How To Upgrade To Business Class on Air France

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Buying a business class ticket outright does not come cheap. It’s often estimated a full fare ticket can be between $1,500 – $5,000 each way depending on where and when you are flying. It’s not surprise we have rated Air France as the best option to fly to Paris but it’s also offers some of the best airline food in the sky.

However, the good news for Air France customers is that there are multiple ways to upgrade from a lower class ticket at a fraction of the price.

We’ve found deals in the range of $250 – $500 to upgrade from Economy prior to departure. Compared to the full price ticket that is a steal. If you are flying in Premium Economy the upgrade cost can even be cheaper.

Even though Air France moved to a revenue based model in 2017 we often still find people getting deals after they book.

We will break down how you can go about requesting and upgrade on your next flight.

How To Upgrade To Business Class

Once you have a your reservation ticketed there are a few ways you can apply for an upgrade. The easiest will be online but don’t rule out checking once you arrive at the airport.

Here is how you can go about upgrading:

Upgrade On Air France Website

Air France makes it easy to apply for an upgrade on their website. This is how you can apply:

  • Go to the Air France website and open Manage bookings section
  • Then, submit your booking reference and last name
  • Next, press the search button to view your booking
  • Then select a single flight from the list to apply for upgrade
  • Next, click upgrade button and pat the charges for upgrading to business class by card or miles

It’s possible you may see a high fee to upgrade, which is due to the revenue based system that is actually just charging you the fair difference. If this happens to you don’t give up and try another way of calling the airline or checking at the airport.

Upgrade By Calling Air France

Another option is to call the airline directly and ask for a price. Air France reservation number is 1 (800) 237-2747. If you are having trouble getting through to them try calling an office in another country, as recommend in our best way to reach an airline agent.

Upgrade At Airport Check In

You can also upgrade when you are checking in at the airport and see if there are any last minute seats available. This is the way we scored our $300 upgrade from Paris to New York on Air France, when originally booked in Premium Economy.

Although this is last minute, if you are not expecting an upgrade then getting one at the airport is one of the most satisfying feelings. Make sure to be polite to your check in agent as they will be more inclined to help you score the better seat.

Cost To Upgrade To Business Class

There are two ways you can pay for an upgrade, either with cash or with miles. Both options are good, especially if you have miles to spare. Here is how you can go about it and how much you can expect to pay.

Upgrade with Cash

We have seen that it costs between $250 and $500 to upgrade to Air France business class. This was always the range for tickets until Air France moved to a revenue based system in 2017.

The possibilities now are much higher with some users seeing over $1,000 just to upgrade. Of course this depends on the flight and how much space is available so we recommend asking to see if you can get lucky for a cheap ticket.

Upgrade with Miles

If you have Air France miles to spare then this is a great time to use them for an upgrade. The ranges are rather large but it’ll save you some money when looking to upgrade.

Here are the miles you can expect to pay if you are flying Economy:

RoutesTo Premium Economy (miles)To Business Class (miles)
North America – Europe7,500 – 47,50015,000 – 60,000
North America – India10,000 – 78,00025,000 – 96,000
North America – Middle East10,000 – 76,00025,000 – 95,000
North America – Southeast Asia10,000 – 75,00025,000 – 95,000

If you are already booked in Premium Economy it becomes cheaper to move to business class. Here are the rates we observed:

RoutesTo Business Class (miles)
North America – Europe10,000 – 30,000
North America – India15,000 – 50,000
North America – Middle East15,000 – 60,000
North America – Southeast Asia15,000 – 50,000

In order to actually upgrade your flight with miles here are the steps you’ll need to follow on Air France website

  • Head over to the official website of Air France from its search bar. 
  • Click on the “Manage Travel” option from the navigation bar at the top of the page.
  • You will be asked to enter details like booking or reservation number and last name in the page displayed in front of you and click “Next”. 
  • When the booking details are displayed in front of you tap on the required details from the flight section option. 
  • Click on “Edit Booking” and choose the seat from the upgraded section of Air France and proceed further. 
  • Now when the time of fare charges are displayed that is calculated by the difference between current and previous booking. And to pay the amount you can choose “Pay Using Miles” and the amount will automatically be deducted from the accumulated miles of Air France. 
  • The confirmation of the changes will be notified on the email that you entered at the time of booking. 

Summary & Takeaways

Paying to upgrade to business class after you purchase a ticket is often a significantly cheaper alternative than buying a business class ticket outright. Note in recent years Air France has moved to a dynamical pricing model that can sometimes charge the actual fare difference making it not worth the upgrade.

We have still seen many travelers still score deals between $250 – $500 to upgrade to business class so we would say it’s still worth a shot. Keep your travel plans flexible and don’t bank on getting a reasonable upgrade offer but it’s always worth a shot in our opinion.

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