Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 16 Jul 2017
Total posts 1
Has anyone had any luck upgrading a Sydney flight to LA Â from Freedom to Business? Any advice?
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 08 Jun 2014
Total posts 88
I'm curious too on the availability
Member since 08 Aug 2016
Total posts 112
most availability for awards opens up within the week of a few days before departure
Member since 24 Apr 2012
Total posts 1,115
The availability of upgrades comes from the availability of reward seats: so if you can book a business class seat using your Velocity points (at the standard rate of 95,500 poitns), you can use points to upgrade to business class on the same flight.However, with upgrades also able to be waitlisted where no availability exists, it's possible that the airline may consider your request closer to departure based on other factors, which may not necessarily include the availability of reward seats (i.e. they could grant your upgrade request without releasing further reward seats).So, if you can snag an outright booking in business class, it's a great way to secure your seat: otherwise you'll need to play the upgrade game - remembering that points-based upgrades on Virgin's LAX flights are only available to Gold, Platinum and VIP members, not Red or Silver flyers.
Member since 20 Jan 2016
Total posts 47
The question of value is a little bit of a vexed one here. Assuming you can find a reward seat and your a gold or plat, you would gain better monetary value for your points by buying the freedom ticket and upgrading. You can do this with the call centre and get the upgrade confirmation instantly. Additionally you would get status credits and points for the original booking to assist in retaining status. So the 90K points needed would be offset by the 25 to 30K points you get back dependant on status. If there is no availability, then as noted you can waitlist from the freedom ticket, but with no guarantees. Though feedback seems to suggest that there is a frequent release of availability closer to the date. Of course if your Red or Silver.. you have only one choice which is to grab the reward if you can find it.
Member since 02 Dec 2016
Total posts 104
In the past year, I've flown to the US with VA 3 times return. For two of the flights I booked 4/5 months out and then looked daily for FF seats to be released so I could upgrade. Only once did I see a seat available, but that was in Premium (and I took it). Each other time I submitted my upgrade request and only once did it come through from BNE to LAX. With the upgrade requests, you find out within 5 days of departure. For the one time I got upgraded, I found out 3 days before.Interesting to hear the there has been an uptick in availability.... my experiences have demonstrated the opposite.
Member since 09 Dec 2015
Total posts 4
I agree, when I tried to find J reward seats with flexible dates I could not find a single seat, and I was looking the max days in advance. And I think the same is going to apply for the new HKG flights. for my next trip I'm thinking of buying PE and requesting the upgrade. Should provide more status and I might get it cheaper than a freedom Y fare.
Member since 14 Mar 2017
Total posts 150
I can only advise on one recent upgrade attempt, as VA Plat I was able to get upgraded on the waitlist five days before. I'm told they do Plat, Paid, Gold, Silver for upgrades, in that order. On the return leg, my flight was cancelled and the remaining flights were then full, so no upgrades for anybody.If you are hellbent on the seat and can see the reward seat, I'd take it. If not, and you are at least Gold, then hang around for the waitlist.As an aside, Premium Economy is quite good, and the upgrade cost is the same as a Freedom ticket. The food is the same as J, there's a minibar, personal staff, and enough room to sleep on the seats. If you don't get the upgrade, you are at least fairly comfortable.
Member since 24 Oct 2014
Just a datapoint, I managed to score a reward seat LAX-MEL in J for travel in August back in March. I'd been looking at using my AA points and needed to this complete as i'd booked SYD-Europe and Europe-USA already. Someone suggested i check Virgin which hadn't even crossed my mind. Found a seat on the exact date I needed and snapped it up.
Member since 14 Dec 2016
Total posts 57
I recently flew that leg. I booked a flexi fair and requested an upgrade, however didn't get it even though there was 5 empty J class seats.
Member since 21 Jul 2017
I actually spoke with a very helpful agent at the VA GCC yesterday who gave me interesting insight on this. Firstly, note the comment above "The availability of upgrades comes from the availability of reward
seats: so if you can book a business class seat using your Velocity
points (at the standard rate of 95,500 poitns), you can use points to
upgrade to business class on the same flight."This is important. Availability is usually initially quite tightly limited for confirmed upgrades on long haul. However, you can buy your Freedom eco (or premium eco ticket) and request a points upgrade via the GCC whenever you book. But what the agent told me next was gold. Once you've put in your request, you should continue to come back to the website "every 2-3 weeks" and do a search for the same flights. What happens is the Revenue team release business class seats for reward redemption on an ad hoc basis, so once those are released anyone who is eligible can book them for a new redemption ticket. HOWEVER, their points redemption system ONLY kicks in 5 days before the flight. So if you've just been sitting around waiting, there's a very good chance that the revenue team will have released business rewards seats and they've been snaffled by someone else before the points-redemption system kicks in. Soooo, the moral of the story is this: - Book your ticket. - Request your upgrade. - Check back every 2-3 weeks to see if business rewards seats have been released. - If there is a seat available, call the GCC and have them lock in that seat for your points upgrade. I've been points upgraded several times (without using this technique), but it would seem that this removes some of the uncertainty.
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Virgin Australia Velocity business class upgrades to Los Angeles
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