13 replies

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Hi All. Anyone else had any luck with getting VA to upgrade SYDAUH flights while they're refitting their B777 fleet? They've told me that I simply can't upgrade during this time, despite their alliance with EY and SQ. Seven months with no ability to upgrade with Velocity points seems pretty poor to me, and this is the fourth time that I've had this problem with VA (where they have taken aircraft out for maintenance from this route). Has anyone got any suggestions?

TomGoddardd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2014

Total posts 191

What do you mean? Are you travelling whilst VA are upgrading their 777 and therefore travelling on an EY or SQ plane? Or are you travelling on a VA 777 but they are not allowing you to upgrade with points?

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Hi Tom. I want to make a booking on VA premium,so that I can upgrade to business using points. VA aren't operating any flights on SYDAUH for 7 months, and as you probably know, you can only upgrade with Velocity points, when you have book on VA metal.

TomGoddardd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2014

Total posts 191

cerebralbliss, Seeing that you are VA Gold and have enough points and are unable to upgrade. You can do both of these:

 

Ring up the VA call centre, give them your details etc. and ask if there are any points upgrades on your particular flight. If they respond with 'you can't upgrade using VA points on EY or SQ metal' you can do the following:

Try to transfer your points with a Hotel loyalty program or Credit Card to the Airline you are flying on. But before you do this ring the Airline you are flying on and ask if there are any upgrades available. If there are than transfer your points.

But make sure it is on a 1:1 basis, if it isn't the upgrade probably isn't worth it!

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Thanks, Tom.

I did look at doing this with SQ, but with the ratio of 1:1.35, it wasn't great.

I'll check out the hotel ones too.

Ta.

specky

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 Sep 2015

Total posts 3

I have also encountered a problem like this in the past, I think that on the VA 777 they don't allow point/status upgrades. Quite disappointing

jaredw

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Jan 2014

Total posts 57

They do allow point upgrades on the VA flights on international long haul. As long as there is reward avaliblity and you are gold/platinum(not sure about silver). 

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Hi Jared, as above, there's no flight operated by them, so no opportunity to upgrade via normal channels.

TomGoddardd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2014

Total posts 191

When were you travelling? What status level are you? Where were you flying?

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Hi Tom, Have to travel around November. I'm Velocity Gold, and heading to the UK.

TravelElephant

Member since 09 Sep 2015

Total posts 19

The answer to your question is that they do accept point upgrades on VA international. You must be either in the status range of Gold, Platinum and Silver. What status level are you? this should answer your question. If this is the fourth time that this has occurred maybe give them up a call? Doesn't hurt to ask.

Hope it goes well.

cerebralbliss

Member since 22 Jan 2015

Total posts 12

Hi TravelElephant, I'm gold. I tried to call them, and they did call back. The response was basically, 'Sorry, can't help.' I don't understand why they don't make alternative arrangements with partner airlines. 

TravelElephant

Member since 09 Sep 2015

Total posts 19

Not too sure about this.  You should be able to make arrangements with partner airlines in alliances but not too sure what's going on. Good Luck

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

Hello, I personally haven't had any trouble getting upgrades on the SYD-AUH route on VA metal. Ive done it a half dozen times and have another one lined up next month before VA stops using its own aircraft for the usual period of time  for maintenance etc every year and in this case retrofitting! All of my upgrades have been from Premium Saver to Business for 45K points. I am a Velocity Platinum member and I believe only VA Platinums and Golds are allowed to upgrade using points on long haul. I had a friend who's Silver try to upgrade anyway and she was denied via the Call Centre. The website clearly states this as well under the upgrades tab.

VA usually stops using its own aircraft on the route during two periods of the year. There are no flights on VA metal (VA29/30) between 27 Oct 2015 and 16 Dec 2015 as well as between 03 Feb 2016 and 06 April 2016.

There are flights on VA metal outside these timeframes and you can book on VA metal directly on the website. Just choosing random days on the main website, there's a flight leaving this Thursday VA29 from SYD to AUH and a flight leaving Friday VA30 18 December 2015 both marketed and operated by VA.

Unfortunately, since you are flying in the month of November when there are no VA metal flights, it makes sense why you are having so much trouble trying to use your points for an upgrade. I don't imagine you have monthly flexibility, but if so, have a look at the days when there is VA29/30 and then see if there's still upgrade seats available. 

I wish VA would allow upgrades on Etihad using VA points at least on the SYD-AUH route and at the very least, during the periods of which VA isn't flying its own aircraft.

Best of luck trying to secure your travel in Business for your upcoming trip to the UK!

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