America West is earning $25 million a year from its day of departure, space available upgrades. That’s alot of money for a company that is expected to lose money for 2003 and turn a small profit in 2004.
There’s no fare distinctions. Any paid passenger qualifies, provided that there’s first class availability four hours or less before the flight. The price varies based on distance of the flight.
America West pays a commission of $5 per upgrade that they sell this way.