts. Frequently, usually timed just after 4am and 11am I received an email informing me that n upgrade was available. I logged onto the Emirates website anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after the email alert. (After all I am usually asleep at 4am!) Often the upgrade was no longer available. Occasionally the upgrade from Dubai to Bangkok remained available for just over 50000 points. This felt a lot to me so I reset my alerts and left it.


Today I received another alert. This time for London to Dubai. I was almost not bothered. However, I clicked on the “upgrade with miles” link and noted that this upgrade was for something like 36000 miles. Why was this different form the Dubai to Bangkok flight as they are similar durations? No idea.


I also noted that this DXB to BKK upgrade (previously at over 50000 miles) was still available. I ticked the boxes on both upgrades and clicked on the “recalculate miles button”. The miles needed was just over 68000 rather than the almost 90000 that I had been expecting.


So why the difference?

I cannot see why there is;

  1. There is a different in the mileage between different legs of a similar duration
  2. Why it is cheaper to upgrade 2 legs rather than one.

Thank goodness I did not upgrade the DXB to BKK leg when first offered.



I am sure there are omplex algorithms behind the calculations and offers but for me it is a black art.


Learning points

  1. Do not rush in at the first opportunity.
  2. Wait until close to departure of all outward or inbound legs are available to see whether a multiple flight upgrade is better than individual ones.
  3. There will always be a risk. It may be had I waited longer then I would have got a better deal.
  4. Upgrade when you are happy with the deal. So  i have upgraded and will have 2 great flights to Bangkok soon in First. I will not worry if I could have done better, I have done OK!



Logic? Not a snowball’s chance in hell of understanding this. Play the odds and enjoy it!!!