This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

September 6, 2017

Gamification of Upgrades

One type of creativity is the application of a tactic that works in one industry to another. One of the ways that some airlines, including Air Canada, have found to increase revenues involves the gamification of seat upgrades. (Gamification is the application of game mechanics, game elements, and game design to non-game systems and processes.)

How Air Canada gamifies seat upgrades
Passengers purchasing economy tickets on Air Canada receive emails offering them an opportunity to "enhance [their] travel experiences by enjoying the priority services, added comfort, and the in-flight amenities of a higher cabin class" by competitively bidding for the upgrades with other passengers. This upgrade decision is not a commitment at a fixed price, but rather in participating in an auction process, there is an additional feeling of "playing". Passengers are directed to a landing page for the specific flight, where they may bid on the upgrade. Just like in an online merchandise auction in on eBay, passengers are encouraged to raise their bids after competitive higher bids have been placed.

Hotels have a similar opportunity
Generating incremental revenue by selling room upgrades is important tactic for hotels as well. Hotel websites do a fair job of describing the advantages of better rooms, including increased sizes, better views, larger beds, higher floors, better-quality amenities, or a combination of these elements.

The hospitality difference
However, once travelers purchase a specific room type, other than random emails, most hotels only approach travelers to upgrade, upon check-in, once they are physically at the front desk.

Discounted standby upgrades
Several hotel chains now immediately offer all confirmed reservations a "standby upgrade rate", typically discounted from the full upgrade cost---effective in generating additional revenue from guests. The bottom line for hoteliers is that some incremental revenue is better than no revenue and for guests, the perception of a discounted upgrade is attractive as well.

The opportunity for hoteliers
Since the major incentive of this type of gamification is participation, imagine a bidding system for hotel upgrades like those of the airlines? The level of involvement, engagement, and sense of control add to consumer excitement and interest.

What's next?
Given the younger generations' love of games and the desire to generate additional revenue, we can foresee offering customers an opportunity to upgrade their rooms to the next level by creating a bidding system introduced. We see definite value in hoteliers' embracing gamification to their critical advantage. In fact, this type of gamification could be a hotel chain's competitive advantage.

Special thanks to Larry Mogelonsky, writing for for his insight into this important topic.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.