Virgin Australia offers premium economy upgrade plus lounge access from $35

By David Flynn, June 27 2011
Virgin Australia offers premium economy upgrade plus lounge access from $35

In what is easily Australia's best value upgrade deal, Virgin Australia is offering passengers an upgrade to premium economy plus one-off airport lounge access for prices starting at $35 – or for trading in 3,900 Velocity points.

It's part of a Premium Economy Taste Test promotion which the airline hopes will encourage travellers to sample life a little closer to the pointy end of its domestic flights.

There are a few catches.

  • You have to be booked on a 'corporate plus' fare or one of Virgin Australia's recently-introduced flexible fares (which in itself isn't a bad way to highlight the value these fares offer).
  • Your flight has to be on a weekday, after 9am and before 11pm. No weekends, no morning peak-hours and no red-eyes
  • You have to be travelling by August 31, because that's when this limited-time deal expires
  • And you can only book your upgrade from 3 hours to 45 minutes before the flight, as long as there's availability in the Premium Economy cabin and provided you haven't checked in yet. As soon as you check in for your flight you're stuck in economy. This will see a lot of travellers hitting their phones at the airport or en route in order to snare their upgrade.

An upgrade on flights running under 90 minutes will cost $35 or 3,900 Velocity points. For 90–180 minutes it's $50 or 5,400 points; and for flights longer than three hours you're looking at $75 or 8,100 points.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

09 May 2011

Total posts 294

So here's a question: Do these instant upgrades change your fare class for Velocity status points earning purposes?

i.e. If I originally book a Flexi fare but pay for an upgrade, will I get credited for "Full economy" or will I get credited for "Premium economy"?


Virgin Blue - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2011

Total posts 32

Did anyone get an answer to this, i'm also keen to know. 


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

I'm glad this deal includes lounge access because just a premium economy seat alone would not be worth much especially on SYD-MEL, by the looks of it you mainly get

  1. nobody sitting next to you, so you can use the armrest without fighting for it!
  2. a bit more legroom, well that's always welcome
  3. inflight meals, not worth it for just a short trip

Am I missing something here? A "P.E. Taster upgrade" has been there for a really long time now.

09 May 2011

Total posts 294

Oh, it's definitely been around for a while, but I think the impetus behind this article is that they're closing this option in the near future (August 31).

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

Hi LazyBones (man, it doesn't feel right starting a message like that!). Yeah, this isn't hot-off-the-press "news", which is why we didn't call it a new deal – but it's still very worth bringing to the attention of business travellers – especially now that Virgin Australia has a much higher profile and aim towards that market, some significant lounge improvements (in Melbourne & Sydney) and as Chris mentions, the clock is ticking on the use-by date.

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