Of course, there is one guaranteed way to get a business class seat. Pay for it. And by the way, some of my comments here are designed to be taken with a bit of a wry English sense of humour - and Emailing me to complain that the system above didn't work probably shows you have a sense of humour bypass.
Fokker 100 at Venice|
To start with, make sure you are a frequent flyer, and you do fly frequently: after all, if bmi are going to upgrade anyone, they will upgrade those passengers who fly with them pretty regularly, and hence will enjoy the upgrade enough to put more business bmi's way. Then if the flight is full in economy, and someone needs to be moved up, the check in staff will first look at Gold Diamond Club members, and then Silver level, and then at other Star Alliance members at the equivalent levels (Gold, then Silver). Another thing that bmi look at is how much you paid for your ticket: it's much more likely to happen with a full fare ticket (although occasionally you can get lucky with a discounted economy ticket). On bmi the airline has heard - probably hundreds of times a day - requests for an upgrade: the general consensus seems to be that if you ask for an upgrade, you're less likely to get it, although opinions differ on an upgrade strategy for bmi.
As always, my advice on dressing properly in the pages on how to get an upgrade applies.
Beware that bmi are notorious for their IT: it is as excentric as the airline. Sometimes it works wonderfully: other times it can have you shaking you head and wondering just what happened. As always with bmi, it is be best to be prepared for the unexpected. It must be said however that bmi are very good at handing out extra Diamond Club miles when their website, inevitably, has a "glitch".
Booking tickets is pretty easy, with the cost of each flight segment broken down for all outbound and inbound flights where the flights are run by bmi, however it is impossible to see if there are cheaper flights on other days than those entered. Tax is added at the last stage of booking as does using a credit card. However you can get around this by using a bmi credit card - or just book on the Austrian Airlines website, which avoids this.
Clicking on the flight code on the first "Select flights" page when booking shows you the aircraft operating the service - it's not shown afterwards.
At last, after some "contracual differences", the bmi website will also let you book SAS flights that are bmi codeshares, however these will not display in a grid format, and you only get the total price when you confirm the flight.
Some parts of the site do not have a "go back" item - use the back button on your browser to return. The worse bug on the site is that when using a dial-up connection, if you move your mouse over a menu item to select it, it disappears!
bmi's aircraft fleet
bmi's inflight entertainment
bmi's Diamond Club
bmi's Diamond Club: mileage earning tables
bmi's Diamond Club: mileage spending tables
bmi's transatlantic A330 Cabins
bmi's purchasable food on board