Reward seat release timing for Upcoming Flight?


Established Member
Jun 27, 2011
LT Gold
Folks, any idea when VA release reward seats to VFF?
I have a Flex Y booking I’m due to fly tomorrow and on both legs there are still 7 J seats for sale (and have been for a week), yet no classic reward is available. I still have UpgradeMe Plat offers to use and this would be a perfect opportunity!
The seats are just for cash sale or 300K points (any seat award pricing - or whatever the VFF term is..).
Surely they’ll open them up at some stage???
Guess I’ll answer my own question here and note that VA did release at least one J seat. 👍
And I have applied a Platinum UpgradeMe offer against it so will be doing a PER red-eye in J rather than EconX. 👍👍 Lie flat would be better but we can’t have everything.

Timeline for posterity (noting flight is this evening)
- a week ago, flex Y ticket booked. Eight J seats for sale. Nil J rewards seats available on VFF.
- approx 4 days ago, 7 J seats for sale, still nil J rewards.
- at some point yesterday another J seat gone from the bucket.
- at ~T-24 (last night before going to sleep) there were 6 J seats for sale and nil J rewards.
- at T-15 (when I remembered to check this morning) there was 1 J reward seat available which I took via Plat UpgradeMe instrument. I say there was one left because the flights available page showed “1 left at this price 🔥” with the J reward seat pricing.
- interestingly, just now about T-7, the page is showing TWO J reward seats available (at the reward price). So they’ve released more.

If I remember, I’ll report back how full the cabin is at departure.
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J cabin went out with three empty seats.

When they were still trying to sell all eight seats, a week out from the flight, that suggests to me they’re being overly stingy with VFF J releases. There were plenty of Y reward seat options noted at the various times I was looking.
From my experience, there does not seem to be a 'usual' way of doing this - I noticed differences depending on day of the week, time of the day and even the route. I recall reading something about a dynamic pricing system being used from one of their suppliers a couple of years back that no doubt uses 'sophisticated algorithms' to theoretically maximise sales but like any algorithm, doesn't always get it 100% right.

The best I could do was my last trip a couple of weeks ago - I noted for a couple of days prior that any remaining J inventory was thrown for that particular route (PER-BNE) to reward at T-5 so a call was made to the call centre at that exact moment. But the same couldn't be said for other PER-based transcontinental routes or even triangle routes at the same time (didn't bother to check anything else). Some things had better and some had worse reward inventory.

I did note that sometimes it will say "1 left at this price" which will change to "2 left at this price" when you change the number of passengers, but I think that may have been for the Any Seat tickets.

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