VX Virgin - advice

Old Jan 6, 12, 6:06 pm
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VX Virgin - advice

Hi all

Being a first time on VX (and not having connected in LAX for 20 years), I just wanted some advice in relation to the following.

I'm arriving in LAX T4 on VA at 10:30am on a Saturday. My wife and I need to go to SFO on the same day.

We have special fares on VA so our travel agent was not able to put us on the same PNR to SFO. Accordingly, we will have to book separate tickets.

Obviously because of the 2 PNR issue, we will probably book flexible tickets (as any changes would likely have to be made by phone ($100 pp) and we would have checked baggage (1 bag each)).

Main Cabin flex is $177, Main Cabin Select is $180 - no brainer.

My questions are:

The first feasible connection departs from T3 at 13:45. Is 3 hours 15 minutes enough?

If we miss the flight (VA is late or we are in customs etc), we would obviously need to call VX to advise them that we will be late and try to get MCS seats on the next flight (16:00).

Would your recommendation be to book the 13:45 and hope for the best or book the 16:00 and if we get through customs on time, see if we can MCS seats on the 13:45?

The problem with the latter is that I have heard that plenty of people upgrade from MC to MCS in the 24 hours before and it is likely to be full so getting an earlier flight might be difficult. Though the same could be the said about the later flight as well.

Many thanks
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Old Jan 6, 12, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
We have special fares on VA so our travel agent was not able to put us on the same PNR to SFO. Accordingly, we will have to book separate tickets.
I'm surprised that VA cannot ticket that.

Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
The first feasible connection departs from T3 at 13:45. Is 3 hours 15 minutes enough?
Are you US citizens? If not, I would book a longer connection. (Even if citizens, I'd consider a longer connection in case of delays on the VA flight and just go standby onto an earlier one.)

Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
The problem with the latter is that I have heard that plenty of people upgrade from MC to MCS in the 24 hours before and it is likely to be full so getting an earlier flight might be difficult. Though the same could be the said about the later flight as well.
LAX-SFO is a short flight. As long as you get a seat on the plane, do you really care if it is MC or MCS? (Remember, the upgraders have to come from somewhere)
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Old Jan 6, 12, 9:16 pm
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My advice? =) Bring your own headphones
Great AVOD, but they ask for a dollar or two for ear buds
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Old Jan 7, 12, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerChrisK View Post
I'm surprised that VA cannot ticket that.
Particular fare rules - the fare was extremely cheap (by Australian standards). Also, open jaws weren't allowed on the fare (which we needed).


Originally Posted by FlyerChrisK View Post
Are you US citizens? If not, I would book a longer connection. (Even if citizens, I'd consider a longer connection in case of delays on the VA flight and just go standby onto an earlier one.)
No we're not. My wife has, however, done the LAX connection to YVR (albeit on DL/AS and tagged through) in 2hr 45 mins. Does the fact that the VA flight arrives at the smaller DL T5 (rather than the TBIT) affect this? I would have thought not many DL international flights would arrive at 10:30am (I can see DL284 from NRT arrives at about the same time).


Originally Posted by FlyerChrisK View Post
LAX-SFO is a short flight. As long as you get a seat on the plane, do you really care if it is MC or MCS? (Remember, the upgraders have to come from somewhere)
I know it's a short flight (from memory the flight has a shorter block time than SYD-MEL). However, the whole thing in the USA about people carrying the kitchen sink on board the plane has me spooked - one of the touted benefits of MCS is dedicated cabin storage space and I'd rather not have to fight the hordes flouting the cabin bag rules which go unpoliced usually (speaking anecdotally here).

My gut feel was to book the 16:00 flight and there would be no mad and almighty scramble to get the 13:45. There doesn't appear to be a lot to do in T3 however (though plane spotting is always good for me - though my wife has no interest in it whatsoever lol)
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Old Jan 7, 12, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
However, the whole thing in the USA about people carrying the kitchen sink on board the plane has me spooked - one of the touted benefits of MCS is dedicated cabin storage space and I'd rather not have to fight the hordes flouting the cabin bag rules which go unpoliced usually (speaking anecdotally here).

My gut feel was to book the 16:00 flight and there would be no mad and almighty scramble to get the 13:45. There doesn't appear to be a lot to do in T3 however (though plane spotting is always good for me - though my wife has no interest in it whatsoever lol)
First, the carry-on issue you bring up is not only an American problem.. I've seen this same probelm arise in several other countries.

Regarding the "dedicated" overhead bin space.. I have never seen VX enforce this for MCS. Yesterday, I was in 3F (MCS) and saw several people put their bags in my bin and then continue to their seats in the back. However, after several flights on VX, I have only seen one person gate check his bag due to lack of space. My suggestion would be to book MC and try for an upgrade to MCS or F at the gate. I've done this a few times on SFO-LAX flights.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 5:02 am
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My suggestion would be to book MC and try for an upgrade to MCS or F at the gate. I've done this a few times on SFO-LAX flights.
Even when the price difference is $3? Note, it is more than likely that I will need to book a flexible fare and the price difference between the MC and MCS flexible fares is $3.
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Old Jan 9, 12, 11:31 am
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If MCS is important enough, I would guarantee the later departure, since there could be the potential for the earlier flight to book up MCS at T-24.
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Old Jan 10, 12, 9:12 am
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Overhead storage for MCS bags should not be an issue as long as you take advantage of the early boarding.

Typically the last people to board in Coach take advantage of any space remaining in the MCS bin.
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Old Jan 10, 12, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingcat View Post
Overhead storage for MCS bags should not be an issue as long as you take advantage of the early boarding.

Typically the last people to board in Coach take advantage of any space remaining in the MCS bin.
This is true. If someone in MCS boards late, however, I do not know if the MCS overhead space would be made available to that person at the expense of someone in MC who used that space.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 5:14 am
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Appreciate the responses, thanks.

VX has thrown a spanner into the works, the MC non-refundable fares have dropped to $69 and the MCS fares have gone up to $200.

May well buy the MC fares and as the 24 hour mark is just before we leave for SYD airport and as I would probably know of any possible delay by then, see if I can spring for an upgrade. Otherwise, given it's only a 1 hour flight, just grab row 5 (still showing as available) and enjoy the ride.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 11:33 am
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I don't think you'll have any issues with your plan. Be aware, however, that the on-line upgrade process as of 1/8/12 was still not working and requires a phone call to get accomplished. And you can expect a wait of 25-45 minutes for someone to respond. I am hoping that the system will get fixed soon.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by malsf1 View Post
I don't think you'll have any issues with your plan. Be aware, however, that the on-line upgrade process as of 1/8/12 was still not working and requires a phone call to get accomplished. And you can expect a wait of 25-45 minutes for someone to respond. I am hoping that the system will get fixed soon.
If it's phone only, then I think I'll just settle for row 5.

I'll probably burn more on international phone calls than on a new F ticket LOL.

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Old Jan 12, 12, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
If it's phone only, then I think I'll just settle for row 5.

I'll probably burn more on international phone calls than on a new F ticket LOL.

And you may still be able to upgrade at the gate.
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Old Jan 6, 17, 10:02 am
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VX to VA connection time needed in LAX?

Hoping my post fits in this thread, as I couldnt find anywhere else it might be relevant.

I am thinking of booking a VX flight IAD LAX (in February, possible snow issues).

I am already booked on same day VA flight LAX SYD - was unable to book the VX flight together with VA so wont be on same PNR.

If I book the proposed VX flight, the connection time is only 2 hours 5 mins in LAX. Very tight IMHO but my other option is DL which departs 5 hours earlier with a plane change in ATL, making my trip almost 25 hours to get back to SYD .

To make life more interesting, I have one checked bag. Would VX interline bag to VA if flight not on same PNR? Would DL interline to VA?

Another consideration is I would have access to DL lounges as I am VA Gold but now not sure if I will still get lounge access with VX with the AS merger.

Given all the factors, is there enough connection time to take the VX flight, or should I take the much longer option and fly DL?

I believe flying DL would mean a further apart terminal change at LAX which is another downside I guess??

Thanks for the advice .

Last edited by Downunder girl; Jan 6, 17 at 9:09 pm Reason: Edited the VX one stop into DAL error!
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Old Jan 6, 17, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by Downunder girl View Post
Hoping my post fits in this thread, as I couldnt find anywhere else it might be relevant.

I am thinking of booking a VX flight IAD LAX (in February, possible snow issues).

I am already booked on same day VA flight LAX SYD - was unable to book the VX flight together with VA so wont be on same PNR.

If I book the proposed VX flight, the connection time is only 2 hours 5 mins in LAX. Very tight IMHO but my other option is DL which departs 5 hours earlier with a plane change in ATL, making my trip almost 25 hours to get back to SYD .

The VX flight makes one stop in DAL but we stay on the plane, no changing planes.

To make life more interesting, I have one checked bag. Would VX interline bag to VA if flight not on same PNR? Would DL interline to VA?

Another consideration is I would have access to DL lounges as I am VA Gold but now not sure if I will still get lounge access with VX with the AS merger.

Given all the factors, is there enough connection time to take the VX flight, or should I take the much longer option and fly DL?

I believe flying DL would mean a further apart terminal change at LAX which is another downside I guess??

Thanks for the advice .
Unless it changed VX and V Aus use the same terminal 3.
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