Is International Virgin Reward availability now worse that QANTAS?

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pauly7

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With the email suggesting ways to vote for the Freddies i thought there may have been an influx "how to vote rewards seats" but i guess not :(

Aaah the infamous annual Freddie’s drive! Gotta love Velocity marketing team screeching millions of emails of spam at us for weeks to get us to vote for their coughpy FF scheme so they can put it on a few billboards saying they are the best....

Dear VElocity team - spend the money wasted on your stupid begging for vote EDMs on making more seats available / then perhaps AFF members will vote for you ;)
 

bwhouse

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No. You can only get seats for LAX in J only a few days before departure. Otherwise nope.

They do exist, I have been lucky a few times and if you keep checking they can come up. I have seen multiple times seats pop up at around the 6 month out mark. I suspect that with the influx of crazy sign-on bonuses over the last few years lots of people are jumping on the award seat bandwagon.
 

cliche_flying_kiwi

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I have just hit Gold and have just started planning my honeymoon to the States for March next year. We have a healthy stash of points, but obviously reward availability is quite low.

Our back up plan was to purchase a freedom fare and use Upgrademe points to get business seats, but having finally gotten around to reading the UpgradeMe points section properly on the Virgin website, are seats purchased with Upgrademe points treated the same as ordinary business rewards seats (i.e. subject to the same scant availability?)
 

cliche_flying_kiwi

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Yes ... Upgrade me points need Z class to be available, as do business rewards.
Makes sense.

There does appear to be some availability (as said by others recently) for a couple of days out, so I guess our new plan of attack will be to purchase the freedom fare, which enables changes and cancellations, and either hopefully have rewards seat pop on the flight we booked or if they appear for a different flight a day or two either side change our itinerary accordingly.
 

coyote25

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Okay I have question about velocity redemption and didn’t want to open a new thread. I’m getting close to booking my first business class redemption with either Singapore or Etihad but on the website it is coming up as no checked luggage or lounge access.

Is this right? And if right why would a business class ticket exclude these services?
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darraghk

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It seems clear that they now prefer a cash upgrade bid to allowing points upgrades. I have a PE trip coming up and been checking for months for a Z class fare and there is none.
 

BRIS_VA_HAWK

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It seems clear that they now prefer a cash upgrade bid to allowing points upgrades. I have a PE trip coming up and been checking for months for a Z class fare and there is none.
Same here. Picked up a pair of PE seats to LAX in the February 30% promotion for the end of July, but returning there was only Y available. Have had quite a few sympathetic VA call centre staffers says call back closer to the date...here's hoping.
FWIW J reward seats seem to come online within <7 days of travel - first in, best dressed?
 

darraghk

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I am waitlisted for a points upgrade, not sure if they assign Z rewards to those waitlisted before making them public.
I am 6 days out from departure and have some expert flyer alerts, no Z released yet and it's at about 50% capacity.
 

darraghk

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A flight appeared 5 days out EF to the rescue called up this morning and snagged it.
I had been waitlisted for an upgrade, it's strange that waitlisted upgrades don't grab this inventory automatically.
 

jsm2090

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A flight appeared 5 days out EF to the rescue called up this morning and snagged it.
I had been waitlisted for an upgrade, it's strange that waitlisted upgrades don't grab this inventory automatically.

Same situation for VA2 returning on 14/5. Was waitlisted and nothing. Had to manually check reward saver seats and then anxiously wait for the call centre to open! o_O VA doesn't seem to understand how a waitlist works. They're great at putting people on the waitlist, but there's no way to leave!
 

darraghk

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Same situation for VA2 returning on 14/5. Was waitlisted and nothing. Had to manually check reward saver seats and then anxiously wait for the call centre to open! o_O VA doesn't seem to understand how a waitlist works. They're great at putting people on the waitlist, but there's no way to leave!

Yes and a non FF can pick up the reward seats right ahead of a waitlisted gold/platinum? Expert flyer worked perfectly for me, the seats were released overnight and I just called when I saw the seat alert email.
 

Edge

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Same situation for VA2 returning on 14/5. Was waitlisted and nothing. Had to manually check reward saver seats and then anxiously wait for the call centre to open! o_O VA doesn't seem to understand how a waitlist works. They're great at putting people on the waitlist, but there's no way to leave!

Agreed - this happened to me back in March. Wait-listed as a WP but I didn't automatically get the upgrade. Had the expertflyer alert set so immediately logged on and did it manually.
 

smil3087

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Jan 23, 2015
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Just wanted to share my recent experience.
My original booking was in Premium Economy, VA7 BNE-LAX then VA2 LAX-SYD. Was waitlisted for upgrade on both flights.
I just happened to notice that there were business reward seats available on VA8 LAX-BNE for my return, so I contacted the call centre to arrange the swap (waived the call centre fee, just had to pay a small fare price difference of maybe $100)
Then, about 6 days prior to departure, my VA7 waitlist came through! So for the first time in my VA experience I managed to fly business both ways.
It seems that reward availability BNE-LAX is much better than SYD-LAX. The cabin was full both ways, and every other person I spoke to in the bar was on a reward seat.

(FYI I had expert flyer notifications set, but interestingly never received any notification of reward availability. This suggested they were allocating to the waitlist rather that releasing to the public, which is at odds with some of the recent experiences described on this thread...)
 
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