Virgin Australia – why bid for an upgrade to business class?

Virgin premium bid

A great piece of software from Plusgrade that Virgin Australia are using: if you’ve bought an economy ticket then you can bid for a business class upgrade. I’ve heard of this on Emirates but never seen it in action.

Whilst I sincerely appreciate the benefits of a flat bed when flying long haul, how much is a business class seat from Melbourne to Sydney really worth? A 1 hour 25 minute flight. If you choose $150 then you’re told “Very poor” chance of your offer succeeding and you have to increase to $350 to get a strong chance – $1.50 per minute extra for a free drink in the lounge and another on the plane?

Virgin Australia bid for a business class upgrade

Still, I couldn’t resist – waiting to hear about my $150 offer.

I would love to know what % of people do bid – I’d guess Virgin and other’s will make a fortune from this and also fill their unsold business inventory if they choose to.

Update 23 October

Oh no! My bid was accepted and I’ve been upgraded – it turns out that $150 does not, in fact, have a very poor chance of succeeding and I have now paid another $150 for what will probably be a free Coke.

Upgraded to Virgin Australia Business Class


Update 27 October

Since we’d been for a long and lovely lunch at Albert Street Food and Wine, I only had a glass of sparkling water on the plane which ended up costing me $150. At least it was in a glass!

Mrs P was not so impressed, she wasn’t allowed in the lounge with me because unlike BA/Qantas a Virgin Business Class ticket only entitles the holder and not a guest into the lounge. At priority check in Mrs P was moved up the plane (not upgraded) but unfortunately moved back down the plane at the gate:

Virgin re-seated at gate