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Are Virgin Upper Class Award seats made available one at a time?

Are Virgin Upper Class Award seats made available one at a time?

Old Jul 30, 19, 8:22 pm
  #1  
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Are Virgin Upper Class Award seats made available one at a time?

Heading on a trip from Seattle to London a ways out and want to use miles to fly Upper Class in both directions. So far, have only been able to book SEA > LHR (one-way) for my wife and I. Got a better deal via the Delta site (86,000 miles each plus very little cash... not dirt cheap but reasonable).

I'm monitoring flights back from LHR to SEA via ExpertFlyer and it seems like for the date ranges we are looking at, there is only a single seat available, despite the Upper Class cabin being pretty wide open. Should I just wait it out for two seats to become available? Or is it the sort of thing where Virgin only makes one available and then once that's taken, they are more likely to make another one available shortly thereafter? Just wondering what the best strategy is here. Thanks!
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:24 am
  #2  
 
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European airlines in general do not release additional reward seats in J, simply because there are unsold seats.

Book for one person and book the other person in PE or Y. If additional award space ever opens up you can upgrade. Otherwise you can wait in London until a flight offers 2 seats in the same cabin, although probably somebody will nab the current available seat in UC before that happens.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:27 am
  #3  
 
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I agree with craigthemif.

SEA isn't a Gold heavy route and I find that on the day upgrades to Upper, from Y or W using miles or cash is often possible. So feel free to ask at check in, as well as in the lounge and even the gate if it gets to that point.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 6:21 am
  #4  
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Keep looking. VS can and does release extra reward seats but there is no pattern available.

on a one a day flight which I think SEA is then they may wait until nearer (which could still be months) to flight dates to release more as they obviously prefer cash bookings.

on a route like JFK they have more flexibility and can soon pull them off popular flight times to sell more cash tickets and add rewards to the less popular flights.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 9:14 pm
  #5  
 
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TBH, have you considered looking at "splitting" the ticket with a flight into (say) BOS or JFK on VS and then continuing onwards on either DL or B6? Mint fares can be a (relative) steal out of BOS, while J availability between the UK and the West Coast has often been spotty vs what's available to NYC or BOS (and this isn't just a VS thing, either, from what I can tell).
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Old Aug 3, 19, 12:40 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
TBH, have you considered looking at "splitting" the ticket with a flight into (say) BOS or JFK on VS and then continuing onwards on either DL or B6? Mint fares can be a (relative) steal out of BOS, while J availability between the UK and the West Coast has often been spotty vs what's available to NYC or BOS (and this isn't just a VS thing, either, from what I can tell).
Certainly sensible sometimes to take what you can get and then position separately.

But when you consider the polar routing of flights from London to SEA, YVR, etc. you can do a 10-hour direct flight OR you do the 6-7 hour flight to the East Coast, 3-4 hours minimum waiting around with margin for separate tickets, then 5-6 hours cross-country.

Plus you then end up questioning whether you want to pay the miles, extra UK taxes for "premium" and surcharges, etc. for a 6 hour daytime flight i.e. LHR-BOS.

So that brings you back around to just flying Y or PE direct to SEA, especially as a daytime flight...
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craigthemif is offline  
Old Aug 3, 19, 5:33 pm
  #7  
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Yep, I don't think I'd ever choose a connecting flight over a direct one, even if it meant economy vs business. The one thing I have going for me is flexibility on dates and even origination spots in Europe. Can fly out of CDG, AMS, DUB, or FRA if those end up being better. No great rewards upgrades out of any of those spots yet either though.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 11:37 am
  #8  
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Update on this just to close it out: upgrade seats ended up becoming available about a week after I set up an email alert on ExpertFlyer. Got 'em! Thanks for the help everyone.
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chickenmittens is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 1:22 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by chickenmittens View Post
Update on this just to close it out: upgrade seats ended up becoming available about a week after I set up an email alert on ExpertFlyer. Got 'em! Thanks for the help everyone.

Good news- glad it worked out

Nick
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