At the very least you should always join the airline program which will give you immediate priority over any non-members.
That leaves 28 oversold passengers and 28 vacant seats.
Now the simplest solution would be to offer 28 upgrades directly into the vacant seats.
Say there are a total of 10 million members – you can expect about 120,000 (1.2%) mid-tier members, 5,000 (0.05%) top-tier members and 500 (0.005%) invitation-only members.
Of course, elite members happen to fly a lot more often than standard members, so their relative density on any given flight will be a lot higher.
This causes some concern amongst the travelling public however it does probably help keep airfares a little lower.
Most airlines use yield management software which calculates the predicted number of no-shows on a specific route at a certain time and date.For most flyers getting top-tier status in your program is probably the single best thing you can do to increase operational upgrade chances.In addition, top-tier members can get other upgrade bonuses – priority clearance when requesting an upgrade using points or miles and perhaps some complimentary upgrade vouchers.A free airline upgrade to business class or first class is the holy grail for many travellers.We would all like to buy a dirt-cheap discount economy ticket and then get ourselves upgraded or ‘bumped up’ into a premium class.We fill these by upgrading 28 premium economy passengers to business class, leaving 16 open seats in the premium economy cabin.Finally we can upgrade 16 economy passengers to premium economy thus filling the entire plane.But first, let’s take a closer look at the mechanics of an operational upgrade process.Airlines routinely oversell seats on flights in order to maximise revenue and increase load factors.Firstly it could look at frequent flyer status of the passenger.The standard frequent flyer pecking order for processing operational upgrades will be something like this: • Premium VIP/CIP members (Invitation only) • Top-tier frequent flyers (Platinum / Gold) • Alliance top-tier • Mid-tier members (Silver) • Alliance mid-tier • Non-elite members • Non-members This list shows that to increase your upgrade chances you should be a member of your airline’s frequent flyer program and try to attain the highest possible status.