Go Baller In Virgin America First-Class
I was first introduced to Virgin American when I flew out to LA in the summer of 2009. I ended up doing a few round trips between JFK and LAX that summer, all on Virgin America. More recently I took Virgin America on round-trips to both San Francisco in May and Las Vegas in August, on both trips I was in First-Class both ways. This is due to Virgin America’s cool upgrade policy. Unfortunately as they became more popular the policy became a bit more restricted…
Book your ticket like you normally would and select your seat. Then exactly 6 hours before the departure time for your flight, you can login and if there are any First-Class seats available you can change your seat and pay a much reduced upgrade price. For a “long haul” flight, like JFK to LAX, the upgrade price is $270 on top of whatever you originally paid for your ticket. Yes, it’s a nice chunk of change, but it’s substantially lower then if you were to buy the First-Class ticket to begin with.
When I first started flying Virgin America, you could do this 24 hours before the flight as opposed to 6 hours… I assume they decided they’d like to allow more time for people to pay full-fare. It also cost $250 instead of $270. However, depending on the time and day of the week, I’ve had pretty good luck getting an upgraded seat. You just have to be dedicated and make sure you are at a computer shortly before the 6 hour mark and ready to move fast!
Hopefully I won’t see any of you on my upcoming flights, because we’ll probably be fighting for the same upgrade!