Maximising value from Virgin Platinum upgrades ex BNE or SYD

6 replies


Member since 14 Nov 2015

Total posts 54

Wife has 4x Virgin UpgradeMe Platinum Member Offer upgrades.

Last time she qualified for platinum, we let them expire because we found it hard to get use out of them - most of our Virgin travel is triangle, and not on flex fares. Paying a couple hundred extra dollars each in each direction just to use the upgrades on a short sector seemed like poor value. I'm seeing if I can get something out of them this time.

So does anybody have any ideas on where Virgin flies ex-BNE where:

Flex fares are reasonable value (ie, not a huge premium over Elevate)
Award/upgrade availability is good
They reliably fly an A330

Longer flights are obviously more attractive.

Not interested in PER.

Apparently they used to fly an A330 to Fiji on Saturdays, but I can't see this anywhere I've looked in the schedule.

I reckon DPS would be good, or WLG, though so far as I know these are 737 routes.

Anyway, any advice from experts would be greatly appreciated.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Oct 2013

Total posts 766

Virgin Australia from Brisbane only operates the A330's to Nadi during the school holidays (the final flight will be the 21st of January, and then the 24th of June for a few weeks).

Again they also operate them to Perth... but you've ruled that out. Apart from those two destinations, all other short haul flights are 737's.

Wellington can often be quite busy in the Business cabin so I'll suggest looking at Dunedin or Christchurch (again both 737 routes). I've done VA flights from Christchurch to Brisbane many times where there has been no one in the Business class cabin so you'll have a greater chance of getting the upgrade.

Elevate fares are only $276 (on the way over) or $190 (on the way back) per leg more expensive than the cheapest Go Fares so it's something worth looking at.


Member since 11 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

Can the upgrades be applied if on an elevate fare or does it have to be a fully flexible fare?


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 20 Jan 2016

Total posts 48

Can the upgrades be applied if on an elevate fare or does it have to be a fully flexible fare?

You cant upgrade from elevate fares. Freedom only, as per the Virgin T&C's below.

  • Platinum members are entitled to four complimentary fare upgrades per year from a Freedom fare (fare classes Y, B, H, K, L) to a Business Class seat on Domestic, Trans Tasman or International Short Haul flights marketed and operated by Virgin Australia.

With VA pushing the A330 onto the HK route, the opportunities to use these for "The business" will be near to non existent.


Member since 14 Nov 2015

Total posts 54

Thanks guys!


Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 113

If you're looking ex BNE as you live there, and are considering going to AKL, don't forget looking for flights out of OOL. You're going to find it hard to use them on the A333s out of BNE, I'm pretty sure VA have all but stopped them, even to PER.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 64

I think what other posters have said is correct, there is no guarantee on any route ex-BNE of getting on board an A330, save possibly for the occasional flight to PER. The situation is hardly any better ex-SYD or ex-MEL, save for certain flights to PER.

It all just demonstrates in my mind that VA is a complete joke. Best not to waste your time with them unless you are forced. I have, unfortunately, flown with them across the Tasman on a number of occasions because they offer a direct service to both WLG and DUD. QF do not offer such a service unfortunately. I understand VA had these routes allocated to them as part of their agreement with Air NZ.

I wouldn't waste your time on the J-class product. Same feeble 738 domestic J-class product. Whilst the staff (all Kiwis) do their best and seem pleasant, the food/bvg offering is very sub-par. It wouldn't even reach Y-class standards on any proper international carrier.

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