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So no Reward seats = no upgrade availability - flights to/from LAX?

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Jurahn

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Hubby and I are planning to head to the US next year, departing on February 17 or 18 and returning March 8 or 9. We were looking at buying Y+ Saver and then upgrading with points to J in both directions and I seem to recall others mentioning that if there are J reward seats available, then there's upgrade availability? It doesn't matter to us whether we go out via BNE, SYD or MEL so did a reward seat search for the dates we need and came up with no reward seats available at all in ANY class for a week around each date. So does that mean we're completely out of luck as far as upgrades go for these flights, even this far ahead? Hugely disappointed if that's the case. Or will more reward seats/upgrade availability be released? Have never done a long-haul upgrade before and was hoping to make the most of my new Platinum status to upgrade and maybe even get the hallowed Row 5 LOL.
 

markis10

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More reward seats can be released closer to the date, setting up an alert in something like expert flyer can pay for itself the moment they are released.
 
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Jurahn

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More reward seats can be released closer to the date, setting up an alert in something like expert flyer can pay for itself the moment they are released.
Thanks for that Markis10 - I've never used Expert Flyer, so I guess it's about time I learned! Have had a quick look at the website, and assume (after joining up and paying for membership of course) I would need to set up "Flight Alerts" - is that correct?

ETA: And here's the "how long's a piece of string question" - does anyone know whether BNE/SYD/MEL are all much of a muchness when it comes to reward/upgrade availability and loadings to/from LAX, or is one more likely to have availability open up than another?
 
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bullerdude

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Its all much of a muchness - also the chance of 2x business class seats being released as reward seats on the flights you purchase are pretty slim :-/
 

markis10

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How about HKG-SYD the night of 2nd August on QF? Am already booked in Y and applied for a points upgrade (2 seats). Can anyone with expert flyer rate my chances?
There is a flight search assistance thread for this sort of request, and you don't need expertflyer to see seat buckets, flight stats will give you that.
 

williamsf1

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I can see one seat available in business on the 17th SYD LAX ..... could be a chance to get some sleep alone ;-) .. There are however 3 showing on the 18th
 

Jurahn

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I can see one seat available in business on the 17th SYD LAX ..... could be a chance to get some sleep alone ;-) .. There are however 3 showing on the 18th
My life wouldn't be worth living if I took the seat on the 17th LOL. Thanks for the heads up re the 18th - there was nothing showing at all for that date yesterday, so they must have just been released. Will have to chase up hubby, he's had to reconfirm his leave dates with his boss because of changes to his department at work, so can't pull the trigger on booking until he finalises that!
 

VMC73

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Have you rung the plat line? I always find it amazing what can be done over the phone (if you get the right person) that cannot be done online. I have been able to book 4 J reward flights Easter for the last 3 years, not had so much luck upgrading with points though, good luck!
 

Jurahn

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Have you rung the plat line? I always find it amazing what can be done over the phone (if you get the right person) that cannot be done online. I have been able to book 4 J reward flights Easter for the last 3 years, not had so much luck upgrading with points though, good luck!
No, haven't had a chance to ring the Plat line yet, will probably do that tomorrow so as I can have time to sit down and go through everything properly rather than trying to have a rushed phone conversation at work!
 

pythonisman

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One thing worth noting (I recently did the Flexi Y to J points upgrade) is that as Flexi Y is the same amount of points as discount W, and as it's a confirmed / instant upgrade process, you'll probably save some $$ by booking a flexi Y fare over a PE fare.
You earn slightly less Status Credits, but to me the extra 40SC either way wasn't worth the ~$900 extra it was going to cost.

Good luck with your flights!
 

bobe

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I put in a points upgrade in last July for a flight MAY gone for Syd-lax one way , I was in touch with flight search right up till 6hours before the flight and it should up 3 seats, got to Syd from Perth and at checkin NO seats, was really disappointed,never mind that's the breaks eh!
 

Rdarby

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Keep checking online. There have been no seats for August for months, then this morning bam, once comes up so I snaffled it. And in the discussion with the Plat line I know that not all seats are sold for my day, which means they could release more as they get closer. Keep trying, you may be lucky, but you may need to check every morning over your cup of coffee!
 

cssaus

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More reward seats can be released closer to the date, setting up an alert in something like expert flyer can pay for itself the moment they are released.
I'm not sure that expert flyer supports reward/upgrades for VA but you can see seat availability.
 

stux

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Keep checking online. There have been no seats for August for months, then this morning bam, once comes up so I snaffled it. And in the discussion with the Plat line I know that not all seats are sold for my day, which means they could release more as they get closer. Keep trying, you may be lucky, but you may need to check every morning over your cup of coffee!
I've been looking at hypothetical dates to see how often they open up reward availability. It seems like they certainly tend to appear more often as the date approaches...

Does anyone know if there is a certain time of day when the reward seats are released? Or perhaps relative to departure time?
 

Jurahn

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One thing worth noting (I recently did the Flexi Y to J points upgrade) is that as Flexi Y is the same amount of points as discount W, and as it's a confirmed / instant upgrade process, you'll probably save some $$ by booking a flexi Y fare over a PE fare.
You earn slightly less Status Credits, but to me the extra 40SC either way wasn't worth the ~$900 extra it was going to cost.

Good luck with your flights!
The main reason for booking PE for us isn't only the SCs, it's to ensure that if we can't get an upgrade to J, we're still travelling in PE which makes the trip a LOT more bearable for us. After doing a couple of horrendous flights to/from in Economy (with Emirates), we swore we'd never do long-haul economy again if we could possibly avoid it!
 

Jurahn

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Thanks for the replies and the helpful advice everyone. As suggested, I've been checking the reward seats over the past few days and was surprised to see a date that was showing "only 1 seat left" in J suddenly have that message disappear but there was still availability. They must have released more reward seats because I rang the Platinum line to check and they said there was "plenty" of reward/upgrade availability for that date.

So I'm delighted to say I've now booked and have been able to upgrade PER-SYD, SYD-LAX and SYD-PER (able to use my remaining 2 complimentary upgrades for one of the domestic legs), thanks to the assistance of a delightful young lady (Keira) at the Plat call centre. No reward/upgrade availability for LAX-SYD at the moment, but if I keep checking, hopefully my luck will be in and I'll be able to upgrade that one too. :D
 
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cssaus

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Had been looking for the past couple of weeks for award availability for May 2 to purchase a PE ticket to LAS & upgrade to Business the LAX sector but nothing available.

Noticed this morning there were award seats available so I jumped on, booked my return PE ticket, called the Velocity Platinum line and got the upgrade. Now all that I need to do is get the return LAX-SYD sector upgraded as there's nothing yet available. Will be a case of keep on checking.
 

Jurahn

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Now all that I need to do is get the return LAX-SYD sector upgraded as there's nothing yet available. Will be a case of keep on checking.
Yes, that certainly seems to be the case seeing as both you and I have had the same experience with seats suddenly becoming available - keep checking, checking, checking ... and then get straight on that Platinum line! Fingers crossed that availability on the LAX-SYD sector pops up for both of us :)
 

Denali

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The main reason for booking PE for us isn't only the SCs, it's to ensure that if we can't get an upgrade to J, we're still travelling in PE which makes the trip a LOT more bearable for us. After doing a couple of horrendous flights to/from in Economy (with Emirates), we swore we'd never do long-haul economy again if we could possibly avoid it!

This is what I did recently, worse case scenario Im ok with PE and was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable our flight was.
 
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