You can now 'Fly Ahead' with Virgin Australia over the phone

By Chris Chamberlin , November 23 2017
You can now 'Fly Ahead' with Virgin Australia over the phone

Velocity Platinum frequent flyers can now take advantage of Virgin Australia’s ‘Fly Ahead’ feature over the phone: allowing them dial-in and switch to an earlier flight on the same day at no charge, rather than waiting until at the airport to make their request.

As Fly Ahead requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to seating availability on the desired flight, being able to call before visiting the lounge or check-in desk could improve the chance of success, or avoid spending more time at the terminal than necessary if the move can’t be accommodated.

Velocity Platinum members can still make use of Fly Ahead at the airport – as can Velocity Gold members, in line with existing rules – although the ability to Fly Ahead over the phone is a new perk reserved for Velocity Platinum guests, and also covers up to three other travellers on the same booking as their Platinum colleague.

Caveats before you call

Similar rules apply when Flying Ahead over the phone as opposed to the airport, with a few extra restrictions.

For instance, telephone agents can only process Fly Ahead requests on Virgin Australia domestic flights booked on a VA flight number and with a 795 ‘ticket number’ attached to the booking.

That means if you’re travelling on a codeshare flight, or have booked your journey through a different airline – such as by using Etihad Guest or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to book your ticket – you may need to make your request at the airport instead.

Requests for Fly Ahead over the phone must also be finalised at least 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the desired flight – as opposed to 30 minutes when asking at the airport.

On flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – the popular 'triangle' routes – Platinum members can be moved over the phone to a flight departing up to two hours earlier than originally booked. On all other routes, they can be moved only to the service departing immediately prior to the original flight.

For example, if a Velocity Platinum member books a flight departing at 5pm on a ‘non-Triangle’ route and there are earlier flights at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on the same route, Fly Ahead would only be possible onto the 4pm departure, subject to availability.

As when Flying Ahead in-person, doing so over the phone isn’t possible when travelling on group bookings or Getaway fares (corresponding to the S, M and T fare categories), as has been the case since September 2016.

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.

12 Jul 2013

Total posts 21

Hi Chris, re "That means if you’re travelling on a codeshare flight, or have booked your journey through a different airline – such as by using Etihad Guest or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to book your ticket – you may need to make your request at the airport instead.". I have been told by Virgin Lounge staff that you can not fly ahead on any ticket not issued by VA.

Hi AP. Perhaps it depends on who you speak to. I've had no problems Flying Ahead on Etihad-booked, Etihad-ticketed VA flights before. In some cases the lounge staff proactively offered the move!

12 Jul 2013

Total posts 21

Thanks Chris. I have been booked by corporate travel agent on Hanh air ticket. been a hit and a miss and when I spoke with VA team, I was informed T&C are being changed to say that only VA tickets will be allowed for fly ahead as they need to be revalidated...

Just a question, 795 ticket number, is it applicable to TA bookings ?

That's a question best-asked of Virgin Australia or your TA, as travel agent bookings sometimes follow different rules to 'direct' bookings due to the agreements between airlines and TAs.

12 Jul 2013

Total posts 21

Thanks Chris..

17 Nov 2016

Total posts 14

795 is VA's IATA ticket stock code. This is the same whether the ticket is issued by VA or a travel agent.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 488

About Time, I've tried this on a couple of times over the phone and had a hit and miss, bad weather they would do it. I even tried ringing the airport lounge I was going to trying to sweet talk them.

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 53

Great benefit and good for Plat. QF call center would implode if they tried anything similar

13 May 2015

Total posts 21

As Qantas Platinum this is one VA perk I really envy, especially while I'm being subjected to the withering look from the QF lounge staff when I ask if "on the off chance..."

QF

29 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

If I hadn't read it here, I would never know about it. Be nice if VA bothered to tell us... they're already busy spamming me with multiple shopping/flybuys/points exchange/sales emails a day!

20 Sep 2017

Total posts 26

I've had this benefit twice from Qantas (in the lounge) but I'd like Qantas to make it policy. I believe that currently they only allow it if flights are overbooked or likely to be subject to delay

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

Fly ahead is a great facility

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

Tip: use the Seat Alerts app to see if there are any seats available before you set off to the airport. Saves getting to the airport early on the off chance then having an even longer wait if there are none.

26 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

Regarfing the limit of flying ahead by not more than one or two hours, does that rule only apply to phone requests? I've never heard of it prior to now


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