If you’re flying with Virgin Australia, there are are several ways to upgrade your flight to Business class. One method is to upgrade with Velocity points. But if you don’t have enough points – or perhaps you’d rather save them – you can also bid for an upgrade using money. Virgin’s UpgradeMe Premium Bid system allows passengers to bid in an online auction for spare Business class seats.
Virgin sets a minimum and maximum offer amount for UpgradeMe Premium Bids. You can bid any amount within this range, but your chances of success are typically higher if you offer a higher amount. Virgin also provides a “buy now” option if you’d rather not leave the upgrade to chance, but the value is typically poor.
You can make an offer up to 26 hours before the flight, and you’ll be notified of the outcome around 24 hours in advance. Your credit card is only charged if Virgin accepts your bid and the upgrade is confirmed. To place a bid, simply log in to the Manage Booking portal on the Virgin Australia website.
If you’re flying Virgin Australia in the next couple of months, there’s some good news! Virgin has reduced the minimum UpgradeMe Premium Bid amount by 20% until the end of February. This means that Business class upgrades are possible for as little as $100 on Economy Getaway fares, and even less if you have a flexible ticket.
If your upgrade is approved, you’ll enjoy most of the benefits of Business class on your trip. This includes lounge access before your flight and at your destination. However, you’ll only receive the points and status credits that you would have earned on your original Economy fare. Additional Business baggage allowances are also not included.
If you’ve paid extra for an Economy X seat and your upgrade request is approved, you will be entitled to a refund of your Economy X seat selection fee.
To maximise your chances of a successful upgrade bid, use an online tool like Expert Flyer to check the Business class loading of your flight. If Business looks relatively full, you may need to increase your bid. But if it’s not full, a minimum bid is likely to suffice. If you’re still unsure how much to bid, you can also read about other AFF members’ experiences.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: UpgradeMe pricing and success