Virgin Australia rolls out online points upgrades to business class

By Chris Chamberlin , January 16 2015
Virgin Australia rolls out online points upgrades to business class

Virgin Australia Velocity members can now swap their frequent flyer points for an upgrade to premium economy or business class via the airline’s website.

Upgrades are available to all eligible travellers on both domestic flights and short international hops such as to New Zealand and Fiji, although upgrades on VA’s longer flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi still need to be requested over the phone.

All Virgin Australia upgrades using frequent flyer points are processed immediately, which allows travellers to select their seat and then relax, knowing that their spot at the pointy end has been locked in.

Upgrades to business class and premium economy remain subject to availability, as the number of upgrades permitted on any one flight may be limited.

Velocity Points and status credits will also be awarded as per your original ticket – so if you booked an economy seat over to Perth and used your points to upgrade to business class, you’ll earn both points and status credits at the original economy rate.

Upgrading to business class via the Velocity website

To begin, login to your Velocity account and select the booking you’d like upgraded, or if you’re already on the Velocity website, head directly to the ‘My Bookings’ tab and make the same selection.

You’ll then spot the following options – click ‘UpgradeMe Points’ and you’re already half way there:

If your booking is eligible for an upgrade, just click the icon next to each passenger you’d like to bump up…

… and before clicking through, you’re shown how many points it’ll cost for that seat up front:

Online seat selection in your upgraded travel class is also available before your points are deducted – so if a partner or colleague is joining you and there are only single seats available rather than a duo, you can bow out before any points are deducted.

Also read: Virgin launches cash auctions for business class upgrades

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

Finally !

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Apr 2014

Total posts 37

As surely they won't give out all business class seats for upgraders over confirmed business class purchasers way in advance, from when until when is this opetion available? (T minus ?)

Hi eight10man,

The time limits are the same as the current upgrade windows via the call centre, so you can upgrade from the moment you book (if there's an upgrade available) until three hours before a flight's scheduled departure time.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Apr 2014

Total posts 37

Ah good.

In your opinion: how good is the upgrade availability on Virgin domestic travel, as compared to other players in the industry?

It's not something that I've studied extensively so can't offer any real comment, only to say that both Qantas' and Virgin's domestic upgrade system allow you to confirm your seat from the time of the upgrade request, although only Qantas allows you to also 'waitlist' an upgrade request, so that should an upgrade not be available straight away but later becomes available on your flight, you can automatically snap it up without having to check back every day.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 47

I've been quite happy with the number of upgrades I've been able to get up until the last minute, and as Chris mentioned, you get confirmation immediately - unlike with QANTAS.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

VA are very good for redemption/upgrade availability, and there's no wondering until the last minute either, as if redemption/upgrade seats are available at time of request and you have the points or Platinum complimentary upgrades required, it's yours. This is great for families needing to book/confirm things early. If chasing non-VA metal, it varies, as its dependant on what the other airline offers (like it is with QantasFF).

VA

10 Sep 2014

Total posts 25

From my experience Id suggest upgrading or redeeming on Virgin is superior to that of QF domestically.. At last count, you are dealing with roughly 1/3 of the number of frequent flyers for those upgradable spots. Not to mention some flyers with decades of points accruals - the competition with QF FF is hot, and uncertain - especially if you are newer to the fold. 

Also probably a well documented fact that VA redemption taxes are a fraction of QF. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 323

I've also just noticed that Virgin have given the option of booking multi-city flights for domestic bookings via their website. This is great but long overdue. Hopefully this will be extended to international bookings soon.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Gold

04 Jul 2014

Total posts 132

This is the best news of the month... I was thinking about how we needed this just last night. 

YAY! 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

Great news - One thing i'd suggest to VA would be, could you please serve welcome sparkling wine to the all business class flights? (currently it's only with the coast to coast business class service).


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