Buyer beware: Virgin Australia baggage allowance on upgrades

12 replies

obanpointer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Jun 2014

Total posts 308

Buyer beware. Bidding for upgrades on VA.

Just successfully bid to upgrade to j only to discover I,m only entitled to y luggage and status credits. Yes it,s buried in the T&C but VA could be alittlemore transparent about it. Nevertheless will enjoy the perks of the upgrade.

AnthonyvB

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

Member since 19 Jun 2013

Total posts 82

That is pretty normal with most airlines... what is your issue??? Many a time I have upgraded via a bid but have always known that status points are from the orignal booking.  Virgin make that pretty clear.

obanpointer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Jun 2014

Total posts 308

More the luggage allowance

Serg

QFF

Member since 12 Apr 2013

Total posts 870

IMHO it sux. If upgrade done voluntary by airline, then I understand. Or last minute at the gates upgrade. But paying money even via auction and have semi-business is ridiculous.

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

These conditions are all listed on the UpgradeMe Bid Q&A page on the VA website (unfair to say it's buried in legal fine print - it's just a link or Google search away). These are typical conditions, not sure why anyone would be confused as to status credit earn (it's an upgrade not a J ticket purchase) and the "fare rules of your original booking will apply" is shown at multiple points (luggage allowance as per base booking). It'd be unfair to expect airlines to cannibalise their J fares sales by letting bid upgrades have full J fare conditions, which are - after all - last minute op upgrades pax have tempted airlines to give for a marginal contribution.

What baggage allowance applies to my upgrade booking?

The baggage allowance of your original ticket (plus any pre-purchased additional baggage allowances) will apply to your upgraded flight.

What fare rules apply to my upgraded booking?

The fare rules of your original booking will continue to apply to your upgraded booking.

Am I entitled to the benefits of my upgraded cabin class?

If you are upgraded through UpgradeMe Premium Bid you will receive:

  • An upgraded seat in a premium cabin class
  • Complimentary food and beverage
  • Complimentary in-flight entertainment
  • Priority Check-in , Priority Baggage and Priority Boarding
  • Access to the Virgin Australia lounge or partner lounges (where available, subject to conditions of entry)

You will not be eligible for an increased complimentary baggage allowance or limousine service transfers.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

I cannot for the life of me understand the point of an upgrade for a domestic flight even if it was a transcontinental flight, particularly in Australia where standards in economy is already very high (it's a different matter in America). Please save your points for something more worthwhile like an upgrade on an international flight....oooops hang on, it's Virgin isn't it? They don't really have an international presence....afraid you're stuffed!

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

Talking about standards, I must admit I was rather blown away on a MH flight between SIN and KUL (an hour journey) a few weeks ago. Admittedly I was in Business, but the seat, service, and even the snack quality was high for such a short sector. 

I received a cold towel not once but twice (shortly after take-off, not long before landing), a rather nice satay snack, had international standard IFE, and a comfortable recliner seat. Service was friendly and more than you'd receive domestically on such a short hop. Don't know if we are that lucky here in Australia (just better than the Yanks and intra-Europe mostly).

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

gippsflyer,

I was referring to the standards in Economy being high as to imply that upgrades to business , without the resulting increase in status credit/points earned, would not in fact be worth the cost.

Notwithstanding the warm/cold towels, I believe the service on a domestic business class flight in Australia is as good as your competitors in Asia/Middle East. 

But is the service deferential  between Business and Economy wide enough to justify the cost of the upgrade without any additional status credit/points earned ? In my mind, I think not. 

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

I agree. It pains me when I have to fork out 13800 points for a business reward as all the economy reward seats are sold. I only use reward seats for personal travel when the cost is exceptionally high, say $289 + for a one way Syd > Melb.

While the experience is pleasant, for a 1.5 hour flight, it's simply not worth it to me. Plus the benefits of aditional luggage and lounge access redundant for a gold velocity member.

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

Generally speaking the best use of points is always for upgrades (but definitely not SQ for example) or International medium to long haul routes in Business or First. It's a rare scheme (like Avios was for example) that short distance redemptions are ever worth it.

With Velocity, domestic business class is a great earner (10 points per dollar for Platinums!) rather than redemption (although reward seat availability is generous). 

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

To clarify, "Talking about standards" meant I was making an aside. Travelling in J in Australia on both QF and VA with some frequency I am very familiar with both soft and hard offerings, and while I can't extend the same extensive familiarity to short duration Asian flights, I obviously have a first hand experience of the flight mentioned.

The duration being akin to a SYD-MEL flight or a CBR-SYD/MEL flight, I had a ready template to compare and contrast with. It stood very favourably indeed, and it's hard work to make an hour long flight feel special. It was an unexpected pleasure.

Propofol88

QF Platinum

Member since 24 Jan 2013

Total posts 85

VA velocity are very generous awarding points domestically as a Platinum member (10 points per dollar!), and because of that I've racked up a handsome points balance from my work-related travels.

As TRB points out, VA lacks an international arm to splurge them on, although you can transfer points to SQ KF to make overseas booking with SQ or other *A members (albeit not a 1:1 transfer). So when I fly domestically for personal reasons, I end up spending points on J class seats, which as a business class product as a whole not bad cf. to QF. Otherwise, the points just build up and risk devaluation down the track.

gippsflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

MEL-CBR J one-way 2,200 points on Qantas, almost 7K points on VA. Given the service, makes it a no-brainer really (true you do get an extra 5 status credits on Qantas with full fare, but then retaining Platinum with VA is a 1/3rd easier).

You can redeem partner redemptions directly with VA without too much fuss over the phone, in addition to the SQ transfer.

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