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Old Apr 20, 09, 7:06 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Virgin America upgrades - TIP

I thought I'd pass along a tip to other Virgin America flyers. You can take advantage of the "same day" upgrade pricing Virgin America offers up to 24 hours in advance, as soon as you can check in online.

When it's 24 hours before your flight, simply log in to your Elevate account and select the flight. It will prompt you to check in. Click on "CHANGE SEAT". You can pick a Main Cabin Select *or* First Class seat at this point and pay the upgrade fee.

If you do upgrade, you then have to go back to check in again.

I believe ANY AND ALL unsold MCS or 1st Class seats are available for upgrade using this method! So you can grab the seat of your dreams in advance, long before heading to the airport.

In fact, if you were looking to BUY a 1st class seat, seems crazy to pay full price if it's within 24 hours. Buy a lower class then immediately upgrade. You can see the seat maps to tell if it's available.

I really love this program... their 1st class seats are sooooo worth it! I'm amazed more people don't spring for them.

Only downside: you cannot use Elevate points at this time for the upgrade; all upgrades must be in cash.

I really hope they offer the option to use Elevate points to upgrade instead of cash. That for me would put the icing on the cake on a really awesome frequent flyer program.

Hope this info is useful, and enjoy your upgrade!
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Old Apr 20, 09, 7:26 pm   #2
 
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Welcome to FT. Thanks for posting your finding.


. . .



Now to steal your thunder . . . it's already posted on the FAQ. Keep trying and eventually you'll be the first to find that hidden deal no one on FT has found yet. (We're a fun bunch, BTW.)

- Pat
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Old Apr 21, 09, 9:16 am   #3
 
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Ah yes, sort of like RTFM --> RTFFAQ. :-) Thanks! I actually just read through the Virgin America FAQ and it's VERY useful! You guys did a great job with that!!!

I still think the useful tip here is for any last-minute frequent flyers who want to buy FIRST: don't do it if you see an open seat, upgrade instead!

For instance, flying SFO to BOS, last-minute pricing was $369 coach, $389 Main Cabin Select, $1069 First. If you wanted First, you could instead buy MCS for $389 then immediately upgrade (within 24 hours) for only $150 (I think that's the MCS to First upgrade rate: I know it's a lot less than Coach to First) so total price would be $539 -- about 50% off what you'd have paid if you just selected First when buying the ticket.

Why they don't reflect this in their reservation system is beyond me. In fact, I noticed that on my flight, they WERE selling First tickets for $899, but after I upgraded, it bumped the First price to $1069, presumably because the computer saw fewer seats available. But as it was within 24 hours, anyone could have had that seat for under $600 if they knew this tip.

So this is in part a nearly-foolproof way to save up to 50% off buying last-minute First class fares on Virgin America!

Okay, not 100% new, but maybe that helps justify my tip? So I guess this thread should be titled, "HALF PRICE FIRST CLASS SEATS ON VIRGIN AMERICA!" :-) LOL!

Thanks for running a fantastic service! Oh, and say Hi to Randy for me!! He ROCKS!!!

Last edited by tilenius; Apr 21, 09 at 9:18 am. Reason: Typo correction
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Old Apr 22, 09, 5:10 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilenius View Post
Why they don't reflect this in their reservation system is beyond me.
Simple.

Some employers will reimburse F class tickets but will not reimburse upgrade fees.

Knowing this is the case, VX can retain the business of bargain hunters who don't mind the extra step while not underselling F class to those willing and able to pay outright.
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Old Apr 22, 09, 5:12 pm   #5
 
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Also, upgrade fees don't accumulate VX points. Fares do.
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Old Apr 23, 09, 7:51 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilenius View Post
I still think the useful tip here is for any last-minute frequent flyers who want to buy FIRST: don't do it if you see an open seat, upgrade instead!

For instance, flying SFO to BOS, last-minute pricing was $369 coach, $389 Main Cabin Select, $1069 First. If you wanted First, you could instead buy MCS for $389 then immediately upgrade (within 24 hours) for only $150 (I think that's the MCS to First upgrade rate: I know it's a lot less than Coach to First) so total price would be $539 -- about 50% off what you'd have paid if you just selected First when buying the ticket.

Why they don't reflect this in their reservation system is beyond me. In fact, I noticed that on my flight, they WERE selling First tickets for $899, but after I upgraded, it bumped the First price to $1069, presumably because the computer saw fewer seats available. But as it was within 24 hours, anyone could have had that seat for under $600 if they knew this tip.

So this is in part a nearly-foolproof way to save up to 50% off buying last-minute First class fares on Virgin America!

Okay, not 100% new, but maybe that helps justify my tip? So I guess this thread should be titled, "HALF PRICE FIRST CLASS SEATS ON VIRGIN AMERICA!" :-) LOL!
You do have a point about that. I wonder how many suckers have purchased just F directly on the same day. It would be similar concept where Johnson and Johnson sold 3-day, 1 week, 1 month contacts a decade ago, but all the contacts were exactly the same!
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Old Apr 23, 09, 12:17 pm   #7
 
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I'm flying SFO to SEA in June (booked the flight in February, before the March 19 changes to baggage charges). If I upgrade at OLCI to 1st (from Main Cabin) for $50 I appear to get 2 checked bags free of charge. My 2nd bag was going to cost me $25 - so... I get to fly first class for $25 more than if I stay in Main Cabin. This can't be true - can it? Has to be a bargain even for a 2 hour flight.
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Old Apr 23, 09, 10:50 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by RobinMason View Post
I'm flying SFO to SEA in June (booked the flight in February, before the March 19 changes to baggage charges). If I upgrade at OLCI to 1st (from Main Cabin) for $50 I appear to get 2 checked bags free of charge. My 2nd bag was going to cost me $25 - so... I get to fly first class for $25 more than if I stay in Main Cabin. This can't be true - can it? Has to be a bargain even for a 2 hour flight.
It's true. When the 2nd bag fee came on, I think it was prismwiz who first pointed out how this made F a great deal. What ever happened to him?
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Old Apr 24, 09, 9:23 am   #9
 
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My husband and I are looking to fly first class on a flight in August with Virgin America. What are the chances that there will be two open seats available? Do they fill up quickly?
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Old Apr 24, 09, 9:32 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by SothrnChic View Post
My husband and I are looking to fly first class on a flight in August with Virgin America. What are the chances that there will be two open seats available? Do they fill up quickly?
Welcome to FlyerTalk!

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Old Apr 28, 09, 11:20 pm   #11
 
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I fly VX at least every other month from LAX - SFO and always have been able to upgrade to 1st for $50. But, you have to check in 24 hours in advance and be the first! It's about the only first class experience I get these days, even if it's only for an hour. At least they give you (all but one time for me) a PDC! :P
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Old Apr 28, 09, 11:24 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by egtravel View Post
I fly VX at least every other month from LAX - SFO and always have been able to upgrade to 1st for $50. But, you have to check in 24 hours in advance and be the first! It's about the only first class experience I get these days, even if it's only for an hour. At least they give you (all but one time for me) a PDC! :P
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a PDC? I couldn't find it in the Glossary, Wikipedia or Google.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 11:29 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by nermaljcat View Post
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a PDC? I couldn't find it in the Glossary, Wikipedia or Google.
Oh so sorry, it's my own made-up lingo and I should have clarified...PDC = Pre Departure Cocktail! :P
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Old Apr 28, 09, 11:40 pm   #14
 
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Oh so sorry, it's my own made-up lingo and I should have clarified...PDC = Pre Departure Cocktail! :P
I like
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Old Feb 13, 11, 3:00 am   #15
 
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Does this still work? I thought upgrades were only available 4 hours before departure.
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