Virgin Atlantic Flying Club - Availability Tools?
Jun 29, 05, 7:58 am
I'm trying to find UC tix availability between NYC & LHR and the tool linked to by v-flyer.com appears to be permanently down. Other than the v-flyer.com paid availability tool, is there any other way of finding Z class tix availability (assuming that is the correct code since I intend to use transferred AMEX MR points). Any help would be greatly appreciated?
Jun 29, 05, 9:20 am
If you go to the booking engine of http://www.virgin-atlantic.com and the confirmation screen (PRE-PURCHASE) of the booking system says "limo service is not included" <or something to that extent>, then you have a Z class fare quoted :)
... although I'm not sure about using Amex MR points on a Z ticket - I'm guessing it would need to be a G (reward) seat?
Jun 29, 05, 10:31 am
Thanks - went back to double-check v-flyers list of codes and sure enough, G seems to be the correct class (not Z).
Does anyone have a sense based on past experience if it is reasonable to plan on booking two UC RT NYC/LHR G class tix using my AMEX MR points for sometime in mid-Sept? In other words, is two months usually enough lead time to snare these tix or am I crazy (e.g. forget anything less than six months lead-time)? I've used the Flying Club website to try booking some sample dates in Sept. and I haven't been able to find any available seats so far. I can't really do the last-minute thing.
Jun 29, 05, 12:07 pm
Unfortunately, as a lot of people on v-flyer have noticed, transatlantic (Upper Class) reward seats this side of November are few and far between to say the least. You may be a bit short of luck, unless you're able to do "the last-minute thing" when Revenue Management finally release any spare capacity for the route.
Getting two, together, will obviously also make it more difficult... :(
Jun 29, 05, 1:29 pm
So, it looks like I'm stuck sitting at the VS website, trying each date. So far, I've been through most of Sept. with no luck. Onto October!
How far in advance of a flight does "Revenue Mgmt" add seats when they are inclined to do so? I may need to rethink my "plan far in advance" idea...
Jun 29, 05, 2:53 pm
Revenue Management typically only ever release extra seats (excluding exceptional circumstances/appalling load factors) 1 week before the date of flight. If you call VS, they have a much better tool, and can tell you when availability IS available within a given date range ;)
Jun 30, 05, 1:26 pm
I called VS FC (Flying Club) and after going through loads of dates in Aug and Sept found that as of now, there are no UC awards seats from NYC/LHR. Since I really do want to make this trip, I'm thinking of buying (with actual real money) 2 PremEcon tix on VS for my trip near the end of Aug. Then, I thought I would try to upgrade using miles from PE to UC. My thinking is as follows: 1. Based on my calculations, using points for an UC tix results in each point being worth about $0.04. Using points for lower-grade tix isn't nearly as good a deal (even if there were award tix available in those classes). 2. I could always try to upgrade from PE to UC using miles, but if I was unsucessful, I wouldn't be stuck in reg. economy. Here are my questions:
a. Is PE worth the extra $ generally?
b. Once I book the tix with $, when should I try to upgrade (immediately, a week before the flight, a day before, etc?)
c. Do the upgrades from PE to UC come from a different pool of seats than plain old UC award seats, i.e. are they 'G' class or some other class?
Sorry for all the questions but thanks everyone for your help so far!
Jun 30, 05, 3:54 pm
I also noticed the lack of Upper Class seats for award travel in October. I finally was able to secure seats on an SFO-LHR-SFO routing departing on a Sunday and returning on a Friday in November. I love the ClLubhouse in SFO. It is a wonderful way to start your journey.