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Fly ahead - with a fee

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OzEire

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Aug 4, 2013
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Can i just clarify something... last week I changed a 'flexi' fare (return) ticket and it cost me an extra 25% of the cost of the original fare to do this. The fare had been booked about 2 months ago so I guess the fare basis can change, especially closer to the flight date, but 25% !!! Thankfully I was able to do this online and there was no actually change 'fee' just fare difference.

Now, I have a flexi fare booked for tomorrow that I want to change... I just get a popup saying 'contact the call centre'. As I understand it the call centre will charge me $35 for having to deal with me, an actual customer with a full fare flexi ticket ! and I can't escape it at the airport either because they will also charge a $35 fee for speaking to me.

So, just how flexible is a VA flexi ticket ? Seems a bit misleading to me.

For comparison, I am flying home tomorrow on QF and had to change that flight also. It was a $1 fare difference, no change fee and I could do it online. There is probably a lesson in that - are you listening VA ?

OzEire
 

notzac

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Oct 6, 2008
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No the original fare was pain for the previous Friday, for a return Gold Coast/Melb depart Tuesday 28th return Saturday 1st 3.00pm,was going to finished work early, so rang Friday pm to get early time Sat
That wasn't Fly Ahead - you paid the fare difference plus any applicable change fees and telephone service fees.

For comparison, I am flying home tomorrow on QF and had to change that flight also. It was a $1 fare difference, no change fee and I could do it online. There is probably a lesson in that - are you listening VA ?
Aside from actually being able to complete the change online, it was the same - you paid any applicable fare difference. Just so happens that the fare difference on VA was substantial :(

Also if you can't make the change online you should be able to talk your way out of paying the telephone service fee (I've managed to talk my way out of it before)
 

moa999

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The last few posts also seem to show that even people on this board aren't aware of the limited benefits of Flexi fares or Fly Ahead.

Flexi fares - are flexi but with fare difference. Book a flexi a few months out and try and change it day before or day of travel, and expect to pay a substantial fare difference. Note that otherwise you could book say 20 cheap flexi fares in January and keep changing dates at will

Fly ahead - a restricted in-lounge benefit when you have hand luggage only (though some seem to have gotten it at check-in desks occasionally) that allows you to fly on an earlier flight on the same day if there is availability (no similar fly behind benefit, thus providing some incentive to book later flights)
 

drewbles

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As far as I know, Fly Ahead must be requested at the airport. Likely why you paid the difference here than perhaps got it free of charge, but that said I think some here have done it successfully over the phone before anyway?
I've never heard of anyone having it done over the phone. Fly ahead is available same day of travel only, at the lounge, without luggage (by the actual strict rules). It's definitely only same day though, and 99% sure only at the airport.
 

anat0l

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Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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Can i just clarify something... last week I changed a 'flexi' fare (return) ticket and it cost me an extra 25% of the cost of the original fare to do this. The fare had been booked about 2 months ago so I guess the fare basis can change, especially closer to the flight date, but 25% !!! Thankfully I was able to do this online and there was no actually change 'fee' just fare difference.

Now, I have a flexi fare booked for tomorrow that I want to change... I just get a popup saying 'contact the call centre'. As I understand it the call centre will charge me $35 for having to deal with me, an actual customer with a full fare flexi ticket ! and I can't escape it at the airport either because they will also charge a $35 fee for speaking to me.

So, just how flexible is a VA flexi ticket ? Seems a bit misleading to me.

For comparison, I am flying home tomorrow on QF and had to change that flight also. It was a $1 fare difference, no change fee and I could do it online. There is probably a lesson in that - are you listening VA ?

OzEire
Like notzac mentioned, it was pure luck of the draw how you just happened to have a cheap Flexi and all the Flexi fares at your fare level were gone by the time you wanted to change.

No idea why QF was more moderate - I assume you have a Flexi Saver; still odd why you weren't up for at least a couple of tens or so in fare difference.

If a ticket hasn't been flown yet, changing it online should be a snap, but I've never tried with VA's system so no idea if it can or how well it can do it. Once travel commences, things get more messy. Probably easier to phone up and either finagle, pray or negotiate to wiggle out of paying the assistance fee.

There is actually a thread somewhere on the Virgin Australia Velocity board discussing the viability and usefulness of the VA Flexi Fare.
 

JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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Fly ahead is available same day of travel only, at the lounge, without luggage (by the actual strict rules). It's definitely only same day though, and 99% sure only at the airport.
I have had fly ahead at check-in and I have had fly ahead in the lounge with checked luggage.
 

drewbles

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I have had fly ahead at check-in and I have had fly ahead in the lounge with checked luggage.
Hence I said 'by the actual strict rules'. I too have had have fly ahead at check-in with luggage (not in the lounge, they don't like doing that as they don't want your bags to misconnect).
 

Gredgy69

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Sep 15, 2013
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Received my first fly ahead on Wednesday from BNE-SYD. Add to that only having to wait 3 minutes for a train and the train being an express one, looks like all the planets aligned for me. Got home more than an hour earlier than I would have without the fly ahead. It was most enjoyable.:p
 

MartinMemo

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Today in MEL - flight booked to OOL @ 20:10, arrived at airport at 11, put onto the 12:15. There were only 3 spare seats and I was on an S fare - very unlikely the last 3 were S. No issue, no question, no fee - just a smile and a new BP for 4D 8 hours early.
 

Major

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Checking in at the Lounge at OOL this morning and was offered an earlier flight. It was only half an hour and I didn't need it but I certainly appreciated the offer.
 

Kefci2000

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Wonder if (when) QF will follow... I have had zero issues flying ahead on QF at no cost on every flight that I have wanted to...
Tried to fly forward on QF red e deal last night and was told by 2 separate attendants that they had been briefed not to let any red e deal bookings fly forward (unless they have had the nod from the supervisor to open it up to free later capacity).

If guess it is related to VA stance.

I have always booked the cheapest flight and try to fly forward (guess not going forward) on both airlines as I fly weekly on personal account.

Lucky last night I was booked on 6.15pm not the 10.15pm!!!

How many James Squires would have that been! :)
 

muppet

Active Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
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Hi guys - I may have to use fly ahead next week.

Can anyone confirm whether this "same fare class" stuff ended up being implemented - there will definitely not be saver light available on my preferred flight.

thanks
m
 

Captain Halliday

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Broadly speaking, yes. I know of some exceptions for colleagues but they seem to be cases where VA is managing capacity on later flights and always in the triangle.
 

Eggsbenedict

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I have never had a problem or heard from anyone who has, I was in Sydney last week and flew ahead on a almost fully booked 6pm with only flexi's and I was on a 8.30pm Saver lite pretty much every flight is a "fly ahead" for me. I almost always only book saver or saver lite. I have 1300 SC so I fly a lot and the only time I have had any problem is when there is only business seats. Would be a major shame if they did remove it as it's a huge perk and Virgin have really been letting us down lately.
 

SimonF

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Mar 5, 2010
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Has anyone managed to get their flight changed from a via to a direct flight thus say you were booked on SYD>MEL>BNE and you got the airport and there was a seat available on SYD>BNE, would they change it for you or is only on route flown so only if you could hop on a earlier flight on one of those sectors? And does it matter if both sectors are under different PNRs?
 

Eggsbenedict

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Has anyone managed to get their flight changed from a via to a direct flight thus say you were booked on SYD>MEL>BNE and you got the airport and there was a seat available on SYD>BNE, would they change it for you or is only on route flown so only if you could hop on a earlier flight on one of those sectors? And does it matter if both sectors are under different PNRs?
I book HOB>MEL>BNE all the time and if I finish up early change to the HOB>BNE direct. I lose the extra status credits but sometimes you just want to get home :) Never had a problem.
 

Kangamatt

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I always purchase the Saver Lite fare, more often than not one of the last flights of the day and without fail if I complete my work early or on leisure trips, decide to head to the airport early, I am offered the next flight available to Adelaide. In the one instance last week, when I wasn't offered it, I politely asked if any seats were available on a flight departing an hour earlier than my booked flight and was moved without hesitation and given row 3.
 

ozbeachbabe

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Joined
Jan 10, 2009
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So is it the fare difference on the day you made the booking or at the time you request the fly-ahead? I guess we will find out soon enough...
AFAIK it would have to be at the actual time you request the fly ahead in the lounge. I'm not sure whether any airline could tell you what fare buckets were available at the time you booked the ticket.
 

vmile

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
251
ADL-MEL-SYD late Friday afternoon (Sector Run), Status Gold, Saver fares, Received Fly Ahead both in Adelaide and Melbourne (We got row 3 out of Melbourne on what should be our Plat qualifying flight).

Happy as, thanks Virgin!
 

smit0847

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Aug 24, 2011
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I need to fly ahead on Sat. I'm booked on a Saver but there are only Flexis left for sale. I've never had trouble flying forward except where the flight is completely full (done it prob 12 times).

Can I still fly forward where there's only a different fare class available?

2 SGs travelling together btw
 
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