Virgin complimentary business upgrade

cqtiger

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precovid you were able to do these upgrades as soon as you book the correct economy fare.
I have tried to do this on the past 3 flights and told by virgin the business seats haven’t been released yet and try within 24 hours prior to the flight. Did this then told try at the lounge By then either it’s sold or someone else has beaten me to it. Anyone had the same experience.
 

serfty

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I have always checked to see if a business award on the same flight is available before booking as these book into the same fare class as an upgrade.

Once the eticket is received I have called and the upgrade was successful.
 

henrus

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precovid you were able to do these upgrades as soon as you book the correct economy fare.
At the moment you need to book a Choice or Flex fare (noting that many Flex fares are a similar price to Business class). Come 1 November then you need to book a Flex fare.

I have tried to do this on the past 3 flights and told by virgin the business seats haven’t been released yet and try within 24 hours prior to the flight.
The UpgradeMe Platinum offer can be confirmed immediately (once the booking is complete and ticket issued) however there must be business class reward seats available on a flight for the upgrade to be confirmed instantly. The easiest way to figure this out is to search for a redemption award seat in business class on the same flight and see if there are any results.

You can't process these upgrades online so must call, currently the Velocity call centre is only open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.

Did this then told try at the lounge By then either it’s sold or someone else has beaten me to it. Anyone had the same experience.
As there is no waiting list for Platinum upgrades, these are space available on the day on a first in best dressed situation once airport check in opens. Noting that this is normally ~2hrs prior to the flight but at busier airports like Brisbane someone may have checked in many hours before their flight (or come from a connecting airport) and been successful with the upgrade well before you.

It's much less likely that the seats been sold but it's also possible that someone has bought a last minute ticket. A couple of weeks I purchased a domestic ticket about 1 hour prior to departure so anything is possible.
 

Jack_OC

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At the moment you need to book a Choice or Flex fare (noting that many Flex fares are a similar price to Business class).

This is a very important point. In fact, based on my experience today (trying to book flights for January), the Flex fares from MEL-SYD are exactly the same as the Business fares ($299 one way). That was the case on every flight I looked at. What's more, the discount code FSX46 knocks almost $30 off the Business fare but not the Flex fare, meaning the Business fare is actually cheaper!

For as long as this situation persists, the Platinum upgrade benefit is completely worthless. Even if you could make a small saving by booking a Flex fare and then getting the "free" upgrade, you would still only earn points and SCs at the Flex economy rate, plus you have the inconvenience and uncertainty of trying to find flights where the upgrade is likely to be available, and then having to phone up to book it. The Business fare actually allows more flexibility too (no fee if you cancel for a refund).

TBH, I'm not sure what the point of the Flex fare category in general is right now. I know Flex allows cancellation for a refund, but they still apply an $80 fee, plus you're paying a lot more to get that extra flexibility. As an example, there are multiple Choice fares available for $79 on the dates I'm looking at. If I book one of those fares, and I have to cancel, I will get a $79 credit. Even if I never used that credit, I would lose $79. Or I can pay $299 for a Flex fare, and lose $80 straight away if I want a cash refund. I really don't see why anyone would even consider choosing a Flex fare, unless nothing else was available.
 

jakeseven7

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This is a very important point. In fact, based on my experience today (trying to book flights for January), the Flex fares from MEL-SYD are exactly the same as the Business fares ($299 one way). That was the case on every flight I looked at. What's more, the discount code FSX46 knocks almost $30 off the Business fare but not the Flex fare, meaning the Business fare is actually cheaper!

For as long as this situation persists, the Platinum upgrade benefit is completely worthless. Even if you could make a small saving by booking a Flex fare and then getting the "free" upgrade, you would still only earn points and SCs at the Flex economy rate, plus you have the inconvenience and uncertainty of trying to find flights where the upgrade is likely to be available, and then having to phone up to book it. The Business fare actually allows more flexibility too (no fee if you cancel for a refund).

TBH, I'm not sure what the point of the Flex fare category in general is right now. I know Flex allows cancellation for a refund, but they still apply an $80 fee, plus you're paying a lot more to get that extra flexibility. As an example, there are multiple Choice fares available for $79 on the dates I'm looking at. If I book one of those fares, and I have to cancel, I will get a $79 credit. Even if I never used that credit, I would lose $79. Or I can pay $299 for a Flex fare, and lose $80 straight away if I want a cash refund. I really don't see why anyone would even consider choosing a Flex fare, unless nothing else was available.

Interesting thanks for sharing.

Perhaps VA2 will discard the upgrade program all together if it is actually not even valuable anymore.

They recently asked in a market research survey would people even care about their planes having any business class at all… so perhaps even considering bigger things… who knows…
 
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nathrek

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Yeah recent flights where I've tried to upgrade I've had no luck at all (PER > CNS) or only on the ROK > BNE leg and not the connecting BNE > PER leg where I actually wanted the business class.

Due to Covid issues I ended up cancelling that trip and rebooked different dates. The business fare was so cheap I just bought the business ticket outright.
 

wannabeinvestmentbanker

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This is a very important point. In fact, based on my experience today (trying to book flights for January), the Flex fares from MEL-SYD are exactly the same as the Business fares ($299 one way). That was the case on every flight I looked at. What's more, the discount code FSX46 knocks almost $30 off the Business fare but not the Flex fare, meaning the Business fare is actually cheaper!

For as long as this situation persists, the Platinum upgrade benefit is completely worthless. Even if you could make a small saving by booking a Flex fare and then getting the "free" upgrade, you would still only earn points and SCs at the Flex economy rate, plus you have the inconvenience and uncertainty of trying to find flights where the upgrade is likely to be available, and then having to phone up to book it. The Business fare actually allows more flexibility too (no fee if you cancel for a refund).

TBH, I'm not sure what the point of the Flex fare category in general is right now. I know Flex allows cancellation for a refund, but they still apply an $80 fee, plus you're paying a lot more to get that extra flexibility. As an example, there are multiple Choice fares available for $79 on the dates I'm looking at. If I book one of those fares, and I have to cancel, I will get a $79 credit. Even if I never used that credit, I would lose $79. Or I can pay $299 for a Flex fare, and lose $80 straight away if I want a cash refund. I really don't see why anyone would even consider choosing a Flex fare, unless nothing else was available.
All very valid points re the flex fare for those paying their own or leisure travellers. Once corporate travel returns the flex fare is very much back into play for the extra flexibilityand earn rate.
 

Vic

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TBH, I'm not sure what the point of the Flex fare category in general is right now. I know Flex allows cancellation for a refund, but they still apply an $80 fee, plus you're paying a lot more to get that extra flexibility. As an example, there are multiple Choice fares available for $79 on the dates I'm looking at. If I book one of those fares, and I have to cancel, I will get a $79 credit. Even if I never used that credit, I would lose $79. Or I can pay $299 for a Flex fare, and lose $80 straight away if I want a cash refund. I really don't see why anyone would even consider choosing a Flex fare, unless nothing else was available.
I'm not sure that's the case for Choice fares. The website says $80 fee to refund to travel bank.


I'm very glad the business fare refund conditions have been updated as I'm sitting on many thousands of travel bank dollars for cancelled business saver fares.

All due to booking a new set of flights for a 2 hour change in flight times, because the new flights were the same price and changing the original booking was going to cost more. Entirely my fault for not pre-checking the cancellation conditions. But pretty ordinary to not get a full refund for business (even at saver level)
 

HS-TQE

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Interesting thanks for sharing.

Perhaps VA2 will discard the upgrade program all together if it is actually not even valuable anymore.

They recently asked in a market research survey would people even care about their planes having any business class at all… so perhaps even considering bigger things… who knows…
It does make me wonder whether Deilotte should've just went with the Indigo Partners LCC mega-comglomerate if that is what they wanted. They are also cashed up.

Sure the transition and retraining of the pilots from the 738s to the A320neos over the next few years would've been costly but it would've likely been a CapEx they would be willing to risk.
 

Jack_OC

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I'm not sure that's the case for Choice fares. The website says $80 fee to refund to travel bank.

You may be right actually. If so, however, the booking page is very misleading. See below. It shows clearly that there is an $80 fee if a Flex fare is cancelled for a refund, but for both Choice and Flex fares it just has a green tick beside "Cancel for a travel credit", with no mention of any fee with either fare class.

Anyway, this still wouldn't really change my view that the pricing of the Flex fares right now is bizarre - they are still in many cases the same price as Business, and ~3 times the price of Choice, when in reality the value of a Flex fare is far closer to a Choice fare than to Business.


1634000320913.png
 

Jack_OC

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All very valid points re the flex fare for those paying their own or leisure travellers. Once corporate travel returns the flex fare is very much back into play for the extra flexibilityand earn rate.

But the default now seems to be that Business is the same price as Flex, but Business includes more flexibility and better earn rate (as well as lounge access, better seat, free food & drink on board, etc). There is no reason why any kind of traveller, corporate or otherwise, would choose Flex over Business if they are the same price. The pricing just doesn't make any sense at the moment.
 

Vic

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You may be right actually. If so, however, the booking page is very misleading. See below. It shows clearly that there is an $80 fee if a Flex fare is cancelled for a refund, but for both Choice and Flex fares it just has a green tick beside "Cancel for a travel credit", with no mention of any fee with either fare class.

Anyway, this still wouldn't really change my view that the pricing of the Flex fares right now is bizarre - they are still in many cases the same price as Business, and ~3 times the price of Choice, when in reality the value of a Flex fare is far closer to a Choice fare than to Business.


View attachment 261899
Probably just need to dig into the footnotes abit.

1634001384626.png

I certainly agree about the flex pricing hence I always buy business for personal flights, at the moment.

But the default now seems to be that Business is the same price as Flex, but Business includes more flexibility and better earn rate (as well as lounge access, better seat, free food & drink on board, etc). There is no reason why any kind of traveller, corporate or otherwise, would choose Flex over Business if they are the same price. The pricing just doesn't make any sense at the moment.

The only caveat is that many, most, corporate travel bans business class regardless of price.

I've had the experience of requesting reimbursement of the same day economy airfare price, on a business class flight. CEO refused to approve payment simply because it was a business class fare, regardless of the request value being transparently economy.
 

Jack_OC

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Probably just need to dig into the footnotes abit.



I certainly agree about the flex pricing hence I always buy business for personal flights, at the moment.



The only caveat is that many, most, corporate travel bans business class regardless of price.

I've had the experience of requesting reimbursement of the same day economy airfare price, on a business class flight. CEO refused to approve payment simply because it was a business class fare, regardless of the request value being transparently economy.

Yeah, I can see that the fine print states there is an $80 fee. I still think the table comparing fare types (which is displayed when booking) is misleading though. As far as I can tell, in all other cases they use the tick icon to denote inclusions at no extra cost, and the $ icon to show when an additional fee is payable. I think it's probably a mistake TBH. It actually does them a disservice in a way, as it makes the Flex fare look like even worse value!

Interesting comment about companies refusing to pay for business in any circumstances!
 

Vic

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Interesting comment about companies refusing to pay for business in any circumstances!
Might have been that CEO, apparently he was a bit put out they wouldn't pay for business class for him...
 

MartyKM

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On the 4 Platinum upgrade passes, I've never been able to use them in the years I've been Platinum, and consider them a marketing gimmick. I travel mostly on VA for work in whatever economy fare is booked by the agent. Hence it's never the right fare class. I'd rather 1 or 2 genuine upgrade passes than 4 fake ones.
 

jase05

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On the 4 Platinum upgrade passes, I've never been able to use them in the years I've been Platinum, and consider them a marketing gimmick. I travel mostly on VA for work in whatever economy fare is booked by the agent. Hence it's never the right fare class. I'd rather 1 or 2 genuine upgrade passes than 4 fake ones.
Can currently use them on Choice fare
 

Harthagan

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Called up velocity to try and use my 4 upgrades for myself and my partner for a trip to cairns but was told I only have 2 available to use. This is despite having never used the benefit before.

Naturally I asked why I don't have my full allotment of 4 and I was told that due to my platinum membership being extended for 8 months I was only credited with 2 upgrades
 
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