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I’m currently on the road at the tail end of a work-related trip. I arrived at the airport somewhat early this morning and, while checking in at the self-service kiosk, I was greeted by a message offering to bump me up to an earlier flight. Curious, I punched the button for more information. Sure enough, they could get me on a non-stop flight just like the one that I had booked, except I’d depart (and thus arrive) one hour earlier.
The price for this change? Fifty dollars. As tempting as it is to get out of here an hour earlier, I decided against the “upgrade.”
It’s funny… There was a time when you could go to the check-in desk and get moved up to earlier flights for free if seats were available. It makes perfect sense for airlines to do this, as it lets them push unsold seats onto later flights, thereby increasing (albeit only slightly) the likelihood that they’ll be able to sell the seats to other travellers. Apparently upselling passengers to earlier flights is a more profitable endeavor.