Booking Virgin Atlantic (SFO-LHR) tips?

Old Mar 10, 15, 6:31 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 91
Booking Virgin Atlantic (SFO-LHR) tips?

We're going on a transatlantic crossing in May 2016 and I'm looking to redeem my VX Elevate points to a VS Upper Class seat.

I last did this about 3 years ago, just after the partnership was announced. I was successful, but it was a lengthy and problematic process. Since then, the DL partnership with VS has changed the environment as well.

Any suggestions on getting two of the likely limited UC seats on one of the (now two) nonstops?
- When will they become available?
- I believe it's still a phone call with a lot of manual processing; any recommendations on getting one of the likely few people who handle these ticket awards?

Thanks!
Mark
MarkBearSF is offline  
Old Mar 10, 15, 6:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD
Programs: Free Agent
Posts: 1,896
Sorry to take this a little off topic, but can you look on Delta.com for VA award availability?
Condition One is offline  
Old Mar 10, 15, 6:56 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 91
ConditionOne - Just want to see if I'm following you here - suggestion is to use DL to check availability window - not some back door partnership way of making the booking through DL (with VX points). Worth checking out.

...I've got very few SkyMiles these days since they pissed my husband off a few years ago, so now primarily VX and AA.
MarkBearSF is offline  
Old Mar 11, 15, 2:52 am
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: LAX
Programs: VX Gold
Posts: 427
Call VX soon and immediately asked to be transferred to someone who can handle international partner bookings.

Once you get transferred to the competent person, tell them the parameters of your trip and ask them to look into various options and get back to you. It takes a lot of the work out of it for you, and they tend to know best. I did this 6 months ago and got a call back within 3 hours with a menu of options to get from BOS/JFK/EWR/IAD to LHR. Worked well!

It's important to get immediately transferred to the rewards experts though -- don't let the basic-level agent take the info and pass it along. You'd never hear back from them haha
bayhouse is offline  
Old Mar 11, 15, 6:06 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD
Programs: Free Agent
Posts: 1,896
Originally Posted by MarkBearSF View Post
ConditionOne - Just want to see if I'm following you here - suggestion is to use DL to check availability window - not some back door partnership way of making the booking through DL (with VX points). Worth checking out.
Correct. I'm asking if you can use Delta's website to look for VA award availability. And then once you have the dates, call VX to book the tickets.
Condition One is offline  
Old Mar 11, 15, 5:40 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Programs: UA 1K, VX Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 19
Can't you just look for availability on VS's own site? They've improved the interface to show availability across cabins into a single calendar view. Once you find availability give VX a call with your specific flight details and they should be able to check and confirm.
pds_SFO is offline  
Old Mar 11, 15, 5:42 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,724
Originally Posted by pds_SFO View Post
Can't you just look for availability on VS's own site? They've improved the interface to show availability across cabins into a single calendar view. Once you find availability give VX a call with your specific flight details and they should be able to check and confirm.

I would second that. VS is very easy to use
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Old Mar 11, 15, 11:37 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 460
Originally Posted by pds_SFO View Post
Can't you just look for availability on VS's own site? They've improved the interface to show availability across cabins into a single calendar view. Once you find availability give VX a call with your specific flight details and they should be able to check and confirm.
That would probably end up being pretty frustrating. The seats that airlines release for use by booking partners (for free) almost never have anything to do with the seats available to purchase that you see online.
cringle is offline  
Old Mar 12, 15, 10:31 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Programs: UA 1K, VX Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 19
I think there's a pretty good correlation between VS Flying Club award inventory and what is available to partners. At least it's a good starting point to eliminate any dates/cabins that VS isn't offering to their own members.
pds_SFO is offline  
Old Mar 13, 15, 11:07 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SFO, LON
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Bonvoy Tit, Hilton Dia etc etc
Posts: 2,354
Originally Posted by pds_SFO View Post
I think there's a pretty good correlation between VS Flying Club award inventory and what is available to partners. At least it's a good starting point to eliminate any dates/cabins that VS isn't offering to their own members.
This varies - on long haul OneWorld to Europe, for instance, usually if BA shows availability so will AA. Fairly reliable. Not so much for short haul flights, funnily enough.

VS doesn't quite do the same, so this is about as good as it's going to get. You can use it to at least eliminate dates you should look for. They are on a 330 calendar, so you need to call mid-June for early May trips. I'm not sure if VX will let you do a one way redemption, if so call the day that the outbound opens up and grab a seat if you can, then call when the return date opens.

Good luck! I'm on VS to LHR for the first time in 6 years this Sunday, actually looking forward to trying it again.
MarkedMan is offline  
Old Mar 14, 15, 8:29 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by MarkedMan View Post
I'm not sure if VX will let you do a one way redemption, if so call the day that the outbound opens up and grab a seat if you can, then call when the return date opens.

Good luck! I'm on VS to LHR for the first time in 6 years this Sunday, actually looking forward to trying it again.
Enjoy!
Only need one-way. Flying out for a no-hassle vacation - spending a few days in London to see shows & stuff and then doing a crossing on the QM2 for the return (and then seeing shows & stuff in NY for a few days). VX calculates redemptions per flight, so I assume 1 way should be doable.
MarkBearSF is offline  
Old Mar 16, 15, 9:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Programs: UA 1K, VX Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 19
OW partner redemption rates on VS are listed on the VX site partner points calculator...not quite half the points of a R/T

https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/el...irgin-atlantic
pds_SFO is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: