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Virgin Australia Light Fare Class

Thibault

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Sep 30, 2018
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Hi all,

Hope you are all well.

I was checking VA website and I found a new fare class : Lite.

It seems to be a cheaper version of a Gateway fares.
I have only been able to see and reproduce it on flights to Asia with Hong Kong service and further on Hong Kong Airlines. Virgin Australia Lite.PNG VA HKG.PNG

Is it new ?
I dont know if we would still be entitled to Elite benefit and how partner status would be recognized.
It still books into S Class.

EDIT
I have found that the website has been updated

It says it books in M Class however to TPE it books in S Class.
Looks like we can still use elite benefits.
Very strict fare - only to buy if your plans will not change.

Okay, it has been announced today :

 
Last edited:

klm597

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And so it begins.....

If they are only introducing this on the long haul flights to HKG/HND/LAX then this doesn't seem like the end of the world.

No difference on-board and I doubt many travelers check more than one piece of luggage anyway. The only major differences are fewer mileage accrual, no advance seat selection (Qantas doesn't offer this on their base international fares anyway for non-elites), no access to UpgradeMe bids, and zero ability to change.

The questions I have are what are the status credit earns and do elites have free advanced seat selection.

Reeeeeaaaaalllyyyy hoping this isn't a trend they might bring to domestic. I could see economy light fares on domestic routes alienating a lot of "full service" people who will jump back to Qantas at the first opportunity.

1579756823940.png
 

ozstamps

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How cheap were they? OP does not have a price showing.

Wonder how cheap LAX will get?
 

klm597

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And would you look at that the SC earn tables have also been updated.

I think there is a typo in one of the book-by dates as they conflict one another but ignoring that, it looks like they've split the SC earn for Getaway and Elevate (GOOD :) ) so Elevate fares earn a little more, and the new Light fares earn a little less. Nothing hugely groundbreaking.

1579757597655.png

How cheap were they? OP does not have a price showing.
Seems like they are still rolling out prices. Best-case scenario all the sub-$600 HKG/HND and sub-$1000 LAX fares that we have been seeing more and more recently from all players will become Light rather than Getaway, but the average airfare prices remain Getaway. Worst case, it's the same as basic economy in the USA where they don't change the existing prices and it's just an excuse to bump up all economy fare classes.
 

ozstamps

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Wow, sub $1100 return all in to LAX from Perth! On the only May day I bothered to look.
 

klm597

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Hmmm, after a bit of research this definitely just seems like a way to bump up the price of the Getaway fares whilst also reducing overhead costs associated with the masses traveling on the cheapest Light fares. With international economy airfare prices continuing to slowly fall worldwide it's no surprise VA have done this, but still disappointing nonetheless.

1579759832497.png

I just went through a dummy booking when selecting a Light fare and it completely skips the seat selection page, even when logged in as a VA Gold. Can anyone else work out if VA elites get free seat selections on Light fares?

At least elites get a bigger luggage allowance with these Light fares. I'm surprised but happy to see most aspects of the website(s) updated with these new fares so quickly!!

1579759899077.png
 

ozstamps

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Surely Gold and Plats will still have the ability to at least do seating by phone?
 
Last edited:

eastwest101

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So this is basically an international med-long haul guaranteed middle seat down the back, lower SC point earn and non-points-upgradeable entry level fare to trick online fare aggregators?

As others have said, looks more like a sneaky attempt to try and improve yields on their Getaway fare classes. Yields and forward bookings to HGK and LAX must be absolute garbage at the moment...

Must also be some synergies with DL being able to offer this product in the US market?
 

henrus

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Jun 23, 2016
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do elites have free advanced seat selection
Can anyone else work out if VA elites get free seat selections on Light fares?
I ask VA this and got the response that seat selection becomes available at check in.

There was no mention of VA elites getting free seat selection so I think its a no. My question is do they mean airport check in or online check in.

If the latter then its not as bad as the US carriers who let you online check in but won't issue a seat assignment until you get to the airport.
 

doctau

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These are actually done as “dual RBD availability”, meaning there has to be inventory in both M and the S/T/Q Getaway booking class. They have said that the booking class of the segment is M (at least as far as a GDS is concerned) but what they act as for FF purposes I don’t know.

I work for an OTA and there was definitely some running around Wednesday afternoon when we heard about this, and unhappiness when told “no, we can’t load any into your PCC’s test environment” so we had to see if they worked properly when they went live to customers.
 
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However for a family of 4 , who are not elites and don't care much about the status credits or points , this will be a blessing in disguise as they will be able to save sweet $ 300-$400.

I guess they are not targetting the VFF elites with this fare but the passengers who are inclined to LCCs like AirAsia/JetStar flying to Asia.
 

doctau

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However for a family of 4 , who are not elites and don't care much about the status credits or points , this will be a blessing in disguise as they will be able to save sweet $ 300-$400.

I guess they are not targetting the VFF elites with this fare but the passengers who are inclined to LCCs like AirAsia/JetStar flying to Asia.
The majority of international leisure travelers (excluding maybe the likes of AFF members) also don’t often make changes to long haul flights either, so I don’t think too many of their target market will be concerned by not being able to do that.
 

Must...Fly!

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Rather sneaky way indeed to bump up the price of the standard getaway fare. Will also make it harder to use OTAs to book flights when the VA website says no, for reasons beyond explanation.

Watch this space, I can't see how this doesn't come to domestic. Though I really hope it does not.
 
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Watch this space, I can't see how this doesn't come to domestic. Though I really hope it does not.
Technically I might agree , however they can't introduce fares lower than/comparable to Tiger Air ... by doing this they are not going to increase their revenue just that rerouting from Tiger Air to VA.
 

jakeseven7

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Reeeeeaaaaalllyyyy hoping this isn't a trend they might bring to domestic. I could see economy light fares on domestic routes alienating a lot of "full service" people who will jump back to Qantas at the first opportunity.
I guess the question would be why would they bring it to domestic....?

1) To fight Jetstar? Wait... isn't Tiger supposed to do that....? ..... Unless Tiger has its neck on the chopping block.

2) To fight Qantas on BFOD? Qantas has superior frequency on business routes and cleverly picks up a lot of BFOD business by offering more flights with the lower fare buckets. BUT - most corporates will not book this light fare it is simply too restrictive. Infact our CONCUR booking tool already blocks ALL basic economy fares like this from ALL airlines from being booked at all.

So I'm not sure it has a place in domestic?
 

eastwest101

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However for a family of 4 , who are not elites and don't care much about the status credits or points , this will be a blessing in disguise as they will be able to save sweet $ 300-$400.

I guess they are not targetting the VFF elites with this fare but the passengers who are inclined to LCCs like AirAsia/JetStar flying to Asia.
I wonder if this family of 4 will be able to get seats together though. Stand by for some unhappy campers on Facebook.
 

jase05

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However for a family of 4 , who are not elites and don't care much about the status credits or points , this will be a blessing in disguise as they will be able to save sweet $ 300-$400.

I guess they are not targetting the VFF elites with this fare but the passengers who are inclined to LCCs like AirAsia/JetStar flying to Asia.
Yep, the new fares just happen to coincide with VA relaunching MEL-DPS in March.
I don’t think they are targeting the VA elite FF’s with these fares but instead the families/couples who would choose a LCC to get to Asia.
Would ideally suit someone like my youngest brother who takes his 2 kids to Bali a couple of times a year but currently flies with JQ or OD. The couple of hundred bucks he saves with these new fares may just be the difference especially if I gift him a Gold membership
 
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