Should I redeem outright or upgrade to business class for VA Brisbane to Los Angeles?

Hi all I have finally got to Velocity Gold member but brand new to Point Hacks…We are looking at flying to LAX from BNE (in business) next year and want to ask am I better redeeming the whole flight on points or buying economy and upgrading that fare.We don’t care if I have to stop over anywhere to do so.

Hi @tezz

Welcome to point hacking and congratulations on attaining Gold!

The only way to be certain that you’ll be flying Business is to book a Business seat at the outset, either using points or money. Requests for upgrades from Economy may or may not come through: there’s absolutely no guarantee. If any request did come through, it would probably not be until the week or so before the flight.

Hope this helps!

As @sixtyeight said, the only way to guarantee a seat in business class is by outright redeeming the whole flight on points.

BUT, if you can’t find award availability, you might instead choose to upgrade from economy. Keep in mind though, that this is largely a lottery and there are many restrictions on what fares are eligible for an upgrade.
If you want to upgrade to business class, you would need at least a flexible economy ticket or Premium Economy ticket. Both of these tickets are much more expensive than the $999 economy fares you see advertised. Flexible economy tickets can be double in price and premium economy similar if not more so.
The benefit of upgrading is that you use less points but you will join a waitlist of other people who likely want the upgrade just as much as you. You have to prepare yourself to sit in economy or premium economy if the business class upgrade doesn’t come through.

In my opinion, I always redeem outright. Upgrades are just too risky for a 12 hour flight when I need my sleep.