VA - Vegas - LHR - Upgrade at Desk

Old Sep 3, 19, 8:50 am
  #1  
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VA - Vegas - LHR - Upgrade at Desk

Hi all,

I'm travelling to Vegas with a large group for a birthday on Virgin. Everyone has booked into Economy via an agent and i'm fine with Economy on the way out because it's more like a party the last few times i've been. However, on the way back has been some of the worst experiences of my life... I was looking at upgrading to Upper Class on the return leg of the flight, i've enquired through the travel agent but not expecting much outside of a £3/4k upgrade.

I was wondering whether to take the risk and wait until check-in at McCarran airport and see what that is like. My question is if anyone else has upgraded at the desk and what I should expect to pay for PE or Upper class at the airport if they have availability. I've put away £1,000 in a separate pot for now but wasn't sure how far that would go. Any ideas?
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Old Sep 3, 19, 9:14 am
  #2  
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Upgrades in advance are usually based on the fare difference hence the £3-4K quoted by the TA.

An on the day upgrade from Y to UC - should any be available of course - would indeed be at a cost of around the £1k mark. PE would be the £600-700 mark - again subject to availability.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 9:24 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Upgrades in advance are usually based on the fare difference hence the £3-4K quoted by the TA.

An on the day upgrade from Y to UC - should any be available of course - would indeed be at a cost of around the £1k mark. PE would be the £600-700 mark - again subject to availability.
Thanks, sounds like I just have to hope and pray they're available on the day..
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Old Sep 3, 19, 10:03 am
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My memory is hazy, but when I flew LAS-LON on VS 2-3 years ago, I would definitely have grabbed the upgrade offer, except I was already in Upper Class. (it was definitely less than 1k)

That said, this route is definitely one where people like to treat themselves. So get to the airport early if you want to grab an upgrade if available...
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Old Sep 3, 19, 5:02 pm
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Compromise?

Virgin Atlantic has one of the best Premium Economy seats for way less than Upper Class. Might be a good compromise and save you a bit of money.

From Traveller:

“Why it's better than economy: Virgin's leather-covered premium seats are among the widest in their class, at 21 inches. (As with Air New Zealand, though, the entertainment screens are among the smallest, at 11 inches wide.) In service upgrades, expect multi-dish meals served on china, a self-serve snack bar, and priority check-in and baggage-handling services so your luggage comes out earlier at the carousel.”
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Old Sep 4, 19, 1:55 am
  #6  
 
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As everyone says, whilst pre airport upgrades are much more of a certainty they're always significantly more expensive!

On a really empty flight I once got a £450 Economy to Upper upgrade, also a £250 Economy to Premium. The first being a very lucky exception, the latter (In my experience) is more common(ish). I've definitely seen and taken advantage of £650 to £800 economy to Upper on West coast US to UK.

As @craigthemif says, definitely get to the airport early. If I'm hoping for an airport upgrade I'll make a point of being first in the queue when check-in opens which does mean a lot of hanging around!

A couple of years ago I was at the airport and there were a couple of people hanging around check-in (me included), everyone playing the "who's gonna go first" game. I decided not to chance it and stepped into the queueing channel very early (probably at least 1hr before check-in officially opened). I was very quickly followed by the other hangers(and by that I mean they were 1 or 2 steps behind me).

The result, I was able to secure a premium to upper upgrade using miles, the 'very cross' lady behind me wasn't so lucky as I guess there was only one seat left! Based on what I heard she thought that was VERY unfair
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Old Sep 4, 19, 2:40 am
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Im watching this thread with interest as im flying LHR-LAX tomorrow at 0920.
Im booked in economy but will be asking at the airport just how much it would be to upgrade to UC if there are any seats left.
Anything around the £750 mark one way and i'll biting their hands off.
JJ
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Old Sep 4, 19, 9:07 am
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Just bear in mind @Jimmie Jones, I think i'm right in saying that the general consensus is that UC (aka business class) is much more sought after (and as a result rather more expensive) on a daytime flight than it is a night flight so unless the flight is really empty (which it never is on flights to LAX) I'd be astonished if you found a cheap upgrade (and for the purpose of this conversation i'm calling £700 cheap!!!!).
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Old Sep 4, 19, 10:48 am
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Wife and I flew home to London (from Vegas) in June and every seat was full. We booked return in Premium. We were chatting to the check in agent and they said to upgrade, on the day, from economy to Premium was $350 (I think that was the right amount...maybe $450). I forget how much she said it was for Upper.

When we fly home we always fly premium so if you get the chance do it...will make all the difference. Might be worth logging into your booking online because at times you might see an offer there or you could even bid for an upgrade.

Enjoy Vegas. Make sure you bring a lot of money. Not cheap anymore like it was back in the day.
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