How to Bid for a Business Class Upgrade with Finnair

There are quite a few airlines offering bidding for upgrades into a higher class. So far, however, I haven’t encountered one with a lower minimum bid for business class than Finnair.

How to Bid for a Business Class Upgrade with Finnair

As now I’ve had an experience of a bid with Finnair having both accepted and declined, I decided to write about the process so that you know what to expect if you plan to book a Finnair flight. My accepted bid was for an A350 flight from Helsinki to Bangkok back in May, while my rejected one was for an A330 flight from Nagoya to Helsinki that I will be taking next week.

Before I dive into the process, I just want to mention that if your bid is accepted and you upgrade, you will receive full business class service including lounge access, however, the mileage you will earn will stay the same with your original economy class ticket.

Also, even if your bid is rejected and you end up flying in economy class, you can still access lounges at both Helsinki and Bangkok airports with Priority Pass membership.

How to Bid for an Upgrade with Finnair?

After making your reservation – whether directly with Finnair or through a third-party, go to Finnair’s website and log-in into the “Manage Booking” section using your reservation code and last name.

Finnair Website

Once you have located your reservation, go to “Upgrade your travel class.” You can do so either by clicking on one of the blue buttons or on “try now” on the side of the page.

Finnair Manage My Booking Page

Here, it will take a bit until the next page loads. Once loaded, choose your preferred upgrade method – in this case, “Name Your Price” which is Finnair’s name for its bidding program.

Finnair Travel Class Upgrade

Once on the “Name Your Price” page, you will see which of your flights (if any) are eligible for upgrade bidding. There will be a minimum amount you can bid for each of the flights, and a slider with which you can adjust your bid. There is also a star rating of the quality of your bid, although I would not worry about that too much, and rather think about the maximum you’d be willing to pay for the upgrade, of course.

In case you want to get a shot at trying business class for the lowest bid, I suggest you bid a couple of euros above the minimum to get at least above those that bid the bare minimum.

Finnair Upgrade Bid

Finally, once you click “BID NOW” and confirm your bid, you will receive an email with information about the bid you just made.

Email Confirmation Finnair Bid

Interestingly, while with some other airlines you have to provide credit card information at this point and your bid is “final,” in Finnair’s case you can bid, but later decided not to pay even if your bid is accepted.

Receiving the Result of Your Bid

While you can bid for the upgrade from the time you make the booking, it will not be until about a week before the flight that you will get to know the result of your bid. Between 5 and 7 days before your flight, Finnair will send you an email regardless of whether or not your bid has been successful.

In case your bid is accepted, you will get an email with a link to a page where you can pay for the upgrade and confirm it. Alternatively, if you decided to not splurge in the end – and perhaps get a Priority Pass membership to access lounges instead, you can just ignore the email. You will have 36 hours from receiving the email to take up the offer.

Finnair Purchase Bid

Once you process the payment, you will get one last email confirming your upgrade and you will be ready to enjoy the lie-flat seat.

Thank You

On the other hand, if your bid is declined, you will get an email notifying you about it. Interestingly (as noticed by TFG), they “provocatively” put the same icon of person in a business class seat into that email as well. Although, I guess it’s better than putting in an icon with a person cramped in an economy class seat?!

Finnair Bid Declined


Overall, I think Finnair’s “Name Your Price” program is great for trying to try their business class for cheap. Especially given the very low starting price. And, the success rate and average accepted bid will highly depend on the route and time of the year, it is still worth giving it a shot if you are looking to splurge a bit.

Have you tried bidding for an upgrade with Finnair or with any other airline? What were your experiences?

4 thoughts on “How to Bid for a Business Class Upgrade with Finnair”

  1. HI, do you know if Finnair still actively offer this upgrade bid system? I’m a BA exec club member, not a Finnair Plus member and am considering flying to Gothenburg Sweden via Helsinki so we can have a ride on the A350 but would be keen to know what my chances are of opting for this upgrade for at least the flight from LHR-HEL?

  2. I’m excited for their new LAX to HEL (heading to JTR via HEL) – this will be their new launch service to LAX starting March 2019.

    I really want to try to bid, do you know if they offer economy plus in case my bid doesn’t go through? or is just two classes of services on A350?

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