Rex Bid Up: Upgrade to business class from $10

Online auctions that will see passengers bid for a business class seat are set to gamify upgrades on Rex

Regional airline, Rex has launched a new ‘Bid Up’ scheme in their own bid to give passengers a greater chance of securing a business class seat onboard their 737 services.

As an introductory offer, minimum bidding across Rex’s domestic network will start from just $10. This means that, in theory, passengers could upgrade to business class for pocket change, but we’re expecting the bidding to be a little more competitive than that.

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Rex ‘Bid Up’ explained

Rex’s ‘Bid Up’ program is a real-time bidding system that essentially works like an auction. Passengers can place a bid straight after booking, but the auction starts a week out from the flight.

Eligible passengers who have purchased an economy seat will be invited to place a bid for an upgrade seven days before departure.

Bidding will then close three hours prior to the flight and successful passengers will be notified of their business class upgrade 24 hours to 90 minutes before departure.

How does Rex ‘Bid Up’ work?

Rex’s new ‘Bid Up’ program differs from existing Qantas’ Bid Now upgrades and Virgin Australia’s UpgradeMe Premium Bids in the sense that it operates more like a live auction.

The ‘Bid Up’ system enables you to view what other passengers have bid and increase your bid accordingly – this is where the ‘game’ element comes into play.

You’ll know if you’ve been outbid because Rex will send a real-time notification when another passenger has offered a higher amount.

Passengers who have purchased an economy fare can essentially decide how much a seat in business is worth to them.

What are the odds of success?

Each Rex Boeing 737-800 aircraft has eight business class seats, which are usually filled. In the past when business seats weren’t sold, Rex would fill them by upgrading some passengers for free.

While the ‘Bid Up’ program increases your chances of securing a business class seat (rather than relying on luck) we can safely assume that it will be the end for free upgrades on Rex. 

Now any remaining unsold business class seats will be given to the highest bidders before departure. If that’s you, you’ll be able to enjoy most of the benefits of Rex Business Class, including:

  • complimentary food and drinks
  • a larger seat
  • priority boarding
  • free Wi-Fi (on some aircraft)
  • lounge access (where possible)

Economy class baggage allowance, however, will still apply, as will the original fare – you won’t be refunded for that.

What happens if I lose the bid?

Losing the bid doesn’t mean you’ll lose any money. If another passenger outbids you, you’ll keep your original seat and fly economy as usual.

More changes on the horizon

Rex’s ‘Bid Up’ initiative is part of a series of enhancements that will act as a prelude to the upcoming launch of the airline’s new loyalty program.

We can also expect to see an economy neighbour-free seat feature and new or improved Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne airport lounges.

On the ‘Bid Up’ program, Rex Director of Media and External Relations Michael Venus said, “All passengers love an upgrade. This new element of gamification in the bidding process will be a fun and economical way for our economy passengers to experience our amazing business class product and service.”

How much would you bid for a business class seat on Rex?

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