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Forums Frequent flyer programs Virgin Flying Club Using the VA Upgrade Voucher on routes with multiple sectors

  • bennymoon 38 posts

    Hi all,

    Was thinking about getting the Virgin Atlantic credit card as the vouchers don’t require you to actually have any points to use. My question is this:

    Let’s say I wanted to go to Hawaii. Delta fly there so I can book that route through VA by connecting through LAX or SEA. In this example I might go LHR –> LAX with Virgin and then connect to a Delta flight for the onwards journey to HNL, taking the same route back but in reverse.

    If I booked the whole route as a cash ticket in Premium, could I then use the voucher to upgrade the VA sectors of the route or does the whole point to point have to be with VA? Other examples could be flying to Canada with VA via JFK or another airport.

    Thanks for your help!

    mrcrsearle 96 posts

    Can only use the vouchers on VA.

    bennymoon 38 posts

    Can only use the vouchers on VA.

    Yeah I got that, but does the entirety of the route have to be VA or can the voucher be used to upgrade the VA sectors of a route that connects with Delta?

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    I’m sure someone once posted they had managed to do this by calling Virgin and asking for the voucher to be applied to one sector. You might have to trawl through previous threads to find it!

    AL 591 posts

    It can be applied to the VS sectors only, but the entire ticket must be on 932 ticket stock (i.e. you can’t have booked through Delta and ended up on 006 stock). This likely means that you’ll be low down any priority lists for upgrades etc. on DL sectors, therefore I strongly suggest you get as close as you can on VS.

    For HNL, given a choice between LAX and SEA, I recommend the first – the *A lounge being used at the moment is delightful, and you’ve got a fairly good chance of getting an A351 rather than a 789 (which will, unless there’s a kit change, be what flies to SEA).

    DL considers the LAX/SEA-HNL route to be domestic, so if you’re in Main Cabin, be prepared for one or two rounds of snacks and a drink. The journey is between 5h30m and 6h, so you might want to use points/cash to upgrade to Premium Select or First on this leg (although do remember that it’ll be Domestic First, and not Delta One).

    bennymoon 38 posts

    It can be applied to the VS sectors only, but the entire ticket must be on 932 ticket stock (i.e. you can’t have booked through Delta and ended up on 006 stock). This likely means that you’ll be low down any priority lists for upgrades etc. on DL sectors, therefore I strongly suggest you get as close as you can on VS.

    Thanks for this. I’m not too familiar with ticket stock types. The example to HNL is a good example of a route where Virgin doesn’t fly all the way but with a connection might allow me to go somewhere I want to go and BA also don’t fly there direct and you can’t apply their vouchers to cash bookings.

    If I were to do this, it would be a cash booking through Virgin’s website all the way to HNL. A similar example might be flying to SLC and going on Virgin to SFO and connecting there (or another airport close by) for the connection to SLC and using the Virgin voucher to upgrade the long-haul international leg.

    jj 461 posts

    For Salt Lake City, you’d be better flying direct with Delta. But, of course, you couldn’t use the voucher.

    I explored loads of avenues to do this for a skiing trip next winter in one of the resorts without direct UK flights, All my research suggested it was possible and permitted, but I eventually gave up as the connections never quite worked with the flights that availability for upgrade. I had a party of 4 at half term, though, so I wasn’t making things easy for myself.

    AL 591 posts

    I’m not too familiar with ticket stock types

    For the purposes that most people care, ticket stock essentially defines who issued you the ticket in the first place. The airline whose stock it is on takes responsibility for ticketing operations from that point on. They are also the airline whose conditions of carriage it is deemed that you have accepted by purchasing the ticket from them (not that there are ever huge discrepancies between conditions, so this is mostly a bit moot). In the background, IATA’s BSP process – which is the settlement system for airlines to exchange money between each other – takes care of cash being exchanged (or cancelled out) for given tickets. Each airline has their own MAWB (Master Air Waybill) identifier, which is a hangover from the world of cargo, by which they’re identified – DL has 006, VS has 932, BA has 125, UPS has 406 etc. Issuing airlines can be identified by the first three digits of the ticket number and cross-referenced with a table such as https://azcargo.cz/en/services/support/iata-airline-codes/.

    As an example, if you book on delta.com from LHR-IAD and manage to get them to sell you a ticket on VS21 (rather than the DL codeshare equivalent), then you’ll end up on 006 stock. Delta will be responsible for ticket operations and you’ll have agreed to their conditions of carriage, but VS will be operating your flight. In reality, it is unlikely that you’ll get DL to do this – they’ll want to issue you on the DL code to avoid having to enter you in to a BSP settlement behind the scenes, which costs them time and cash (although, in this example, since DL bankrolls VS right now, the ‘cost’ is actually more worrying to them, since they’ll be paying settlement charges to send cash from themselves to themselves, but I digress…).

    If you wanted to get really nerdy about this, then a copy of the IATA Ticketing Handbook makes a great paperweight!

    If I were to do this, it would be a cash booking through Virgin’s website all the way to HNL

    If you are going to do this, do consider calling instead. They can apply the voucher at the time of booking, making things much easier for you. It should cost you no more than virginatlantic.com, and it’s usually done within a matter of minutes.

    bennymoon 38 posts

    Thanks @AL

    This was all really informative. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to behind the scenes systems and processes and do find I very interesting.

    If you are going to do this, do consider calling instead. They can apply the voucher at the time of booking, making things much easier for you. It should cost you no more than virginatlantic.com, and it’s usually done within a matter of minutes.

    Yes I probably would do this actually rather than booking and then adding on which I’d have to do over the phone anyway.

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