Tons Of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Award Space!

A couple of weeks ago Virgin Atlantic announced some pretty major operational changes, which mostly involved them adding routes to the US and eliminating routes to destinations in the East (including discontinuing service to Mumbai and Tokyo Narita).

Their expansion plans included additional flights to Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The odd thing is that while the new routes were announced a while back, they hadn’t actually been loaded into the schedule. I had been checking on a near daily basis, as new flights and routes tend to result in more award availability.

While they haven’t loaded all of their new routes into the schedule yet, they have loaded the following new services, and for the most part, award availability is excellent:

  • A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit starting June 1, 2015
  • An additional daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles starting March 29, 2015
  • An additional summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco flying five times a week starting March 29, 2014
  • A daily service from Manchester to Atlanta starting March 29, 2015

Finding nonstop award availability from the west coast to Europe can be extremely difficult, though Virgin Atlantic’s new five times weekly service to San Francisco and new daily service to Los Angeles as of March 29, 2015, have plenty of award space.

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Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class

For example, the dates in purple below have at least two Upper Class award seats:

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class-Awards-1

The same is true for the flights in purple below, between San Francisco and London:

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class-Awards-2

Availability between London and Los Angeles is excellent as well:

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As is availability between Los Angeles and London:

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The best part is that these Virgin Atlantic Upper Class awards are also bookable via Delta SkyMiles, which is one of the best ways to redeem miles for travel on Virgin Atlantic. That’s because Delta SkyMiles doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on Virgin Atlantic, making them one of the few airlines where that’s the case.

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class-Awards-5

In addition to the above, Virgin Atlantic also announced the following new services, though they haven’t been loaded into the schedule yet:

  • A second daily service during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta
  • A second daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami
  • A fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York JFK

So if you’ve been looking for nonstop award availability from the west coast to Europe for this coming spring or summer in one of my favorite transatlantic business class products, now is a great time to book!

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Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse San Francisco

Do you plan on redeeming Delta SkyMiles for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on one of these new flights?

Comments

  1. Not on these routes, but I just booked a round trip ticket on Virgin Atlantic in upper class between IAD and Heathrow for 35,000 Virgin America points and ~$900 in taxes. This to me is an incredibly valuable use of my Virgin America points!

  2. Sounds great! But wait — in the photo screenshot it shows $326.60 for taxes/fees. You stated earlier Delta doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on awards on VS but then what is the $326.60 for if it’s not fuel surcharge? Or are the taxes/fees to LHR really that expensive?

  3. Ben,

    I have a boatload of Hawaiian Air miles. Do you know if they impose fuel surcharges on a Virgin Atlantic redemption? Thanks!

  4. Did you notice Virgin Atlantic is now charging fewer miles for — ahem — Coach tickets? One way SFO-LHR is available in August 2015 for just 15,937 miles (and $134.60) per ticket. In the past, I thought the Coach tickets were 20,000-something miles from the West Coast …but can’t say for sure because it’s their Upper Class seats that are of interest. Still….

  5. Yup. And seems to be hit-or-miss now… Virgin and Delta both show the inventory online, but when trying to book, delta.com coughs up. Agents didn’t see any J inventory for SFO/LAX-LHR for the dates I was going for – and confirmed was there and bookable earlier.

    Someone must’ve woken up early in London to fix the weekend mistake…

  6. @DWG — Virgin Atlantic is having an award sale using their miles on economy and premium economy redemptions that ends tomorrow Sept 23rd.

  7. @ stvr — Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so you’re looking at 80,000-10,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Europe, plus $1,000-1,200 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

  8. I am booking a non stop award from Boston to London for December and I noticed that there is availability for Premium Economy but not Upper Class. Is it possible to grab the premium economy seat and then move up to upper class if a seat becomes available closer in to the departure date? If so, how seamless/onerous is the process?

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