Booked Business Class on all Y flight, got Economy SCs | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Booked Business Class on all Y flight, got Economy SCs

Jurahn

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Mar 3, 2011
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Currently visiting my Dad in NSW - booked flights HBA-MEL-CBR return on a great full J sale fare, worked out cheaper than Freedom fares and giving me a higher SC earn in a attempt to claw my way back to Gold! (recently dropped back to Silver :(. ) . Also meant I’d still get lounge access, priority boarding and higher luggage allowance. The MEL-CBR flight was ATR72 so only Economy seating available, but Business Class fare still offered and I had no problem with Economy seating for such a short flight.

All went OK with the HBA-MEL flight, although arriving late, so decided to go to the Lounge for a little while before heading to the gate - was rather shocked to be refused lounge entry. I knew I would be in Economy seating for the flight to CBR, but didn’t realise (hadn’t checked, to be honest) that my boarding pass actually showed the fare as Y, no mention of the paid J fare at all (so I was subsequently not allowed priority boarding either). I explained to the Lounge staff that I’d paid for J, they insisted all they could see was a Freedom fare - I had a copy of my e-ticket which clearly showed the same D fare class for all four flights on the booking, so they took that and went away to investigate. They eventually came back advising they could definitely see that I’d booked and paid J for the flight, and eventually allowed me into the Lounge, but the whole process took so long, I barely had 5-10 minutes in there before I had to head to the gate.

After that, I thought “uh-oh, what’s going to happen with the SCs”. They posted this morning and sure enough, I only received 25 SCs for the MEL-CBR flight, instead of the 55 I should have received as a J booking.

The call centre of course is closed to us Silver plebs on weekends (although after having access to the Gold call centre for the past few years, I’m not looking forward to dealing with the main call centre again, as it was always an absolute PITA to get anything sorted out) so sent a message via Facebook, but only received a response telling me to email the retro address (which they misspelled anyway, so just as well I knew what it actually was). Have sent an email off, but can see this turning into a hassle :( .

Has anyone else had this issue and was able to get it sorted relatively easily?
 

n7of9

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May 10, 2012
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I can't help, but please post back your results, hoping it works in your favour, good luck.
 

AIRwin

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You could have showed the lounge your boarding pass for HBA-MEL in J class? Business Class guests travelling on Virgin Australia domestic flights can access the Virgin Australia Lounge upon arrival, by showing an eligible same-day itinerary or boarding pass:
 

Jurahn

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You could have showed the lounge your boarding pass for HBA-MEL in J class? Business Class guests travelling on Virgin Australia domestic flights can access the Virgin Australia Lounge upon arrival, by showing an eligible same-day itinerary or boarding pass:
To be honest, at the time I was so thrown by the Economy fare thing with the MEL-CBR boarding pass and then thinking “oh hell, what’s going to happen with the SCs”, showing the other boarding pass didn’t occur to me until later.

Regardless, anyone who purchased a J fare for this flight should expect to get Lounge access (if they weren’t already SG or WP), so wondering whether this was some sort of glitch with my boarding pass and the way the fare was actually issued for the flight. The Lounge staff said they’d never seen that before i.e. purchase J but get Y fare boarding pass.
 
Last edited:

Jurahn

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Mar 3, 2011
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I can't help, but please post back your results, hoping it works in your favour, good luck.
Yes, will definitely update regarding what happens - am hoping for a “oops, sorry about that, the missing SCs will be credited to your account” response,, but given previous experience with trying to sort out Velocity issues, I think that’s unlikely.
 

Bagpuss

Active Member
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Feb 24, 2014
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It sounds like an error in the E-ticket allocating that fare class. However, the best thing to do is to email a copy of the ticket to Velocity and await a response. If you don’t get a response call them, but I’m sure they will want a copy of the E-ticket.
The E-Ticket is quite key to this, if it’s the Virgin one as it will show the fare basis and the earn table information so it’s a legal document.
Naturally, business wasn’t offered so you were in economy which is fine but should receive the SC’s (and points) in line with the e-ticket.
 

Jurahn

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It sounds like an error in the E-ticket allocating that fare class. However, the best thing to do is to email a copy of the ticket to Velocity and await a response. If you don’t get a response call them, but I’m sure they will want a copy of the E-ticket.
The E-Ticket is quite key to this, if it’s the Virgin one as it will show the fare basis and the earn table information so it’s a legal document.
Naturally, business wasn’t offered so you were in economy which is fine but should receive the SC’s (and points) in line with the e-ticket.

Yes, that’s what I thought as well, that there was some sort of error with the e-ticket, as it shows the correct fare class. I’ve sent an email to the retro claim team and have had the usual auto-reply - I guess I should have attached the e-ticket as you suggested, but I assumed they would be able to access this? If not, then i assume the email response I get will be asking for a copy!
 

ja1

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Mar 17, 2015
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46
I'd never assume they have access to documents that you do. With modern privacy concerns it seems like it's almost impossible to work out who does have access vs who should have access..

What B said.. I'd attach your own documentation to make it easier for them and to guarantee someone could see it (rather than punting it into the too hard basket if they have to lookup details, don't have access etc)

Good luck and also keen to hear how it turns out in the end..
 

Jurahn

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Yes, I should have attached my e-ticket ... don’t want to send another email now as it will just end up further down the queue, I would imagine, and can’t respond to the auto-reply I’ve received as it’s come from a “do not reply” address. Will give it to the end of the week until I’m back home again and then will chase it up via email (with e-ticket attached!) if I haven’t had a response.
 

Ade

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Mar 5, 2019
Messages
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Good luck @Jurahn to get those SC's into your velocity account. Let us know how you go.

In my experience, SC's are offered based on the original booking fare class and the passenger can actually ask for original/compensatory SC's if there has been a change under the following circumstances :

  1. Imagine, you were flying MEL-SYD-CBR and for some reason the airline chose to put you on a flight that goes direct from MEL-CBR, so you'd lose the SC for MEL-SYD segment. In this case the airline has to provide SC for the original route, not the route you were made to take
  2. Also if you did the booking under any promotional window, the airline is bound to honor the original SC regardless of the route changes
  3. Also if you booked a direct flight (say, MEL-SYD), but for some reasons the direct flight is cancelled and you're made to take a connection (say, MEL-HBA-SYD), then you can ask for additional SC for the connection flight

All the above cases happened to me and I was awarded SC's accordingly. Also, in most cases, I politely asked if I could be upgraded for the inconvenience and I was awarded an upgrade (but SC's as per original booking class)
 

Jurahn

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Thanks for your detailed post Ade. Judging by your experience, then there should be no argument from Velocity about awarding me the correct SCs, based on the fare class on my booking. “Should” of course doesn’t necessarily meant there won’t be - it often seems to depend on the person who actually reviews the problem whether you get a quick resolution or a prolonged fight on your hands - anyway, fingers crossed for a speedy and correct outcome on this one.
 
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ontheaisle

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If your ticket shows you purchased a J fare bucket (despite J not being available) they should credit you the appropriate SCs, it just might require intervention on their part - and you supplying them with a copy of the e-ticket as proof.

I recently had an issue with a Delta-issued ticket missing a connection and I requested re-accommodation on American Airlines (with whom VA have no relationship). Of course, no points or SCs credited to VFF. I figured it was Delta that needed to sort it out as it was their ticket and their fault that I missed the connection (late inbound aircraft). They were hopeless and wouldn't help me - just kept saying I'd flown on AA so tough luck. So I emailed VFF, explained what had happened and attached copies of my e-ticket, DL boarding pass, and AA boarding pass. Et voila, a few days later my account was credited with both the points and SCs. I was particularly sweating on the SCs because they were going to get me past the post for gold re-qual. So I have faith that VFF will do the right thing.
 

Jurahn

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Great to hear you had such a good outcome ontheaisle, hope my issue is resolved as quickly!

I very much miss the days when we had company rep Velocity Frequent Flyer on this forum - he/she gave me invaluable assistance on several occasions when I was getting absolutely nowhere with claims for missing SCs and points, both before I became Gold (and was going around in neverending circles with the main call centre ), and afterwards as well. Issues were dealt with swiftly and efficiently, and it was a relief to know they were always there as a backup for those situations. Sadly, VFF doesn’t appear to have been active on the forums since early 2018 :(.
 

Jurahn

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Well, I'm pleased to report that the missing 30 SCs have now been credited to my Velocity account :) .

I hadn't received any response to the retro email I sent on 10th May, so rang Velocity this afternoon. The young lass I spoke to at the main call centre was very efficient and proactive, following up the notes the email team had left on my account (predictably, that the flight was only eligible to earn Y SCs, which was not what I wanted to hear!), finding out that my query had been escalated to a more senior staff member to assess whether this was correct, and finally reporting back to advise that staff member would contact me within 24-48 hours with an update. i thanked her for her help, and she was quite apologetic in that she hadn't actually helped much, but I assured her I very much appreciated her time and effort spent looking into this for me. I was very surprised when I got home from work to find an email from Velocity advising the 30 SCs had been credited.

So thank goodness that's sorted out, although wondering whether I should still lodge feedback as I didn't receive any J benefits even though booking and paying a J fare (not permitted priority boarding and refused lounge access on basis of Y boarding pass, and awarded incorrect SCs) and maybe this is something Virgin/Velocity need to look at with regards to how their systems ticket the actual flight when offering a J fare on a Y-only aircraft.
 

clipped_wings

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Happy for you @Jurahn - and thank you for keeping AFF abreast of the progress.

It is an important reminder to us all to manage our bookings carefully and to pay particular attention to the details that most travellers are unaware of, or simply disregard.

It's also a sober acknowledgement of the distinction between Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Velocity. They are two different entities and as such, the bridge of communication between them can sometimes be hard to navigate, especially if you are not well versed in the complexities of membership. Jurahn has illustrated that having experience, stating your case clearly and not deviating from your argument can help. As can friendly and proactive staff :)
 

Jurahn

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Mar 3, 2011
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Thank you @clipped_wings - it's a relief to have this matter sorted out and I too wonder how many people have been "shortchanged" in similar situations without realising.

As you said, a lot of travellers would not have the knowledge or experience to be aware of such details, or know how to effectively follow up these errors. That I am able to do so is due to the ongoing assistance I have received from members on this forum who have patiently answered my questions over the years. :) Through them, I have gained a wealth of knowledge in areas such as attaining (and keeping!) status, booking flights, seat selection and upgrades to name just a few, as well as invaluable advice on how to deal with both VA and Velocity when problems arise.
 

jch

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Feb 10, 2019
Messages
168
Sorry if OT, but I have a similar situation on an upcoming Air New Zealand flight. I paid to upgrade the return leg Queentown-Auckland-Sydney which shows on the itinerary as a Business Saver for both of the return segements. As there is no business seats on the domestic leg, you get a free seat in the exit row and it shows an additional baggage allowance on that leg as well. Does anyone know if you would get lounge access leaving Queenstown? The website doesn't mention business class access to the regional lounges, only for NZ/*A elites.

Link below:
 

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