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Be careful booking VA - Singapore Airlines flights

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BABENS

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I recently thought I would book a trip to HK using the new VA - Singapore Airlines arrangements. As a platinum assumed I would be given the same priorities etc as a normal VA arrangement. Suffice to say after the booking was made, I found out I could not get priority seating. In fact I could not get allocated seating at all until 72 hours before the flight.

I am not the calmest of people when I start doing the rounds of call centre staff and when I was informed I should know this because it is in the fine print on one of the pages on the website, I advised I wanted a full refund and it was time VA realised they were not competing appropriately with Qantas where I was also a platinum holder.

After a lengthy call with Singapore Airlines where I confirmed the alliance did not include allocated seating, I confirmed I wanted the refund and to VA's credit it was processed immediately.

Still wanting to go to HK I rang Air New Zealand. Wow what a different attitude. A customer rep worked with me to arrange the flights - with the seating apart from one leg, which has now been confirmed - and VA alliance status as well. A couple of extra hours - which I would have been spending in Singapore anyway and a good feeling about the service.

It is a shame that VA and Singapore Airlines did not do the one thing that most high tier status flyers want - organise priority seating. I won't be trying it again.
 

ap_spd

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Hi Babens

Merry Christmas, and sorry to hear ur experience of seat selection but on SQ on a VA ticket, this however is a long known issue which even I hope is resolved sooner rather than later.

Cheers, ap_spd
 

atreides

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I have to agree 100% that despite the alliance, very little benefit is passed to VA SG or WP.

And I certainly wouldn't call the KF Gold lounge in SIN a benefit!

Merry Christmas Everybody!
 

dajop

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I have to agree 100% that despite the alliance, very little benefit is passed to VA SG or WP.

And I certainly wouldn't call the KF Gold lounge in SIN a benefit!

Merry Christmas Everybody!

VA SG/WP get similar "benefits" to Krisflyer Gold members. I'm afraid PPS status on SQ is where better treatment starts to kick in.
 

cove

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You will find a far better experience if you switch those points over to Kris Miles but the switch from VA to SQ is expensive. You can then get all the treats including Suites and The Private Room if you switch enough points.
 

BABENS

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Have just landed in HK and waiting for the ferry to Shekou. Go Air NZ - great experience, you have won me for VA associated travel moving forward.:D
 

SuzieQ68

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FWIW, I'm SG & partner is WP with VA and for any SQ flights we book directly with SQ using our Velocity numbers. Booking directly with SQ is cheaper (than going through VA) and allows you to select your seats at the time of booking (or even change them after booking). We still receive all the benefits of our status and have points & SC's credited to our VA account. So far IMHO it's worked well and we've never had any issues. :)
 

quokka77

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FWIW, I'm SG & partner is WP with VA and for any SQ flights we book directly with SQ using our Velocity numbers. Booking directly with SQ is cheaper (than going through VA) and allows you to select your seats at the time of booking (or even change them after booking). We still receive all the benefits of our status and have points & SC's credited to our VA account. So far IMHO it's worked well and we've never had any issues. :)
You will miss out on accumulation of "eligible sectors" if that is important to you (eg you need 8 to retain VA platinum).
 

matt004

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Did you try calling Virgin and asking for the Singapore Airlines booking reference?

I flew MEL > SIN > DPS earlier and the contact centre provided me a Singapore Airlines booking reference - which I was then able to use to select my seats.
 

SuzieQ68

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You will miss out on accumulation of "eligible sectors" if that is important to you (eg you need 8 to retain VA platinum).

Definitely important, however we fly a quite a bit domestically so easily cover the eligible sectors requirement of retaining status.
 
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BABENS

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Matt - I spoke to the VA Call Centre 4 times and I spoke to the VA Customer Service Manager. Lastly I spoke to the Krisflyer group for over an hour. While it was clear at times you may be able to get allocated seating it is not part of the booking process or part of the Alliance services. The outcome - you roll the dice on whether or not you will get seats you would normally get on other partners based on your status and profile when you make the booking. Given I was planning on flying economy on this trip, the seating was the most important factor.

The one seat I was offered that would be "allocated immediately" was Singapore to HK - row 46. Suffice to say, that is not where I would normally be seated on an economy booking. The really crazy part of this saga was I could book Scoot and get allocated seating. I did point out the stupidity of the bargain partner of Singapore Airlines being able to provide what the premium service could not at the time of booking.

Air NZ now has my business, when I am looking for a VA network flight. I ended up taking Premium Economy which was cheaper than Qantas and not available on VA-Singapore Airlines. The service was exemplary and while the food could be improved, I could say that for any number of airlines.

I do have to give Qantas a good wrap as well in this thread. I flew here 6 weeks ago Qantas economy. Crew were awesome and the flight times worked really well. No issue with seating...
 
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