The chance to bid is for passengers who already have a ticket booked on the flight, and the bid is a reflection of how much you would pay to upgrade in addition to what you've already paid for your ticket. It is not going to replace the cost of your original ticket, so don't bid on the price of a full business class ticket. Just enter how much extra you would pay to upgrade.
Overall, it's a very simple process: After you book an economy ticket, check at airberlin.com/upgrade to see whether an auction is available for your flight and, if so, submit a bid. You will be able to bid on each segment of the flight, and Air Berlin will notify you at least 12 hours prior to departure about whether or not your bid was successful.
Do note that when you place a bid, you will also enter your credit card information, and you will charged if your bid is accepted. Be sure to read the FAQ section before placing a bid to understand what happens if you need to change your flight. In most cases, you will not be refunded for your upgrade bid if it is accepted.
“With this new service... Guests can decide how much they are prepared to pay. Then a decision is made among the bids submitted as to who will go onboard in business class,” said Jacob Fischer, Vice President Distribution at Air Berlin, in the airline's release.
The decision, of course, comes down to who bids the most, and we're curious to see what the winning bids end up being. Be sure to shoot us a note if you try this out in the coming weeks.