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.
Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class
For example, the dates in purple below have at least two Upper Class award seats:
The same is true for the flights in purple below, between San Francisco and London:
Availability between London and Los Angeles is excellent as well:
As is availability between Los Angeles and London:
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.
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!
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse San Francisco
Do you plan on redeeming Delta SkyMiles for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on one of these new flights?