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My family and I upgraded to business-class flights by bidding. We saved over $1,700.

On the left, Noor Anand Chawla wearing a red top and holding a glass of sparkling wine. On the right, a plate of Indian food.
My family and I saved over $1,700 on business-class flights. Noor Anand Chawla
  • My husband and I bid to upgrade to upper class on a nine-hour Virgin Atlantic flight.

  • We won the bid both ways and saved over $1,700 on our upgrade.

  • We love luxury travel, and this sweet deal was completely worth the extra money spent.

My husband and I believe flying business class is the epitome of luxury.

As avid travelers, we take at least one international trip every year and often look for deals on business-class tickets.

In 2022, my husband, son, and I flew round trip from New Delhi to London on Virgin Atlantic's business class, which the company refers to as "upper class."

After having a great experience, we hoped to once again score upper-class tickets on the same route.

Unfortunately, because this year's prices were too high at 824,700 rupees (about $9,900), we made peace with booking premium economy round-trip tickets for 389,150 rupees ($4,600).

A few weeks later, while on Virgin Atlantic's website, my husband came across the "Your Bid" program, which allows passengers to bid for an upgrade to premium- or upper-class seats.

The minimum bidding amount kept changing, but when my husband placed his bid, the minimum amount per upper-class ticket was 50,000 rupees ($600) for our flight from New Delhi to London. For our return flight, the minimum bid was 47,000 rupees ($560) per ticket.

Adding 1,000 rupees ($12) to the minimum bid each way, my husband decided to give it a shot.

Forty-eight hours before our scheduled departure, Virgin Atlantic emailed us that our bid for upper-class tickets had been accepted.

In total, we paid 684,350 rupees (roughly $8,200) round trip for two adults and a child, including the price of original premium-economy tickets and two bid upgrades.

We saved roughly $1,700 through the bidding process and were excited to begin our journey.

The plane's interiors were spacious and luxurious

Noor Anand Chawla and her husband holding drinks and smiling in business-class.
My cabin was comfortable and spacious. Noor Anand Chawla

Both flights had a herringbone design in the upper-class cabin, with three rows of about 10 seats each.

My husband and son were assigned window seats, and I had a middle seat close to my son.

Soon after settling into our seats, the flight attendants brought us welcome drinks.

Our meals were tasty and customizable

A plate of Indian food and two gold salt and pepper shakers that look like airplanes.
I really enjoyed all of the in-flight meals Noor Anand Chawla

The flight attendants asked for our meal preferences while we waited for take-off.

I chose to skip the starter and dessert but asked for sourdough bread, which they fortunately had on board.

For one course, I had chicken achari curry, served with cabbage and carrot thoran, basmati rice, and paratha. It was filling and not spicy.

I also enjoyed the cheese plate with Snowdonia Rock Star cave-aged cheddar, Blacksticks blue, Somerset camembert with grapes, sundried tomato and red-pepper chutney, and crackers.

On request, they provided a plate of pasta with bread and fruit for my son.

For my final meal, I chose the vegetable Indian platter consisting of aloo tikki, vegetable samosa, pepper pakora, and a tomato and onion salad with sweet-chili-and-tomato chutney.

The spacious seating was great for work, sleep, and entertainment

Noor Anand Chawla, who is watching "The Whale," is seen in the reflection of the TV screen.
One of the films I watched was "The Whale." Noor Anand Chawla

I watched movies and took a luxurious two-hour nap on the bed seat, which was made up graciously with bedding, a fluffy pillow, and a comforter.

I also liked that the class's spacious desks allowed me to work on my laptop without hindrance.

An Apple laptop on a spacious desk in business-class.
I was grateful for the desk in my cabin. Noor Anand Chawla

Our overall experience was wonderful and made us feel like we had won the lottery

Our upper-class tickets ensured that our disembarkation process was quick and hassle-free. We also had access to a separate line for immigration, which sped up the process of leaving the airport.

Compared to the $9,900 we would've paid had we booked the business-class tickets from the start, $8,200 was a great deal for two adults and a child.

After saving roughly $1,700 through the bidding program, we would definitely attempt to fly this way again.

However, since there's no guarantee of winning the bid, we'll always look for a good deal on business-class tickets first.

Read the original article on Business Insider