Live auctions of airline seat upgrades are being introduced by Etihad Airways.
A bidding system will show real-time notifications of passengers’ bids, allowing two or more individual bids at the same time.
Regular email and SMS updates will also be sent to notify participants if they have been outbid.
Travellers will receive an email invitation to bid for a one-cabin upgrade seven days prior to their flight
Auctions will take place from 24 to six hours before flight departures.
Once the auction closes, the winner will be notified immediately.
Bidders are encouraged to still check-in online up to 48 hours prior to departure as the optimised system will still process their upgrade.
If an upgrade offer is accepted, a new boarding pass will automatically be available on the airline’s app or at check-in.
Future enhancements will enable Etihad Guest loyalty scheme members to use their miles to bid for an upgrade.
Etihad Airways has been offering the opportunity to bid for upgrades since 2012. It is particularly popular on routes operated by the airline’s Airbus A380s from Abu Dhabi to New York, London, Paris and Sydney.
The UAE carrier’s head of guest experience, commercial, Jamal Al Awadhi, said: “A first in the region, this dynamic live auction will give guests the chance to select a premium offering at a price they are willing to pay by putting them in control of the experience.
“This new gamification layer will also add a fun element to travel before the journey begins, as passengers compete with each other.
“Our mobile responsive website makes it even easier for guests to bid on the go.”