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Why does VA sell J on flights without a J cabin?

Mattg

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I was just searching for SYD-CBR flights and noticed that VA is selling both Business Saver and Business tickets on the route, even though all of the flights on the day I was looking are operated by ATR72 aircraft with Economy-only seating.

It seems that if you do a regular search, Business class shows as "sold out". But if you enter a promo code or you're booking during Happy Hour, it shows Business class seats on all of the flights.

For example...

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 1.43.58 pm.png

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 1.44.15 pm.png

If you actually select one of the business class options, you get this warning message on the following page... but the website will still let you book at the business class price.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 1.44.36 pm.png

I wonder if you'd at least get lounge access and J status credits? :rolleyes:

Virgin, what gives?!
 

Saab34

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They have terrible and poor IT systems. That’s pretty much it.

ACCC might like that one. They seem to be targeting airlines quite a bit lately.
 

CPMaverick

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Status credits, lounge access, baggage allowance. There are some benefits of a J fare without the seat. Probably not many takers...

This is probably an IT issue but the fare buckets would exist so it could be booked in conjunction with a flight that does have J.
 

RooFlyer

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Sounds like Qantas international and their notorious 'i', only taking it to the max!
 

ozstamps

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LOTS of folks fly to and from CBR on official business etc and are entitled to Biz fares by employer etc.

Many are consultants and their client invoice adds a % on top of their real travel and hotel costs, so a higher ticket price works FOR them oddly.

Extra Points, SC, and lounge, and luggage, FLEXIBILITY, top re-protection during IRROPS, and early boarding benefits all come with buying it, and some travel bookers will simply book in Biz for them, as cost is not an object for many such folks.
 

muppet

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Status credits, lounge access, baggage allowance. ...
Are you sure?

I suspect that “Business Fare” books into expensive economy fare classes.

I doubt any of those benefits would apply in this case.

when someone books CBR-SYD-LAX in business for example, and the first leg is economy on an ATR, they don’t allow lounge access in CBR based on a J ticket. Why would they in this case?

See screenshot of available fare classes, none are business:
235635D8-F77E-45FC-AEEC-889F9D3F9DE8.jpeg
 
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CPMaverick

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when someone books CBR-SYD-LAX in business for example, and the first leg is economy on an ATR, they don’t allow lounge access in CBR based on a J ticket. Why would they in this case?
I guess I haven't tested it with VA, but i would be shocked if CBR lounge turned away a paid, same-day business class passenger with a J BP? Skyteam, Oneworld, and Star Alliance airlines only require a 'same-day' J boarding pass to access any lounge on their network. It doesn't matter if you are in J at that particular airport or not. In fact I have visited an AA lounge with a J BP for LAX departure even when I was flying BNA-LAX on Southwest!

VA's website simply says you need a J BP to access the lounge. It doesn't specifically say it needs to be departing from that airport.

If you could indeed book into a J fare from CBR, the BP would alow you access to the lounge, even if there is no J cabin. Based on what you show, maybe there is no J fare, so it wouldn't work... but if you could, it would.
 

Mattg

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If you could indeed book into a J fare from CBR, the BP would alow you access to the lounge, even if there is no J cabin. Based on what you show, maybe there is no J fare, so it wouldn't work... but if you could, it would.
The boarding pass would show "Economy" though, because that's where you're sitting. So I'd be surprised if you did even get lounge access.

I seem to recall another thread a few months ago where an AFFer was flying LST-MEL-CBR (or possibly it was HBA-MEL-CBR) in J and the MEL-CBR leg was in Y due to being on an ATR72. They were credited Economy status credits for that sector and had to fight to get J SCs.
 

muppet

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I guess I haven't tested it with VA, but i would be shocked if CBR lounge turned away a paid, same-day business class passenger with a J BP? Skyteam, Oneworld, and Star Alliance airlines only require a 'same-day' J boarding pass to access any lounge on their network. It doesn't matter if you are in J at that particular airport or not. In fact I have visited an AA lounge with a J BP for LAX departure even when I was flying BNA-LAX on Southwest!

VA's website simply says you need a J BP to access the lounge. It doesn't specifically say it needs to be departing from that airport.

If you could indeed book into a J fare from CBR, the BP would alow you access to the lounge, even if there is no J cabin. Based on what you show, maybe there is no J fare, so it wouldn't work... but if you could, it would.
But the boarding pass would say economy...

FYI - Qantas no longer honours the Oneworld rules, you must be travelling in Business on your "next onward flight" or some kind of language similar
 

Jurahn

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The boarding pass would show "Economy" though, because that's where you're sitting. So I'd be surprised if you did even get lounge access.

I seem to recall another thread a few months ago where an AFFer was flying LST-MEL-CBR (or possibly it was HBA-MEL-CBR) in J and the MEL-CBR leg was in Y due to being on an ATR72. They were credited Economy status credits for that sector and had to fight to get J SCs.
Yep, that was me. It was HBA-MEL-CBR return, and I booked J for all sectors mainly for the additional SCs as I was pooling outbound to Mr J to try to get him back over the line for Gold again this year, and the inbound to my account to try to get my way back to Gold as well - also for lounge access, additional luggage and priority boarding as I’d recently dropped back to Silver and the J fare was at a very good sale price. Here’s the thread with all the details: Booked Business Class on all Y flight, got Economy SCs

I’d say it’s quite likely there’s been plenty of people who have booked these flights as J but only received Y SCs, and haven’t realised (or didn’t check) simply because they didn’t know. You book J, you get J SCs, right? Not in this case. I did eventually get the other 30 SCs, but it was quite a hassle - not to mention the embarrassment of having to have a prolonged “but I’m entitled to lounge access” conversation in front of a host of curious onlookers at The Lounge, and being denied priority boarding as well for the MEL-CBR flight.
 
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clipped_wings

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The red disclaimer at the bottom of your sceenshot "due to unavailability - seating will be in economy..." is their get-out clause.

I see this often when searching International Premium redemptions with connecting domestic flights, where (obviously) Premium does not exist on any bird under a B777.
 

Jurahn

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The red disclaimer at the bottom of your sceenshot "due to unavailability - seating will be in economy..." is their get-out clause.
However the e-ticket for these flights - and the fare information when booking - shows Business fare class booked and paid for (in my case, D) so they can't use it as a get-out clause (well, they can always try, I suppose).
 

Mattg

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The red disclaimer at the bottom of your sceenshot "due to unavailability - seating will be in economy..." is their get-out clause.

I see this often when searching International Premium redemptions with connecting domestic flights, where (obviously) Premium does not exist on any bird under a B777.
Presumably though, there's at least 1 flight in the itinerary which does actually have Premium Economy available?

In the case of a point-to-point SYD-CBR booking on an economy-only aircraft, I'm not sure what their excuse is...
 

clipped_wings

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Presumably though, there's at least 1 flight in the itinerary which does actually have Premium Economy available?

In the case of a point-to-point SYD-CBR booking on an economy-only aircraft, I'm not sure what their excuse is...
Agreed. It is a silly practice. But no more silly than their website still showing promotional material for bookings made by July 2019. I guess IT is the culprit here and they are clearly not Masters of their domain.
 
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cqtiger

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I had a similar problem booking business class Rockhampton(VA)to Singapore via Brisbane. They were happy to charge me J fares even though a J seat was not available on the domestic leg. I had to book separately which meant my bags weren’t checked through.
 

Max Samuels

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QF used to do this ALL the time maybe 15 years or so ago when I frequently flew between SYD-CBR. At that time it wasn't possible to select a seat from the seat map when you booked. But it did tell you the aircraft type (Dash-8)

My theory was that if enough people booked "business" then they could swap out the Dash-8 for a 737 at the last minute? Anyway I always thought it super dodgy.
 

jakeseven7

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Presumably though, there's at least 1 flight in the itinerary which does actually have Premium Economy available?

In the case of a point-to-point SYD-CBR booking on an economy-only aircraft, I'm not sure what their excuse is...

Maybe this is another round of VA cost cutting? Selling Y at J prices? 😂
 

Max Samuels

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Isn't the point of the OP is that VA are offering J seats for sale on single-leg journeys that have nothing to do with connecting to any other flight? And that those aircraft don't even have J. Which is so lame of them.
 

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Posts in this thread about Qantas/Oneworld have been moved to a new thread. Please continue that discussion there. Future offtopic posting here may simply be deleted.

 

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