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-   -   Please report experiences of booking Partner Airline except ANA (NH) using VS points. (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/virgin-atlantic-airways-flying-club/1536839-please-report-experiences-booking-partner-airline-except-ana-nh-using-vs-points.html)

Nottingham Nick Jan 2, 14 3:05 am

Please report experiences of booking Partner Airline except ANA (NH) using VS points.
 
One of the frequent recent and ongoing gripes about the VS Flying Club programme is the apparent lack of availability, and the appallingly antiquated system of booking, reward seats on Partner Airlines.

This sticky thread is intended to be used for people to post their successes and frustrations with VS whilst booking, and trying to book, reward seats on partner airlines. I hope that in the fullness of time it may provide fellow travellers with any best practice tips or pitfalls and workarounds that may exist.

Please post your own experiences and thoughts, it would be useful if the experiences could be given a date, as it is clear that the systems sometimes change.

The ending of the SQ ‘partnership’ and the start of the Delta era doesn’t appear to have made any immediate difference, but I suppose it is still early days yet.

On the face of it, VS has quite an impressive list of partner airline, that the website is quite effusive in promoting as a way of spending your hard earned Flying Club points:-

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en.../airlines.html

A lot of us know, from experience, that the reality can be somewhat different to the glossy advertising.

I am not a big fan of negative threads on an airline’s page, but I do feel that this is one area that Flying Club lets itself down on. (YQ Surcharge being the other ;) )

I am, however happy to be proved wrong.


Nick

Nottingham Nick Jan 2, 14 3:09 am

I will start the thread with my own take.

Several years ago in 2008, a friend and I booked a very nice trip in SQ from LHR to SIN and back. Since then, all my efforts to repeat this experience have ended in frustration and disappointment at the end of a telephone. It is very clear that I am not the only one who feels that the whole system is very anti-customer.

For several years now versions of this disclaimer has been on the VS website -Redemptions in Business Class and First Class on their A380-800, 777-300ER and A340-500 aircraft types are not available. The first version of this exclusion appeared shortly after the A380 was introduced out of LHR, and we were told it was a short term measure on the new aircraft routes. Over the years, it has since been expanded, rather than withdrawn and is hardly a short term measure any more.

I have also tried to get availability on Air New Zealand on several routes over a period of a few years without success - I always try to book early and try to be flexible with dates, but always end up frustrated.

Surely, in 2014 there should be a way of booking these seats online, or even checking for availability?

I know that there are commercial websites available that are supposed to show availability, but it is clear that because a seat is available for an airline's own frequent fliers, it doesn't mean it is available to book with VS points. :td::td:

Nick

McCoy Jan 3, 14 2:28 am

Ditto, and agree.
I too previously used VS miles on SQ (F on 747), but even that took a few phone-calls, over a few days, and lots of internet cross-referencing.

98h524 Jan 28, 14 2:12 pm

Air China redemptions with FC miles?
 
Since this sticky hasn't really gotten going yet, I would like to ask if anyone has ever managed to book in First or Business with Air China?

Only London-Beijing-London is available, but the redemption values at 75k and 63k respectively look extraordinarily good value.

I have never redeemed on Virgin Atlantic, but was considering a trip to China next year and the First product on Air China looks great and at half the number of miles compared to the 150k Avios which BA would charge?

Steve Oh Jan 29, 14 1:18 am

Is this full miles + tax only? In business?

98h524 Jan 29, 14 11:39 am


Originally Posted by Steve Oh (Post 22244046)
Is this full miles + tax only? In business?

That's how it comes across on the website:

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en...air-china.html

Mind you, I haven't actually called FC to confirm. Just interested if anyone has found availability and managed to redeem as 75k miles for a £4k cash price First seat on Air China seems remarkably good value.

yellow_peril Feb 6, 14 3:54 am


Originally Posted by Steve Oh (Post 22244046)
Is this full miles + tax only? In business?

Air China Business Class and First Class taxes (on rev tickets) are the same at £574.

This is just from the GDS so don't know what VS would be wanting from you!

crimsonred Feb 7, 14 4:47 pm

I was able to book VX flights (SFO-BOS RT) using VS points over the phone. It was very tedious because I would tell the operator my intended flight dates/class of travel, and then she would come back saying no. And then it took about 4-5 back and forths to find the dates, and then a couple more to find an available travel class. I even tried having her look up Delta's award availability, which seemed to be much worse. Definitely not how you should be booking flights in 2014!

Unfortunately I was not able to fly and managed to cancel the award booking without any problems, and all points were returned.

soy Feb 8, 14 9:17 pm

If anyone has booked DL awards through Flyingclub, does VS availability match 'low' on DL skymiles, or is it better/worse?

98h524 Feb 9, 14 3:42 am


Originally Posted by crimsonred (Post 22307277)
I was able to book VX flights (SFO-BOS RT) using VS points over the phone. It was very tedious because I would tell the operator my intended flight dates/class of travel, and then she would come back saying no. And then it took about 4-5 back and forths to find the dates, and then a couple more to find an available travel class. I even tried having her look up Delta's award availability, which seemed to be much worse. Definitely not how you should be booking flights in 2014!

I have been going through these motions with VFC over the past few days for Air China availability to PEK as well. Except, it's even worse. I'd ask for 2 seats on certain dates which show Air China J and F availability on United and ANA's search engines, and after 24 hours Air China will come back to Virgin saying no seats available. So each flight search takes up to 24 hours and Virgin seems to have access to fewer seats than Star Alliance partners.:confused:

atomicc8 Feb 11, 14 3:02 pm

Booked LAX-MEL on Virgin Australia for travel in the next 3 weeks, 47000 miles and $17 tax one way. Availability on Virgin Australia seems to always match there online tool which is very good and I believe they are the only partner to allow one way rewards.

mpk Feb 13, 14 6:52 pm

Was able to book VX flights from DFW-SFO RT by calling in and only being on hold for a couple minutes. Dates and class of service that I wanted were available.

UA Fan Feb 17, 14 2:12 pm


Originally Posted by atomicc8 (Post 22330867)
Availability on Virgin Australia seems to always match there online tool which is very good and I believe they are the only partner to allow one way rewards.

Good to know. Hope this increases. When did this change happen?

Also surprising that there was no YQ.

AAPlatinum Feb 21, 14 7:08 pm


Originally Posted by soy (Post 22313744)
If anyone has booked DL awards through Flyingclub, does VS availability match 'low' on DL skymiles, or is it better/worse?


Several weeks ago I found a low level roundtrip business class award on DL JFK-VCE-JFK by searching Delta.com. I rang VS and they found the same award and booked it for me in less than 10 mins. It was 100K VS miles and $47 in taxes. Had I used Skypesos it would have been 150K miles.

UA Fan Feb 21, 14 7:24 pm


Originally Posted by AAPlatinum (Post 22393983)
Several weeks ago I found a low level roundtrip business class award on DL JFK-VCE-JFK by searching Delta.com. I rang VS and they found the same award and booked it for me in less than 10 mins. It was 100K VS miles and $47 in taxes. Had I used Skypesos it would have been 150K miles.

Any idea what the rules on stopovers and open jaws are with DL redemptions?


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