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What happened to Virgin Atlantic redemption availability?

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  • VickyTM

    What on earth has happened to Virgin availability? I knew they had removed a lot of the Upper Class, but now huge amounts of Premium has vanished too. LAX is looking very bleak. Seems an odd decision. Excellent way to annoy everyone who is collecting miles.

    • This topic was modified 52 years, 11 months ago by .
    safetycard

    A lot of availability came up the past few days for January on the LAX and SFO routes in UC. Whilst Feb and March are showing nothing in UC at the moment I’m thinking / hoping they’ll release availability a little later this month

    sturgeon

    I’ve read that their new A350s have 14 or so UC seats instead of 44, which is concerning for rewards availability!

    safetycard

    That’s just for the ‘leisure’ A350’s

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    It is weird. New York is the only route where you can be pretty certain of finding something in Upper Class. The ‘small cabin’ issue should be offset by the smaller size of Flying Club – I think if Virgin committed to opening up a guaranteed number of seats, even just 2 per cabin, it would be a huge step forward. They have let BA steal a march on them here and it must seriously impact the willingness of people to commit to Virgin Points.

    safetycard

    I’m looking a lot for availability at the minute and find that the next few months are very open in PE and Y and nothing in Upper for most West Coast, bar the occasional date for SFO or LAS – there’s nothing for LAX. But Jan was pretty much the same but now has most dates available. I think they’re just releasing and opening stuff up much later. So I’m sort of expecting Feb availability over the next week or two to start dropping in.

    Mel TS

    I’m looking a lot for availability at the minute and find that the next few months are very open in PE and Y and nothing in Upper for most West Coast, bar the occasional date for SFO or LAS – there’s nothing for LAX. But Jan was pretty much the same but now has most dates available. I think they’re just releasing and opening stuff up much later. So I’m sort of expecting Feb availability over the next week or two to start dropping in.

    Weirdly there was a bit of LAX availability two days ago which has vanished now. I’m also mystified as to how there only seems to be availability on the weeks we can’t travel – I’m not even looking at school holidays! It seems to know.

    AndyGWP

    On the Avios availability article that was recently done in conjunction with Seatspy, someone suggested doing similar with Virgin availability… I think that would be really useful if possible 🙂

    ron

    Some UC redemption availability have just been released for LAX/SFO – LHR (including the A350 LAX-LHR service) in February. Unfortunately I have already booked myself on UA Polaris via another programme 🙁

    AL

    I have a LHR-LAX this Friday, booked about a fortnight ago. I haven’t seen any G. Just before Christmas, I had JFK-LHR and LHR-LAS – again, no J on that. I already fly W or S, so I really want the G availability to open up. Right now, for VS7 on Friday, there’s nine open UC on 789 – even two of those, at G, would be great.

    safetycard

    As I predicted a lot of Feb availability has now been loaded into the system

    slidey

    That theyre only loading award flights a month before is kindof annoying. I was planning on getting a cash premium econ booking and upgrading it to upper in april, but I cant leave it until march to book in the hope that upper redemptions become available so will have to make a cash booking on a different airline. Stupid policy imo.

    Mel TS

    Some availability for Austin just popped up if any one is interested….

    And another miracle is that the virgin hold music has changed!!!

    Mikeact

    For what it’s worth….just to say, I have booked two Virgin Upper Class Rewards,in July,one ways, back to London from Florida, (where we will just happen to end up) Total charges paid on my Amex card: €377.70 for both which I consider outstanding value.

    (nb Originally posted on the BA forum in response to BA charges)

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 11 months ago by .
    RonnieB

    For some reason Miami seems to have better reward availability

    Jonathans

    I’ve got flights to MCO and back from MIA over October half term. Really wanted to travel with Virgin but they just didn’t release the seats anywhere near early enough which forced me to go with BA. I think usually they are around 330 days or less compared to BA 355 days and on popular routes you just can’t take the risk waiting for Virgin.

    cmcbugg

    Looking at JNB flights, and it seems for pretty much the whole year, there is only a Virgin flight on a Tuesday, no other day… I really hope this is a temporary situation, otherwise it becomes a bit useless.

    toddy

    Virgin operate 6 LHR-JFK flights on the 30/11, yet none have Upper class redemption availability.
    They only operate 1 flight the following day (1/12) but this has availability.

    Ideally, I want to travel on the 30/11 and the above doesn’t appear ‘logical’ to me. Am I just unlucky?!

    Alternatively, is there a way to price/book Premium on the outbound, with Upper on the inbound? I can’t appear to find a way to do this on their website.

    Thanks in advance!

    Dan88

    I agree, I have been looking for some flights in May to vegas for upper class and nothing, only economy classic.

    I am starting to think they won’t offer as many for flights now as they have rebranded and are not just purely for flights, plus they have other airlines they can be used on, but you need to call for availability for those.

    Actually thinking of cancelling my virgin card when I get a new amex

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    I think it’s a broader issue. Yesterday I was looking for a business class seat from NYC for a specific day in May. Nothing on BA. Nothing on AA (to anywhere in Europe). Nothing on United (to anywhere in Europe). Nothing on Delta (to anywhere in Europe). Nothing on Iberia. I couldn’t even get Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca. Nothing on Lufthnsa / SWISS / Austrian / Turkish / Egyptian via Miles & More.

    I could take the day flight from Boston the next day, which requires a night in the airport Hilton. The cost? $395.

    I COULD do Emirates into Milan but that means blowing Amex points when I’m sitting on Avios, Virgin and Lufty miles.

    Sean Mc

    Dan but do you think its realistic to be able to look 3 months out and get an upper class redemption – lots of previous cancelled redemptions are now sat on those flights, whether they be BA or Virgin. The grass isn’t greener anywhere else at the moment.

    yorkieflyer

    Looking at JNB flights, and it seems for pretty much the whole year, there is only a Virgin flight on a Tuesday, no other day… I really hope this is a temporary situation, otherwise it becomes a bit useless.

    Yes Tuesday for Uppers, we are in Premium economy out saturday and back saturday, availability was ok a month ago in PE

    memesweeper

    I think it’s a broader issue.

    Matches my experience. I’ve been looking out and back across a host of airlines to/from North America a couple of months ahead and there’s precious little available from anyone. Looking at seatspy the carriers are releasing only 4 to 8 weeks ahead (BA are least bad on my searches). My guess is they have no idea how to predict load post Covid, and are holding seats back until they have a very clear indication that so little has been sold that they’ll have to offer it for redemption or the plane flies near-empty (in premium cabins). Whilst this is extremely annoying for me I can understand modelling demand now is very challenging.

    scotintown

    I was told on the phone by Virgin staff recently that reward seats are basically not going live at the minute and Virgin are focussing on selling cash seats only to help cash flow, profit and recovery after the pandemic. A bit annoying if you’re trying to use your 241 voucher and points.

    They also told me you have to book the 241 voucher over the phone, which is also annoying. A 90-120 minute wait on the phone and you’d end up finding out that reward seat has been sold whilst you’re on hold!

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Slightly off topic, but I was looking at BA On Business last night and premium cabin availability is insanely good vs Avios availability. This is not meant to be the case. 4-5 First Class seats to New York on every flight for OB points vs 0 for the next six months on Avios ….

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