Business reward changed from direct to stopover

Zanzaid

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Apr 16, 2020
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Hey all

I recently booked a trip for my partner as I on BNE-PER return June 23rd to July 3rd, using the recent 30% discount on reward seats. As i've only flown on Business once before, i wanted to treat us both with a Business reward seat going over and normal economy back.

As normal, which i should have expected, they've started to cancel/merge flights and changes the times a bit. I got the notification that our flights have changed (Why did they go to junk mail!?). The flight back is just a simple time change, no issue. However the flight over is now going via Sydney, with a very short 35 minute layover.

I've had a look at seats available for other flights that day and i guess since we booked business seats, with none left on other direct flights, they've decided the next best bet is to do a stopover. Problem is, there's not even any economy reward seats left that day, so while i may be able to be a bit flexible around dates, it's really thrown out the plan of the trip. So now i'm worried i'll lose both a discounted business and economy seats unless i choose the stopover.

I wouldn't worry if it was paid seats as i'd at least get the extra status credit and points, but i'm not really sure the extra meal will make up for the increase in flying time.. Are Virgin likely to find a better solution, or will they at least let us drop to a discounted economy reward seat maybe?

Sorry if it's just a simple thing for the call centre to solve! It's just really thrown me a bit off today now and i've not been in this situation before! Thanks
 

bam71

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Personally, I wouldn’t be too worried about a Sydney transfer of 35mins being forced on you. Others may differ, but it’s not as though you need to check in again etc etc. And it’s not as though Sydney run’s on time! Also, there will be others in the same boat ( aircraft), who have had this changed as well, so it won’t just be you in this situation.
 
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hossein_au

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May I check to see if I understand you correctly:

* you have booked 2 rewards business class seats from BNE to PER
* you have booked 2 rewards economy seats from PER to BNE
* your return flight has had a simple time change, so no problem there
* your flight over has been re-routed so that you now have a short stop-over in SYD

Is the above correct? If so, would you mind elaborating what the issue is? Personally I do not see the above as an issue because a) you are much more likely to get a better aircraft SYD-PER that you would BNE-PER, and b) in the very unlikely event you miss your SYD-PER flight due to the short stop-over, it is on QF.

Edit: I thought the question was pertaining to QF. Point "a" is moot.
 
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Bagpuss

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Is the above correct? If so, would you mind elaborating what the issue is? Personally I do not see the above as an issue because a) you are much more likely to get a better aircraft SYD-PER that you would BNE-PER, and b) in the very unlikely event you miss your SYD-PER flight due to the short stop-over, it is on QF.
All SYD / BNE <> PER aircraft are B737-800.

Any of these aircraft would be allocated.
 

Zanzaid

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May I check to see if I understand you correctly:

* you have booked 2 rewards business class seats from BNE to PER
* you have booked 2 rewards economy seats from PER to BNE
* your return flight has had a simple time change, so no problem there
* your flight over has been re-routed so that you now have a short stop-over in SYD

Is the above correct? If so, would you mind elaborating what the issue is? Personally I do not see the above as an issue because a) you are much more likely to get a better aircraft SYD-PER that you would BNE-PER, and b) in the very unlikely event you miss your SYD-PER flight due to the short stop-over, it is on QF.
You are correct but yes not QF so no change in plane type and by the looks of it, I might be glad not to be..
I consider a decent increase in flight time, with the chance that I miss the stopover and have to wait another night an issue no? It's not like there is hourly flights to Perth, It flows into everything else I have planned too.

That's why I'm asking what options I may have and if the connection does get missed, what will happen. I haven't had a chance to call yet and may not for a couple days, so I was just hoping to be best informed before I do, that's all.
 

odysseus

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If I understand you correctly, your only concern is the tight connection, and it being the last flight of the day from SYD-PER?

If so, that's valid so then alternate plans come in. As it's due to a reschedule and not you changing the booking you should be able to be transferred to any flight suitable, but as you're talking last flight, that direct one out of BNE (1755-2150) is booked out so that's probably why they put you via Sydney. There are still at least 2 business seats available on the direct 1255-1650 BNE-PER flight you can switch to if that would suit you best.

Again, if the above is your only concern, you may still want to extend the business class experience and/or visit Sydney lounge, or have a preference for the later departure time you originally chose instead of 1255? Depends on your preferences, but you could equally switch to the 5:05, 4:35 or other flights via Sydney so you have more time for your connection.

Alternatively you may prefer a compromise and say take the 3:05 out of BNE via Sydney with the earlier arrival to Perth at 9:30 p.m, which also gives you a fallback of the later Sydney flight you're currently booked on in case of any operational issues on the day.

As said, because they have made the operational change, you should be able to change to any flight that day based on your original booking with booking availability, not that it still needs to have reward availability.
 

Zanzaid

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As said, because they have made the operational change, you should be able to change to any flight that day based on your original booking with booking availability, not that it still needs to have reward availability.
Thanks for your great response Odysseus, it's given me some good info to work with now, now that i know it's on them. I thought i did enough research on alternative direct business seats on that day but now that i look at EF, i can see those 2 seats free, so that might be a good option to try first. Otherwise widening the stopover time in Sydney for the lounge there might be the next best thing, we can at least experience that lounge too if anything, as you said.
 

Saab34

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If it’s only 35 min, generally from experience it’s the same crew/aircraft. I have done about 4 of those 35min connections, all have been same crew or at least aircraft.

I was wanting to get a connection for another flight which was 35mins however it was not bookable, I assume as requires a aircraft switch.
 
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If they are both J seatings, ie, both the BNE - SYD and SYD - PER flights are both in J, thank your luck ............. add who ever you believe in.
SYD T2 is not too bad, you could even jump over to the lounge for 15 mins and go back to the gate.
Its not like SIN where its a huge airport.
Even if you are not interested in lounge visits, or "tours" even just the chance to stretch your legs is a good thing.
Now, if one of the planes was a 320, without a J cabin, then a roaring moan is appropriate.
Touch wood, come to think of it, hope they won't put in a 320!
Edit: today, they arrived at the same gate, and left at the same gate, VA914 and VA555, both arrived into gate A34 T2 SYD and left 35 mins later, A34 to PER.
 
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Zanzaid

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If it’s only 35 min, generally from experience it’s the same crew/aircraft. I have done about 4 of those 35min connections, all have been same crew or at least aircraft.

I was wanting to get a connection for another flight which was 35mins however it was not bookable, I assume as requires a aircraft switch.
Ah, that's something then. If it's late getting in then it'll be late going out again i suppose.

If they are both J seatings, ie, both the BNE - SYD and SYD - PER flights are both in J, thank your luck ............. add who ever you believe in.
SYD T2 is not too bad, you could even jump over to the lounge for 15 mins and go back to the gate.
Its not like SIN where its a huge airport.
Even if you are not interested in lounge visits, or "tours" even just the chance to stretch your legs is a good thing.
Now, if one of the planes was a 320, without a J cabin, then a roaring moan is appropriate.
Touch wood, come to think of it, hope they won't put in a 320!
Edit: today, they arrived at the same gate, and left at the same gate, VA914 and VA555, both arrived into gate A34 T2 SYD and left 35 mins later, A34 to PER.
Yep both flights in 1D/1F and on 737 as far as i can tell. So it would mostly come down to, is the extra travel time worth another (short) flight in business and time in another lounge? Wouldn't think twice if i was getting the extra status credits! Will be able to call tomorrow so i hope to sort something better out, either way!
 
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