This is my first ever post. I am a Virgin Velocity Gold member with about 100,000 points at present. I need to travel from Perth / Darwin to Dublin from 16/17 Dec and return to Perth / Darwin, leaving Dublin on 11th Jan 2017. I had done some research and thought you could upgrade to business using points but I don’t think that is possible. Virgin use Etihad as a codeshare partner and have said I cannot upgrade unless I book all the way with virgin leaving from Brisbane or Sydey. Is this correct ?
What is the likelihood of booking an economy fare with either virgin or Etihad and being upgraded (if flight is busy) as I am a gold member ? Does that count or not at all?
Also, I would land in terminal 3 in Abu dhabi and terminal 2 in Dublin. Can I use the Etihad lounges as I am gold ?
Thank in advance
I did a booking like this in 2014. Not sure if it has changed.. but this is what I had to do…
- You have to book a FLEXI fair directly with virgin – As a Velocity Gold you can only upgrade international flights on Virgin planes (ie. not code-share with etihad or other carrier).
- From memory i think this is only VA29/VA30 from SYD-AUH, and maybe SYD-LAX.
- Once you book the fare, you have to call up and use your points to upgrade — 45,000 points per person i think (each way).
When I did it, I called up the Virgin call centre first, to make sure i could use the points, and also to check seat availability. Then just booked online, called back and they did the upgrade over the phone, seats picked and all.
Also, you can do the full booking, return to Dublin as one fare, and just upgrade the SYD-AUH leg — but it will cost you Flexi prices for the whole trip – which may be expensive….
For the lounges – You can use the Al Reem lounge in Abu Dhabi as virgin gold, regardless of whether you book economy or busineses etc..
Best of luck..!
If you fly business you can use the Etihad Premium lounge in terminal 3… but economy is the Al Reem lounge in Terminal 1 as a Gold member… and it’s nothing special to be honest. Their premium lounge is great, but you need to be platinum for that unfortunately.
You’ll have almost 0 chance of a free upgrade at the airport I’d say, they’d give them out to Etihad flyers if anything. I flew business from Melb to Dublin a few weeks ago and there were empty seats on both legs, so they were not bumping anyone up for the sake of it.
Looks like DSC has a comprehensive answer there. And I would agree that upgrading a flexi fare is generally not great value due to the initial cost. I would add that you can use the Dublin Etihad lounge too.
Can I suggest you try some alternative booking options if you want it use some points and sample Business
- Book Business Perth – SIN on points. Likey a Singapore Airlines flight. Then use Etihad multi city to fly SIN-DUB-PER or even SIN-LHR/MAN DUB-PER. Can be quite competitive ~$1,000 but your date look expensive 🙁
- Try Points Return PER-SIN and book SIN-DUB as separate return.
Good luck !