Amazing Virgin fares to the US from Dublin (£1150 Upper Class) – as it drops some free chauffeur transfers

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The Virgin Atlantic Winter sale is now on as you can see here.

The best deals, however, are out of Dublin.  There are some exceptional prices available at the moment if you don’t mind heading out to Ireland to start your trip.  The connection to London will be on Aer Lingus or British Airways – BA is better as you book into Club Europe.

‘How cheap?’ I hear you ask.

How about £1,116 in Upper Class to Seattle?  Or Los Angeles?  Or New York?  Or San Francisco?  Or indeed anywhere else on the Virgin US network?

You need to stay away for at least a week to get these prices which will be a problem for some.  The good news is that these fares are bookable for all of 2018 although they are harder to find over the Summer.

You need to book these fares on Expedia or Opodo.  They are NOT bookable on the Virgin website because it does not accept Dublin as a starting point, although you can call them.

Here is an example for Seattle in February.  The fare is £1,116 return using BA Club Europe from Dublin to London and the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Seattle.  Click to enlarge:

and here is an example to Los Angeles in March for a paltry £1,160:

These are very good fares indeed and well worth thinking about over Christmas.  Remember that a seven day minimum stay is required and that you may need to play around for a while to find available dates.

Take a look at the UK sale too

The Virgin Atlantic winter sale for flights starting in the UK is also now underway.  You can take a look at the deals on the Virgin site here.

Starting today (Saturday) Virgin is making some improvements to the travel dates for the cheapest Upper Class fares, although they are still a bit rubbish.

I wanted to focus on the Upper Class options.  The headline prices are not bad, assuming you don’t want to fly via Dublin:

  • New York from £1389 (£1339 from Manchester)
  • Boston from £1389 (£1289 from Manchester)
  • Miami from £1759
  • Orlando from £1819 (£1699 from Manchester)
  • Los Angeles from £1889
  • San Francisco from £1889
  • Atlanta from £1729 from Manchester
  • Las Vegas from £2289 from Manchester
  • Antigua from £1689
  • Barbados from £1789 (£1828 from Manchester)
  • St Lucia from £1789
  • Dubai from £1599
  • Shanghai from £2699
  • Hong Kong from £2999

This sale comes with the most bizarre travel restrictions.  Originally, except for Orlando, the US prices above are ONLY valid for travel between 26th May and 2nd June!  Yes, just one week, which was laughable.  This is changing today:

Manchester to Boston will be available for travel between 26th April – 2nd July, 21st August to 28th November, 18th December 2018 to 6th January 2019

Manchester to New York will be available for travel between 26th May – 2nd June, 21st November to 28th November, 18th December 2018 to 6th January 2019

London to New York and London to Boston will be available for travel between 26th May – 2nd June, 21st November to 28th November, 18th December 2018 to 6th January 2019

This is still not a major improvement, except for Manchester to Boston, but it is better than it was.

The Dubai Upper Class deals are only valid for travel in June.

For Orlando and the Caribbean the travel dates are a lot wider as you can see here.

Meanwhile, in Premium Economy, there is a totally different but equally restrictive set of dates.  In general, the US routes are only available at the lowest advertised price between 4th January and 8th February.

It is still worth having a look at what is available, but be aware that the lowest advertised prices are thin on the ground.  Economy deals are not bad, with London to Boston now starting at £308.   The sale home page is here.

And … no more free chauffeur service on non-refundable business class tickets

Virgin Atlantic has decided to remove its chauffeur service on ‘I’ class (ie non-refundable) business class tickets.

This is not hugely surprising.  Etihad recently scrapped its chauffeur service outside Abu Dhabi as we wrote here.  Virgin Atlantic has never offered the service on Flying Club tickets.  Only Emirates is – for now – continuing with a free chauffeur service at both ends of your trip, irrespective of the price paid (cash or miles) for your ticket.

Here is the official announcement:

We need to let you know about some changes we’re making to our Upper Class ground transportation offering.

From 24 January 2018 we’ll be making the following changes:

We will no longer offer complimentary ground transportation, including chauffeur cars, as part of an I class ticket. This includes Heathrow Express, Limo Bike and all other options, including those in our overseas markets.

Customers booked in I class who would like a chauffeur car transfer will instead have the option of booking one at a preferential Virgin Atlantic rate from our partner Addison Lee. 

We are also extending the ability to add on a chauffeur car, at the Virgin Atlantic preferential rate, to Z class bookings globally.

I think Virgin Atlantic had a couple of issues here.

Firstly, unlike Emirates or Etihad, 50% of its trips would have been in the UK with the expensive petrol and labour costs that entails.

Secondly, it had a generous incremental policy that let you stack your free mileage – a couple got double the standard free mileage, a family of four got 4x.  In theory, a family of four could get a free return Mercedes trip from Newcastle to Heathrow and I doubt that was cost effective on cheap discounted tickets.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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Comments

  1. Travelling_Techie says:

    Regarding Virgin’s cheap fares to the states, starting from Dublin.

    1) if this is booked via the virgin call centre, can you still get the DUB LHR segments on BA to credit as BA Avios, as there is no alliance between BA and VS? Or do you have to use a third-party travel agent to be able to do this?

    2) even though it’s two different airlines, does baggage get checked straight through from one flight to the next, or do you have to collect and re-check?

    a) On the way out, since I have to get to DUB first to start the itinerary, what I would actually ideally do is pop into T3 first thing, check the bag in for the Transatlantic sector, then pop over to T5 for the Dub out and back (on a same plane back-to-back), assuming that BA would handle the issuing of their boarding cards and VS theirs! It could get confusing if VS have to issue the BA cards, but I would suspect that VS Don’t even have a check-in desk in DUB so this is probably BA’s domain anyway? (Of course I would want to get the BA boarding card for DUB-LHR from LHR before the positioning flight!!)

    b) on the way back it would be more convenient if checking in with VS in the states, the bag could be checked all the way through to DUB. It would save going landside, waiting to colllect it at T3 and then lugging it to T5 to check in again !

    • the real harry1 says:

      it all sounds impossible to me but I’ll let others comment

      Virgin & BA don’t speak to each other plus you wouldn’t be able to do most of the things you hope to do

      good luck, though – I could easily be hopelessly wrong

    • It is a BA flight number from DUB so no problem crediting. No problem checking bags through in Dublin.

      BA should let you check the bag at LHR if checked in, I know others who have done this on a back to back. Back up plan needed though.

      No problem checking to DUB on return as same ticket.

      • Travelling_Techie says:

        Thanks for your reply Rob

        Actually on the way out I *don’t* want to check bag in at DUB. I want to check bag at LHR, then do a B2B To DUB and back, to continue the flights. Or second best, leave back in Left Luggage, B2B to DUB and then check bag half-way through for transatlantic.

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