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how far ahead do you know how full a flight will be?

traceyy

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time is quickly rolling up on our big holiday eta 4 weeks out. we are flying bus and my 15 year old is in economy as she was a late add on. just wanting to know when the best time to gauge the flight load, i understand things can fill up last minute but when do you get a fair idea of how busy it will be, is the VA flight to la
 

Saab34

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VA are about 90% full to LA at the moment. December is very busy, 93% full last year.

Off season can be pretty empty down the back and a few weeks out it’s fairly stable. My last PE flight in off season was 4 seats selected in the whole PE Cabin a month out, this didn’t change until departing and 4 people occupied the cabin. Last time I flew in December, the entire seat map filled up in the last fortnight very fast. Biz is all over the shop so many factors into play very hard to judge it.
 

DC3

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Are you wanting to upgrade your daughter to business? I would expect flights in December to be full.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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I am not a member of Expertflyer, but some on here are, you can pay a monthly fee, not much, or an annual fee.
From that website, it can be gauged how many seats are empty, but only the airline, in your case, VA will know for cert, how full their flights are.
Without an employee access, it will be impossible to say for sure, how full or how empty a flight might be.
One tip, is to go to the VA website, and see how many seats are available, have a look at how many Getaway or Elevate fares (domestic there are), or how many seats for an international flights seats there are, (I don't know the breakdown of the fareclasses), ...
There are 2 subclass of J business on VA int sectors, to watch out for (if you are thinking of trying an upgrade request for the daughter), by points or bids.
Sometimes, if there are seats in J/subclass of it, VA will allow you to cash bid.
Go to her VFF (daughter's), and put in that you will be interested in putting in a bid.
If VA's system sends an email, then you can put in a bid, using $$$, but you have to first put in a bid request, then they will send that email.
I have used cash bids on VAd sectors, not used points, I think I paid about $399 on a bid offer, on top of the normal fare, VA PER - MEL a few years ago now.
 

traceyy

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i just got an expert flyer subscription, as will be doing a bunch of internal flights as well and are coming back to melb from nyc via bris so figured it would be good to keep an eye on, flights seem fairly full but bus is not very full at all either way. in regards to daughter i was going to upgrade her to economy x at a minimum, feel a bit weird leaving her down the back crammed in with strangers lol. is she allowed to come and see us up front if there are any issues?
 

DC3

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I am not a member of Expertflyer, but some on here are, you can pay a monthly fee, not much, or an annual fee.
From that website, it can be gauged how many seats are empty, but only the airline, in your case, VA will know for cert, how full their flights are.
Without an employee access, it will be impossible to say for sure, how full or how empty a flight might be ..
Just be aware that EF will show available/occupied/blocked seats in each cabin. There are passengers, who for all sorts of reasons, have not as yet been allocated a seat.
 
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Matt_01

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as @DC3 mentions when using EF the seat map is only a guide also look at check flight availability, this will give you an indication of fare buckets available. Note there may be no availability in the upgrade buckets but closer to the day of travel all of this seems to change based on who has put in for "bit upgrade" and straight out points upgrades.
 

traceyy

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Just be aware that EF will show available/occupied/blocked seats in each cabin. There are passengers, who for all sorts of reasons, have not as yet been allocated a seat.
i just went to choose her seat for the trip back (thought i had already) and all that is left except in econ x is middle seats....def not happy with that! what are the chances we will get an aisle or window at the airport or shall i just bite the bullet and buy the upgrade, ouch is the amount of points for that considering we got bus upgrades for 45k and they want 31 for econ x thats a rort.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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If there is J/subclass of J, go for it.
Bad of me to say, but for a middle seat, even in econX, esp for a 15 year old female, what with man spread, or people hogging the arm rest, go for the upgrade, points or $ if offered.
EconX does not give any space abreast wise, only with more legroom.
I am a male, and travel alone, and am shocked at the gall of people to spread their legs wide, into my leg room space, or hog the arm rest, or dare to "migrate" into my zone.
I have to squeeze into the window frame, so to speak, because someone in row B or E gets onto my space.
I always pick econX with VA, or buy a comfort seat booking.
VA tends to pack into sardine class, have had short ADL - MEL or vv where I have the row to myself, but BNE/SYD/PER - ADL, or vv, always chockers.
Where from/where to?
A330/B777/B737?
 

Matt_01

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I am a male, and travel alone, and am shocked at the gall of people to spread their legs wide, into my leg room space, or hog the arm rest, or dare to "migrate" into my zone.
I also get bothered by the PAX who just do not fit into a Y seat and spread into your space be it over or under the armrest.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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I also get bothered by the PAX who just do not fit into a Y seat and spread into your space be it over or under the armrest.
Now, under the armrest.
Wow, never had that one before.
And if we dare to say anything, they would say its discriminatory of us!
I am large a bit, but I would never manspread, or hog armrest, (over or under, heh heh, at that).
 

DC3

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i just went to choose her seat for the trip back (thought i had already) and all that is left except in econ x is middle seats....def not happy with that! what are the chances we will get an aisle or window at the airport .....
No-one can say about the chances of aisle/window opening up. I realise that your daughter travelling was an ‘after-thought’, and that seat allocation was somehow over-looked, but with these things it pays to book based on the minimum that you are prepared to accept. Anything better will be a bonus.

As Matt_01 has mentioned, seats will open up nearer the departure date, based on upgrades being processed Y>PE>J.
 
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clipped_wings

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In 2017, we did a trip SYD-LAX with 4 reasonably grown children. Economy X on the outbound sector - I managed to move us around so that there were 2 of us in 3 rows ie; a ghost in the middle seat. Perfect!

Two of them returned home earlier than us, and I made sure they enjoyed YX, albeit with a stranger occupying the aisle row.

We decided to spring for YX on the way home, 2 weeks later, but by then - there were only middle rows available. Big mistake. Huuuuuge.

Horrible trip home. We were separated due to the lack of availability and youngest son & I got stranded in the middle row with a bulkhead.

Moral of this story?

If you have the chance to do something NOW - do it. Don't wait. Unless you are prepared to cop the seating arrangement at check-in, I would recommend you secure your place now.

PS - there is no way FA's will let your daughter visit you in Business. If that was the case - every parent in the history of the world would be buying J seats for themselves and letting their kids glom it in economy.
 

Matt_01

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Now, under the armrest.
It has only a couple of occasions on a VA 373 in R4 and R5, the pax in B had to get into place with the armrests up, add the seat belt extension, then had to push them down into place and after some final re-adjustments to get comfortable I sat back down. It was only a short flight but not comfortable.

Other PAX clothes/ skin making contact with mine during a flight is not something I look forward to.

Edit. It has also happened on QF.
 

clipped_wings

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It has only a couple of occasions on a VA 373 in R4 and R5, the pax in B had to get into place with the armrests up, add the seat belt extension, then had to push them down into place after some final re-adjustments to get comfortable I sat back down. It was only a short flight but not comfortable.

Other PAX clothes skin making contact with mine during a flight is not something I look forward to.

Edit. It has also happened on QF.
If there was a "what the?" emoticon - I would have used it for the first time.
 

DC3

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... the pax in B had to get into place with the armrests up, add the seat belt extension, then had to push them down into place and after some final re-adjustments to get comfortable ...
The dreaded POS trying to squeeze into a Y seat. 😉
 

Matt_01

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We could start a whole new thread on this topic but as @AustraliaPoochie stated "And if we dare to say anything, they would say its discriminatory of us!"

I have also had occasion to sit next to PAX in Dom J that have not been included in the meal service as the mechanics of the try table and their physical size did not work.
 

traceyy

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oh lord lol, ok so i just done a minimum upgrade bid for prem economy but there is like 2 seats left so chance are probably a big fat no lol, my best bet at this stage is to just pay and get economy x and guarantee the seat she wants. where is best for her to sit, i dont think she has thought either about the fact if she needs to go to the bathroom she has to squeeze past 2 others to get out and shes very shy, but she prefers window seat, what about bulkhead? is there more room to get in and out or just stick with an aisle? least window she can lean in to the side and try and sleep
 

DC3

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… dont think she has thought either about the fact if she needs to go to the bathroom she has to squeeze past 2 others to get out and shes very shy, but she prefers window seat, what about bulkhead? is there more room to get in and out or just stick with an aisle? least window she can lean in to the side and try and sleep
Let's see.

Bulkhead = no-one reclines into her. May be some loss of leg room but that shouldn't bother most children.

Aisle = no-one for her to push past but someone may need to push past her.

Window = aisle access issue? If a night flight, nothing to really see out of the window.
 

Matt_01

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I have only flown PE once and it was with SQ and will not do it again, bulkhead seating was better as no one reclines into your space. As you have an EF subscription set up a seat alert also it may be worth looking at seat reviews on Seat Guru
 
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