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Travel Brands Tempt With Premium Upgrades: Is It Time for a Travel Splurge?

Title: “‘Would You Like to Upgrade?’: The Emergent Trend of Premium Services in the Travel Industry”


In an era where consumer expectations are ever-evolving, the travel industry is continuously seeking novel ways to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. A vibrant trend rising in the industry is a prompt question often encountered during the booking process or at the check-in desk —”Would you like to upgrade?” This article takes a thorough look at the increasing propensity of travel brands pushing towards high-end, premium services and experiences, albeit, for a price.

The Pursuit of Personalized Luxury

The desire for more luxury and personalized experiences has fuelled the rise of premium options within the travel industry. Once a domain solely of high-income travellers, it is fast becoming a commonplace offer, stretching across airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and even experience providers. The consumers’ psychological gravitation towards the feelings of exclusivity, coupled with the potential for boosted profits, are the driving forces behind this premium trend.

In the aviation industry, for example, airlines are revamping their business strategies in a bid to lure customers to upgrade their flight tickets. This encompasses revamping business class facilities to granting access to premium lounges, priority boarding, extra legroom, flat-bed seats, gourmet meals, and a higher luggage allowance.

Hotels, on the other hand, are enticing guests to luxury suites that offer private jacuzzis, butler services, personalised meal plans, and a quintessential 5-star experience, raising the stakes in the game of leisure. Car rental companies are not lagging behind either. They are offering high-performance sports cars and luxury sedans as an exciting twist to the standard compact or economy options, adding an extra dash of comfort and class to your road trip.

Experiences too, have become a playing field where the quest for an upgrade is evident. Tour companies now provide VIP packages, ensuring a more personalised, exclusive experience, relieving tourists from long queues and offering unique add-on services.

The Pricing Query: The Catch Behind the Upgrade

All these luxuries and superior experiences come with a significantly higher price tag. The “Would You Like To Upgrade?” proposition effectively leverages the psychology of consumers who are always in pursuit of better, more comfortable experiences, quite often leading them to spend more than originally planned.

For businesses, this is an effective strategy to increase ancillary revenue — the additional income from non-ticket sources. Nevertheless, the consumers’ perspectives — whether to acknowledge the value in the extra amenities provided when compared to the added cost — are entirely subjective.


The upward shift to premium offerings is a calculated, strategic move on behalf of travel brands to capitalize on consumer desire, using a combination of psychological triggers and unique experiences. As opulence and convenience continue to hold high regard in consumers’ minds, the trend isn’t expected to dwindle anytime soon.

However, it’s crucial to remember that while ‘upgrading’ may deliver a meticulously crafted affluent experience, discerning travellers must weigh the value of the add-ons against the amplified cost. After all, the question isn’t just “Would you like to upgrade?”, but “Is the upgrade worth your investment?

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