VA points upgrades out of LAX

By carterb | Apr 23, 2019, 12:02 PM
I recently flew VA24 from LAX to MEL. I booked premium economy and requested a points upgrade to business class (as a Velocity Gold member). At check-in I was told the upgrade was denied even though there were more than 4 empty seats in business, though the local agent couldn't tell me why.

On board I learned that there were in fact 4 of us on the same flight (2x Platinum and 2 x Gold) who had our upgrade requests denied even though there were plenty of seats spare in business class. The flight attendant told me this was an ongoing problem, and that almost no upgrade requests out of LAX are getting approved.

I already knew that a reward seat was almost impossible to come by on VA to/from the States, but now it seems that upgrades out of LAX are also being denied even when there are empty seats. What's the point of collecting Velocity points if I can't use them?
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By mspcooper | Apr 23, 2019, 02:45 PM
Very true. I understand some airlines keep last minute sales to happen, or sometimes people do not show up or have to cancel, still, when boarding starts, they would know who has checked in and who has not, it is pretty silly, not to utilize those points (from both sides). If it does not work on computers, surely, they should come up with a manual system. I find the same, with domestic flights sometimes.
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By Neil R | Apr 23, 2019, 03:43 PM
Hi - I have never been able to upgrade from LAX to SYD using points (I am VA Platinum), but have had better success SYD to LAX. One of the Check in agents in LAX told me (Similar to what you have said) that they will only reserve a number of seats for upgrades, so even if their are empty seats, once the upgrade quota is full, that is it. I did say to the agent, whats the point of having points if I cant use them, and she just smiled.


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By The Points Pro | May 07, 2019, 10:18 AM
My experience is from October 2016, but I had my upgrade request from LAX - SYD approved (premium to business). I was platinum at the time, and the business cabin was full.
But I guess that was a fair time ago...
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