UC reward seats to.... anywhere exotic!

Old Jul 12, 18, 7:27 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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UC reward seats to.... anywhere exotic!

I've just tried to find a single reward UC seat to Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia, using the 5 week search tool, anytime from January 1st 2019 to June 8th 2019 (the furthest it will let me search).

Not a single reward seat. At all. To any of those destinations. :/

Do VS simply not offer reward seats to and from these destinations?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 7:41 am
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They do offer them. But you'll find during high season, they are hard to come by.

Keep looking though, as more do get loaded. You can always book a PE reward ticket and upgrade that with the difference in miles and taxes if an Upper becomes available.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 7:45 am
  #3  
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Thanks - quite frustrating! I'll keep looking. The UC part is only really essential for the return flight I guess, so two one way tickets MIGHT work...?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 8:01 am
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You can book a combination of two cabins for return reward flights, you can also do two one ways - do whichever one results in the cheapest taxes. So you could do premium out and upper back. If the upper is not available, just book the premium and then call them back later to upgrade in inbound. You will have to pay the difference in miles and taxes though.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 8:05 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by CommanderB View Post
You can book a combination of two cabins for return reward flights
How do I do this? Thanks again
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Old Jul 12, 18, 9:42 am
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  1. Search for the route and dates you are looking for. I find using the week or 5 week filter more useful for this kind of thing.
  2. Set the search to look for the lowest cabin you want, i.e. Premium.
  3. On the outbound, choose a premium fare (if there are any available, if not, repeat the first steps and find an economy fare).
  4. On the inbound, choose a premium or upper fare.
  5. Proceed to the Flight Summary page, and you should see your outbound in the lowest cabin (Premium) and the inbound in Upper with the price in miles and total cash to pay for taxes & fees.
I just did a dummy booking of this for a LHR > JFK return next February. Premium outbound and Upper inbound - total cost was 65,000 miles and £491.31.

Alternatively, call up Virgin and they can do it over the phone.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 10:09 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by CommanderB View Post
  1. Search for the route and dates you are looking for. I find using the week or 5 week filter more useful for this kind of thing.
  2. Set the search to look for the lowest cabin you want, i.e. Premium.
  3. On the outbound, choose a premium fare (if there are any available, if not, repeat the first steps and find an economy fare).
  4. On the inbound, choose a premium or upper fare.
  5. Proceed to the Flight Summary page, and you should see your outbound in the lowest cabin (Premium) and the inbound in Upper with the price in miles and total cash to pay for taxes & fees.
I just did a dummy booking of this for a LHR > JFK return next February. Premium outbound and Upper inbound - total cost was 65,000 miles and £491.31.

Alternatively, call up Virgin and they can do it over the phone.
Thank you - I'll have another browse!
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Old Jul 16, 18, 1:42 am
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For anyone reading, I couldn't find any flights I wanted, so ended up getting Virgin Holidays in the UK to sort it - simply booked a standard economy seat on the route I wanted (as part of a holiday they booked for me) and insisted that the deal is made or broken on reward flight upgradeability - so they phoned through to flying club, confirmed the reward seats available (there's more for upgrades than full reward flights), booked at economy, quick call to FC, then 72,500 miles and £160 each later, we're in UC. Much better.

Obviously I'd have rather done the whole thing myself, but at least we're going where I wanted to, with the airline I wanted, in the cabin I wanted, and I've not been bent over for it!
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Old Jul 16, 18, 3:42 pm
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On these routes I found that wealthy cruise ship passengers tended to snap up all the Upper Class seats. Miami is another route where that happens.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 5:48 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by CommanderB View Post
They do offer them. But you'll find during high season, they are hard to come by.

Keep looking though, as more do get loaded. You can always book a PE reward ticket and upgrade that with the difference in miles and taxes if an Upper becomes available.
i know this is a million dollar question but re. Loading. We’re looking at LHR to JNB in Nov knowing they’ve also added another flight but only one UC seat available for the date we want. Thursday there were two. Should we hold out for another seat to become available or just book PE and wait?
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:08 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Book PE and wait.

That one seat that is there, will almost certainly go soon.
  • So either book two PE tickets, upgrade one and hope to upgrade the other.
  • Book two PE tickets and hope two Upper class rewards open up (keep checking).
  • Check again at the airport for both miles & cash upgrades, as they are often released on the day of travel, depending on loads.
Best of luck, and have a nice trip.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 5:22 am
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Did just that & booked two PE. Then found we couldn't sit next the window so double hit.

Both call centre ladies suggested we just hold out as there was plenty of availability. Just looking for a pattern that's all.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 6:25 am
  #13  
 
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This whole charade of finding award seats is one reason why I've switched from VS to BA. With the latter you can guarantee that there are 2x CW seats on each and every flight, so on many routes you really have to go some not to find availability. They've also got the OW alliance behind them which obviously helps in terms of FFP benefits.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 8:29 am
  #14  
 
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Search as two one ways. The search tool is too exact otherwise. If you want to go for a week and say seven days, it will show no availability unless an exact seven day gap is possible. For routes where the service is not daily, that may be the case as standard.
My approach is to do two one way searches, then a phone booking, but setting the correct number of days (e.g. six or eight) can also work.
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