Automatic upgrades on VA

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smil3087

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Jan 23, 2015
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Thanks for all you input, guys and gals! Very much appreciated.

I still look forward to the day when I get an upgrade just for being a nice guy lol. Or the day when I can afford to pay for it :/

(PS I do remember a friend of mine being upgraded to First virtually every trip. But her father was the CEO of Global Services for a very very large corportation... Go figure :p )
 

toowongman

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Gold, Platinum, Gold, no free upgrades ever. However I have witnessed FAs upgrade their friends/staff (not in uniform) on a regular basis.
 

Ausbt

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I would not expect to see upgrades from the PE cabin, usually it's the Y cabin that is oversold in that scenario.

I scored one three weeks ago SYD-AUH from Y+ Flexi, boarding pass for J handed to me at the gate as 'flight oversold'. On the return I went for the Premium Bid to get my return Saver Y+ upgraded. Happy with the outcome. I love the guy flying J upon boarding who says to his mate flying Y+ "hey just follow me, if there is a spare seat in J I'll try and sort that out for you with the crew". Yeah right - your mate already has his Y+ boarding card and you think you have enough DYKWIA to just get him seated in J? (he didn't, but it was mildly amusing to watch for a while). Same Y+ pax also entered the J cabin mid-flight ...and was booted back out again by the crew. Some credit for persistence I guess!
 

TirEoghain

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3rd year as Platinum, and only had one upgrade, and it was after everyone was boarded on a 737-700 from MEL-SYD.

3A/C/D/F were moved to row 2, while our original seats were filled with people from further down the plane. We were told it was a load balancing exercise, and it was only the seat we were getting. For such a short flight, I was happy with just the J hard product.

No idea why this happened after everyone was on board. You'd think they'd have known prior to boarding that the load needed to be balanced.
 

esseeeayeenn

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As far as I am aware the load balancing exercise is always done then because it is - and obviously must be - based on who has actually boarded, not on who has been allocated a seat.
 

dfcatch

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5 years as Gold or Platinum (including 1.5 years when Gold was the top tier) and never a single opup on VA.
 

Ewing

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My status (in order of first to recent) has gone:

Red
Silver
Gold
Platinum
Gold
Silver
Gold
Platinum

Never had a single opup but having said that most of my Y flights are on ATRs :)
 

esseeeayeenn

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I was status matched to Pilot Gold as part of a corporate deal with my employer in late 2013. Qualified for Gold within 3 months, requalified for Gold and will qualify for Platinum next weekend.

I have received one upgrade whch could be called an opup. I was flying PER-SYD and I knew (having tried to book an ID ticket through iFly) that the flight was oversold. I asked for an upgrade with points in the lounge. The team member said she would look at availability and my velocity account and call me up. However I noticed she paid unusual attention to notes on her computer and then looked at a pile of boarding passes next to her.

I was never called back to the desk so I paused when passing on my way to the gate. The team member was on the phone but waved me over and handed me my new boarding pass for J. No points were ever deducted from my account. So I'm guessing that was effectively an opup due to overselling and may well have happened even if I had not made a request.
 
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medhead

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I had an op-up or 2, as platinum, in the about the first 6 weeks after a platinum level was introduced when they were actually trying. New car smell doesn't really count.
 

newmarket

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Platinum since VA had platinum. Gold before that for a couple of years and have never had an upgrade from VA/DJ.

In fact, more often than not, I find myself being told that the Middle seat is blocked but almost never find this in reality. Clearly other rows do not have status pax, but they still have an empty middle. But I do not.

VA do not treat status pax well. Great cross benefits (*A 1st class lounge in LA), but no special treatment onboard.

I would change programs straightaway if VA would join a real alliance!
 

esseeeayeenn

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I suspect VA prioritise putting the 5th & 6th pax into row 3 above shadows for the pax already in 3A,C,D&F.
In fact they often seem to cram people into the front of the aircraft, leaving space at the back.
I wonder if they did put shadows in 3B&E would we have threads complaining that Platinum Velocity members couldn't access row 3 despite the empty seats.
 

dfcatch

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I suspect VA prioritise putting the 5th & 6th pax into row 3 above shadows for the pax already in 3A,C,D&F.
In fact they often seem to cram people into the front of the aircraft, leaving space at the back.
I wonder if they did put shadows in 3B&E would we have threads complaining that Platinum Velocity members couldn't access row 3 despite the empty seats.

The issue people have is not with Platinums (or even Golds) seating themselves in 3B/E, but no status pax being allocated those seats by gate agents / checkin agents at the last minute.

Now by all means argue that it's elitist to say the above; by all means argue that there shouldn't be status-based priority seating.

But the facts of the matter are that VA deem it appropriate to designate certain seating zones as available for certain status pax, and they offer these "preferred seating zones" as a status benefit.

(Hence why you have to be WP to be able to select Row 3).

Either offer the benefit or don't offer the benefit.

But if you offer the benefit - then it should be offered and adhered to consistently, and not overridden willy-nilly by gate/checkin staff who fail to take consideration of said seating zones.

Now obviously if the plane is full - that's a different situation, but we're talking about the example where there is plenty of seating aft.

It's quite a simple concept.
 

esseeeayeenn

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You seem to have mistaken my idle musings about VA's priorities for either a failure to understand the issue or a defence of their actions. Or both.
I can assure you it was neither.
 

medhead

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You seem to have mistaken my idle musings about VA's priorities for either a failure to understand the issue or a defence of their actions. Or both.
I can assure you it was neither.

Of course you did forget to mention that putting the 5th and 6th passengers in row 4 or greater has the lowest priority.
 

moa999

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As a 3-yr VA Plat (Now Gold and I suspect shortly Silver) no domestic upgrades over probably 50+ flights.

That said was 2/2 for upgrades on VX (Virgin Atlantic) on SYD-HKG from PE to J
 

Tooner

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As a 3-yr VA Plat (Now Gold and I suspect shortly Silver) no domestic upgrades over probably 50+ flights.

That said was 2/2 for upgrades on VX (Virgin Atlantic) on SYD-HKG from PE to J

Just last week got my first op-up on VA in 3 years of being WP. Went from 24D to 1A on an E190 while on the plane.

Given the timing though it could have been for rebalancing!
 

Princess Fiona

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I've been VA Plat for 3 years. In that time I've had one on-board op-up. I'd booked my flight that morning and the CSM noted that Shrek was in J so moved me up from my exit row to row 1.
OT but precious little in the way of op-ups from QF either mind you. One in 5 years as a WP.

Personally I'm not too fussed, I really like the VA system of comp upgrades for WP, reasonable value points upgrades and the bid system.
 

Tooner

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Personally I'm not too fussed, I really like the VA system of comp upgrades for WP, reasonable value points upgrades and the bid system.

I'm with you Princess. Though I have to remember to use them during the year to avoid rushing to use them in the last month!
 
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