Free upgrades and status

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frequentflyer

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Given the recent discussion on the value of platinum (http://www.australianfrequentflyer....locity/whats-the-point-of-platinum-79405.html), I'm curious to hear about experiences on free upgrades (not related to the platinum benefit) and if there is any correlation with status.

I'm a platinum member and have never been upgraded whether it was on domestic/international, VA/partner operated, economy/business (upgraded to business and first respectively), fare type (etc.

My only experience of an upgrade was on a QF marketed flight operated by EK from Sydney to London. I was Silver and was upgraded at the final boarding gate for both legs to business having bought the cheapest economy flight.
 

Ribbo83

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May 18, 2016
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Not Platinum but Gold so not sure if it counts. No free upgrades for myself either. My boss is Platinum and travels at least once a week sometimes more and has never received a free upgrade either. Probably gets a higher level of service but that's more because of the regular sectors he does and they know him rather than his status.

Being gold a regularly get rows 4-7. What I find increasingly frustrating is the amount of non status PAX in these rows. Im fine without a free upgrade but find when traveling with other status PAX they are organised and efficient and do things with a minimum amount of fuss. I had a sector on Wednesday where 2 PAX were sitting next to me in row 4 who proceeded to put the tray table down prior to take off and the look of surprise clearly when the FA told them to raise it clearly showed they don't travel often.

I would be happy if VA stopped this rather than the odd free upgrade.
 

bean

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What a great thread, I have been wondering exactly the same. I really think VA need to look after their platinums a little better and a surprise random upgrade would go a long way towards this. Don't need the catering but the seat would be a nice gesture if otherwise empty.

I have recieved free upgrades with AirNZ, but even though I've flown Virgin since day dot I've never been given anything over and above what I have paid for.

As per my previous thread on what's the point of platinum I'm thinking I should now switch to Qantas and get gold there also.
 

Muppet501st

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WP here, just yesterday TSV-BNE, then BNE-CNS, booked in the lowest fare. Just before boarding in TSV, I was paged to the counter and given a new boarding pass, and upgraded from 3A to 1A ( E190) and reason given, over booked and was informed as the inbound plane was catered for in BNE, I wouldn't receive a J meal. No problem here :)
Then at the boarding gate in BNE- scanned BP and red light and sound, given new boarding pass, from 3A to 2F and once again informed I might not get a J meal, but I did. Overheard the cabin crew that they had an extra 2 J guests because of overbooking.
Ive had this happen only on a couple of other occasions, for the same reason.
Never been upgraded on a VA partner.
 

Muppet501st

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Being gold a regularly get rows 4-7. What I find increasingly frustrating is the amount of non status PAX in these rows. Im fine without a free upgrade but find when traveling with other status PAX they are organised and efficient and do things with a minimum amount of fuss. I had a sector on Wednesday where 2 PAX were sitting next to me in row 4 who proceeded to put the tray table down prior to take off and the look of surprise clearly when the FA told them to raise it clearly showed they don't travel often.

I would be happy if VA stopped this rather than the odd free upgrade.

Agree with you, that they could fill up the back of the bus first.
 

Muppet501st

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Also 2 weeks ago, CNS-BNE, I used my last free upgrade to J. Just before the cabin door closed, an elderly lady boarded and was chatting with the FA. She then sat down next to me 1D and smiled and said, gotta love a free upgrade. I saw her bp and she was a WP.
I also turned around to see who was lucky enough to now have my 3A, and it was a pilot. So now part of me thinks I wasted my last upgrade, when I may have a pretty good chance of scoring it for free.
 

Gredgy69

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I was Platinum for 2 years then Gold for 2 years now currently Silver as I haven't done much flying lately. Have never had a free upgrade.
 

Ausbt

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I've received three over about the past 2 years, as a WP. First was MEL-SYD. Then I had a BNE-SYD, but didn't get catering. But the real prize was a SYD-AUH. I was on a Flexi PE ticket and scored J (old fitout).
 

lm118

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Not a whole lot of international travel, but in 2015 when I was Gold:
- LAX-BNE on VA, had upgraded from Flexi Y to PE with points already. New J boarding passes given for the 2 of us (both Gold) at the transfer desk. No reason given and I didn't ask!
- BNE-AUH on Etihad, booked in J and was told upon check in the flight was overbooked and I had been moved to F. No upgrade on the 2nd leg to LHR
- AUH-BNE on Etihad, also booked in J. Nothing said when checking in for first flight at ZRH. At the gate in AUH, red light. They just crossed out my existing seat number, handwrote an F cabin seat, and apologised for changing my seat!

All of those upgrades have come at peak travel times (school holidays) so overbooking must play a role.

Nothing this year as Plat.
 

davidsilver

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Aug 1, 2014
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I was flying MEL-BNE-AKL Christmas morning in 2014. Checked in at the lounge and gave the lounge angels some chocolates to share. 15 minutes later I was paged to the counter and was given a new boarding pass for 1A, that was as SG. Been WP since then and haven't received any upgrades
 

Marty_

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Hmm... Been WP for 12 months, but flying often 3x a week for most of the year and never received an upgrade.

All domestic mind you. My international travel is already booked in business class.
 
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This is a well timed thread, currently on my way back to Tullamarine on a SYD-MEL-SYD day trip for work with a colleague, we're both WP (he has been for a few years, I have just upgraded from gold) and he scored an upgrade at the gate on our flight down this morning, no call to the desk but got stopped at the boarding pass scanner and issued a new one.

I have been travelling semi-regularly for work for the last 18mths, usually in the company of a WP colleague and never seen that happen before.
 

deepblerg

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Never been gifted an upgrade as a WP on Virgin. Only time was when travelling on a QF ticket on a SIN to SYD BA operated flight, was upgraded to PE from Y.
 

PDog

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4th year of WP, never received a domestic upgrade. International travel is all in J.
 

frequentflyer

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Seems like no consistent trends with status and upgrades but does appear busy season may increase your chance due to over-booking
 

Meggsy

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Have been platinum with velocity since they introduced that level about 4 or 5 years back and was gold before that. Typically fly in Flexi fares. Never once received a free upgrade.
 

Lemon_Party

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VA WP 3 out of last 4 years. One domestic upgrade, flying MEL-BNE in xmas/new year holidays, travelling with non-status friend. Both op-up to J, red beep at check-in and new BP issued. Flight was rammed, assume overbooked. No other VA comp upgrades at all.

Flying in Jan this year on SQ, booked on SQ website with SQ flight codes, but VA ff card listed, me and non-status +1 bumped up from Y to J on the PER-SIN leg. Lounge Angel came over to us and asked if we'd be happy to move to business class and provided new boarding cards. We were travelling on flexi saver (W) tix.

4 - 7 years ago I was doing a few trips per year EK in Y and maintained silver for a few years. Had several op-ups to J both solo and travelling with +1. EK back then seemed to be keen on the op-ups, unsure if thats still the case.
 
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