If You Want To Get A Big Discount On Main Cabin Select On A Virgin America Flight, Try This Trick Of Not Buying It First

I don’t usually find myself on Virgin America very often but I was booking a ticket for someone in my company and came across a glitch that definitely worked in my favor.

For those not familiar with Virgin America’s different seating choices, Virgin America offers an extra legroom product in coach tabbed “Main Cabin Select” that also comes with priority access to security, priority boarding and some free food items.  This was my first time on their updated website.  Their old website wasn’t close to the best.  The new one is either going to take some time to get used to, or it may be just as bad as the old one.  Hard to say.  When using it on a tablet, every time I tried to change the “Book from” city choice it would take me back to the home page and default to Washington, DC again.  Pretty awesome.

A Big Discount


At any rate, this is about Main Cabin Select.  And, I’m not sure whether this is a new website glitch or something that’s been around for a while.  Take a gander at the pricing below:

A Big Discount

$98 more for Main Cabin Select.  Not a bad deal for a transcontinental flight.  But, for a short hop from Las Vegas to Los Angeles?  Probably not.  But, what if the price was lower?  When I chose Main Cabin for $129, the next screen showed me this:

A Big Discount

A 60% discount?  Not too shabby.  I was able to re-create this on a few different flights, so it’s not just this one fluke.  This trick won’t make you rich, but it may save you a few bucks!


  1. This is not a glitch. Several months ago I booked a ticket on Virgin America from Los Angeles to Las Vegas using the old site. The difference between Main Cabin and “instant upgrade to Main Cabin Select” was only $15. The old site would show every price on one page–it was easier to see the price differences. On that particular flight there was no food and the only beverage options were water, beer or wine–which was offered to every passanger.

  2. Was the $227 seat a refundable fare? Given the $87 increase between the main cabin non-refundable and refundable fares, it would seem reasonable that the $59 difference in what you saw for main cabin extra could be the difference between a refundable and non-refundable fare.

  3. This is not a glitch: the fares are different. The MCS is a fully refundable fare; the upgrade is a non-refundable fare.

  4. They are different options.
    The first one is actually a flexible main cabin select and the second one is a non-refundable main cabin select.
    If you look at https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/vx-fees they have different fees. Also the cheaper one some times does not have access to all the main cabin select seats.

    The same applies to if you click main cabin select seats and choose to upgrade to first later.

  5. I think this is like YUP fares – the $98 extra is an actual fare in that cabin, the $39 is a fare that gets an automatic upgrade.

  6. I like the new site but if you try to search with points, first you need to login (which is annoying) and second, if you don’t have enough points you can’t search the return (it literally says you don’t have enough points so you can’t see the next page…). Terribly designed for the casual traveler who is just looking to plan their trip and not ready to book.

  7. This does not appear to happen anymore. At least not for the bookings that I have been trying to for December 2015 LAX | MCO

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