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Flexi Fares - out of control?

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hummel

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I'm not normally one to make a thread about such things but is it just me... or are VA's Flexi fares downright crazy?

I have 4 WP upgrades to use by 12th June so trying to find a good way to use them but the flexi fares are so high it would be better to fly on points. These are all for MEL cup weekend in November.

E.G

$340 difference between Saver & Flexi. Now that flexi doesn't give anything you could call a meal... that's a lot of money for change of date/time etc!
MEL09:15 AMPER10:30 AM04hour 15min
VA 679
Virgin Australia
$ 169.00



$ 185.00



$ 509.00



No direct MEL-BNK flights so get penalised here..
MEL10:00 AMBNK03:30 PM1 (SYD)5hour 30min
VA 833
VA 1141
Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia
Sold Out


$ 330.88



$ 483.88


$389 to sit in a 737 with ordinary J...

MEL09:00 AMCNS11:25 AM03hour 25min
VA 1293
Virgin Australia
Sold Out


$ 275.00



$ 389.00



Maybe I'm the only one.. but I've just about had enough of the way Flexi's keep going up and up.. yet have bugger all value.

Thinking I'll just drop to SG and let the 4 upgrades pass.
 

dajop

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If you compare to historic prices, the "flexi" fares are hardly what I'd call out of control. People will, and always have paid a premium for flexibility. I remember around 2002/3 I took lots of K class ("flexi saver") fares between BNE & MEL on QF. The fare was $625 return IIRC, or in inflation adjusted prices $820 today. I notice that VA have current flexi fares on that route for $698 and QF for $774. $1k return between MEL & PER also seems close to the mark as well, but I can't remember 2002/3 prices.
 

markis10

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If you compare to historic prices, the "flexi" fares are hardly what I'd call out of control. People will, and always have paid a premium for flexibility. I remember around 2002/3 I took lots of K class ("flexi saver") fares between BNE & MEL on QF. The fare was $625 return IIRC, or in inflation adjusted prices $820 today. I notice that VA have current flexi fares on that route for $698 and QF for $774. $1k return between MEL & PER also seems close to the mark as well, but I can't remember 2002/3 prices.
I agree, we have never had it so good but it's coming to an end.
 

smit0847

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I completely agree - I've never understood why anyone would ever buy a flexi fare - it would often just be cheaper to pay the changee fee on a saver if you need to change your plans. Now that many routes are offering a snack on a Saver fare (is this different to the meal Flexis get?) the reason to buy flexis has diminished even more.

Now that you can no longer use 2-4-1s for flexis and you can use points to upgrade from saver I doubt I would ever buy a flexi again.
 

im.daniel

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I remember when the flexi's for BNE-PER, SYD-PER were $319 one way ... back in DEC '12. Now they're almost 1.7x the price!
 

QF WP

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When I bought a Flexi BNE/PER in March for $478 (also to use one of my Platinum upgrades), I thought it was good value based on what I had paid on QF and VA respectively in previous trips.

I suppose we all have different levels of fair value.
 

pblackie

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A little off topic but yesterday I was looking at changing a saver to flexi in order to upgrade to business SYD-PER for the 9900 points, the cost was $238. Upgrade with points to business from a saver is 30k points plus the original cost of the ticket whereas purchasing a business redemption was 30400 points. Solution, cancel original ticket - $245 into travel bank and purchase a redemption fare. Whilst VA will eventually get the travel Bank money back it seems a bit silly that they are willing to lose the money initially or maybe it's just me?
 

fantasy86dj

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I have booked a few flexis to MEL - OOL - saw the proces and could not get my credit card out fast enough. CFS though downright rip off when it comes to the Flexis. That is my experience though. Normally I get a OOL flight and make relatives drive from CFS to pick me up lol !!
 
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Thinking I'll just drop to SG and let the 4 upgrades pass.
That's my current modus operandi!

Last year all my upgrades were let slip, this year, most likely the same. I guess everyone will value the limited flexibility or the J upgrade differently, but the cost of a cheap saver over a flexi wins my vote every time. The bigger benefit of VA WP that I see is row 3 rather than anything else but hey, often row 3 is chockers whereas further back gives a shadow, so even row 3 has limited advantage.
 

fantasy86dj

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I do indeed - they like staying near OOL the night before at their friends place. Works out nicely for my Status runs
 
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jsoprano

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I am letting 3 of the 4 comp upgrades slip this year (review date 1 June), simply because I hardly booked Flexis in the past 12 months. I only book them when the difference between Saver and Flexi is "reasonable", or if Saver is not available due to last minute bookings. Has hardly ever occurred in the past 12 months for me. And on the 737 on the short/medium sectors that I mainly fly it's simply not worth it paying significantly more. Different on MEL-PER but haven't been heading west at all in the past year.

I've requalified for Platinum though, just, but made the effort as I might not fly as much over the next 12 months and beyond so this way have at least another 24 months of lounge access as Plat and then Gold the following year.
 

Moopere

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A little off topic but yesterday I was looking at changing a saver to flexi in order to upgrade to business SYD-PER for the 9900 points, the cost was $238. Upgrade with points to business from a saver is 30k points plus the original cost of the ticket whereas purchasing a business redemption was 30400 points. Solution, cancel original ticket - $245 into travel bank and purchase a redemption fare. Whilst VA will eventually get the travel Bank money back it seems a bit silly that they are willing to lose the money initially or maybe it's just me?
For mine, thats still not the best value ... what are you valuing VA points at?

I do the transcon fairly often and am always looking for the best way into J to do it - how I miss the good old days of "cheap" flexi's :)

I value VA points at 3c each, and of course, always hope to gain even a little more when possible, meaning that:

Flexi fare: $509
Points upgrade: 9900 (= $297 value)
Total perceived cost = $806 or thereabouts and of course I get the benefit of sectors, SC's and return of some points per flexi fare rules

Whereas the purchase of an award flight costs me:

P+P: $27.25
Points: 30400 (= $912)
Total perceived cost = about $939 and no returns of points, SC's (though sectors are counted I believe)

Certainly I agree with you on the upgrade cost of saver fares ... at 30,000 points I can't imagine many get sold ... better to add the 400 points in the first place and buy a J ticket redemption outright.
 
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