Virgin Australia redemption with Virgin America Elevate - aircraft change resulting in cabin downgrade. Who should I contact?


I have booked a return flight through Virgin America Elevate flying Virgin Australia in Business Class (Canberra to Melbourne). On one of the legs Virgin has made a schedule change and moved the plane from a 737 to an ATR 72. As the ATR 72 does not have Business class the booking has been moved to economy.

I have tries to contact both Virgin Australia and Virgin America but both say it is the other parties issue. I understand that this issue is complicated by the fact the Virgin America/Australia partnership has now ended.

I have lodged a complaint with Virgin Australia through their online form. My primary resolution would be to have my flight changed to a later flight that day in business class as long as Virgin can provide a quick response. If this can not be done what are my options for seeking compensation?



Hi Aaron,

You always have to contact the party that issued the ticket. In your case, Virgin America (Elevate). I am not sure how active Virgin America is since merging with Alaska Air.

I can see 2 way forward:

  • Stick with economy and ask for the difference in points refunded.
  • Cancel the booking and rebook with another frequent flyer program. In this case, try using Alaskan miles to issue a ticket on a Qantas flight is available.
Hope that helps and good luck.