Long-Haul UpgradeMe Points

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bwhouse

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Hi all,

Just wondering if people have had much luck with securing long-haul upgrades using points. I am looking at a one-way flight from FCO-SYD in October and thinking about buying a flexi fare and requesting an upgrade to business. I have a few questions that I was hoping someone who has tried long-haul upgrades may know the answer too.


1. Do these clear straight away or is it similar to upgrade me premuim bid that only clear 24 hours before hand, I noticed it said you need to call the contact center. So can you contact them and shuffle the flight until they find one with upgrade availability?
2. I assume based on what I can see in the T&Cs that it needs to be VA metal with a VA flight number so no upgrading on EY metal even if it has a VA flight number?

Cheers,
Ben
 

Mattg

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To upgrade on long-haul VA flights, I believe it does need to be VA metal and flight number. This means it would only be possible to upgrade on the AUH-SYD flight. You will also need to be a Gold or Platinum Velocity member, and be booked on a Flexi fare (as you said you were planning to do).

Provided all of that criteria is met, the upgrade can be confirmed immediately if a reward seat in Business is available at the time. This can easily be checked on the Velocity website.
 

bwhouse

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To upgrade on long-haul VA flights, I believe it does need to be VA metal and flight number. This means it would only be possible to upgrade on the AUH-SYD flight. You will also need to be a Gold or Platinum Velocity member, and be booked on a Flexi fare (as you said you were planning to do).

Provided all of that criteria is met, the upgrade can be confirmed immediately if a reward seat in Business is available at the time. This can easily be checked on the Velocity website.

Thanks Matt. I thought I had read somewhere that the upgrade fares where a different fare class to the award fares for long-haul VA flights, I must be mistaken. Will have to come up with a different plan as there is no award availability currently available.
 

Ausbt

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Check the PE Saver fares as well, if available. If these are same price as Flexi Y, you'll earn more SCs and points and have the same 45K point upgrade cost on SYD-AUH or SYD-LAX. Make sure you ring VA to check availability of course.
 

bwhouse

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Check the PE Saver fares as well, if available. If these are same price as Flexi Y, you'll earn more SCs and points and have the same 45K point upgrade cost on SYD-AUH or SYD-LAX. Make sure you ring VA to check availability of course.

Thanks for the tip Ausbt.
 

clipped_wings

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Thanks Matt. I thought I had read somewhere that the upgrade fares where a different fare class to the award fares for long-haul VA flights, I must be mistaken. Will have to come up with a different plan as there is no award availability currently available.

Hi bwhouse, we just upgraded LAX-SYD from paid PE to J with 45,000 velocity points per passenger. We had to move our itinerary to the next night's departure, as our original return flight disappeared off the inventory, so we figured there was no use chasing it. I knew reward seats were free for the next day, so I called up Velocity first to confirm the reward seats were available - then I asked them to stay on the line while I manually amended our flights. They then upgraded us and took the points within 24 hours. It cost me the fare difference, but I am so relieved that we upgraded. Only downside is, as a result of modifying our itinerary, I am now locked out of changing anything else. Make sure they don't put you in row 8, which is where they put us first. I had to call back and move us after hearing some bad reports on row 8.

The rewards seats vanished again after we upgraded, so must have only been 2 seats left. Lucky me :)
 

clipped_wings

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I should clarify that, the fare difference was because the PE price had increased and I had to cover that before upgrading.
 

bwhouse

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I should clarify that, the fare difference was because the PE price had increased and I had to cover that before upgrading.

Thanks for the update clipped_wings. Unfortunatley for me still no reward availability on the flights we are looking at. Which is made more complicated by the fact that we are coming back from Europe so limited flights on actual VA metal from AUH.

I am hopping that Etihad will release award space closer to depature and then I will just book normal award tickets the whole way through. Otherwise it's going to be a long flight back home.
 
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