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Update 11/6/14: is again displaying Alaska Airlines and Virgin Australia award space. The disappearance must have been a glitch. Bookmark this post in case the glitch recurs! is no longer displaying award space on Alaska Airlines or Virgin Australia. You can search for award space on both airlines on other websites and book it by phone with Delta.

Virgin Australia Business Class is pretty terrible. It shows very few Delta partners, requiring me to search for award space for clients of the MileValue Award Booking Service on, Expert Flyer, or by phone.

Even the partners does show usually don’t show up on the calendar of results, so it looks like the month only has Standard and Peak award space when partner space exists that always prices at the Saver level. (What am I talking about? Read this post, and thank me later.)

In the last few days, has stopped displaying Virgin Australia and Alaska Airlines award space. This is a big blow for the average member of SkyMiles.

  • Virgin Australia has the best award space of any airline to Australia in Business Class. It is bookable for 160,000 Delta miles roundtrip.
  • Alaska Airlines has solid award space to Hawaii and Mexico (not great uses of SkyMiles) and to West Coast gateway cities for international award flights.

The silver lining of making award space harder to search is that it becomes more plentiful for those of us who know where to search for it. You can join that group right now.

  • Where can you search Alaska Airlines award space?
  • Where can you search Virgin Australia award space?
  • How do you book the award space you find?

One of my two “counter-intuitive truths about miles” is that where you search for award space is not related to what miles you use to book an award.

The reason behind that truth is that if an airline releases Saver award space to its members, 99% of the time that award space is equally bookable by all partners. If you find Saver award space on an airline’s site or see any of its award space display on a partner’s site, even if you only have miles with a different partner, you should be able to book the space. We’ll use this rule to our advantage.

Where to Search Alaska Airlines Award Space

Alaska Airlines award space is still searchable on Any time you see Alaska Airlines award space on, that space will be bookable with Delta miles.

Here is how to search

Alaska Airlines often releases an incredible amount of award space. Here is part of the first page of results for Seattle to Los Angeles for one day in March.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.09.33 AM

Where to Search Virgin Australia Award Space

Searching Virgin Australia award space requires signing up for a Virgin Australia Velocity account. Just give any old address in Australia.

Once signed into your account, select “Book a Flight” under the “Flight” under the “Redeem” menu.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.06.26 AM

The search form is self-explanatory. Leave “Use Points/Points + Pay” checked.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.07.24 AMThe results group Premium Economy (not bookable with SkyMiles) and Business awards together.

If there is space in the second column “Business Reward,” Delta has access to it. Ignore the price in that column. Ignore all other columns.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.07.48 AM

How to Book Virgin Australia and Alaska Award Space with Delta Miles

Call Delta at 800-323-2323 and feed the award-booking agent the date, flight number, and cabin of the flight you want to book.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.10.05 AM

For instance, if I wanted to book Seattle to Sydney on March 5, 2015 in Business Class, I would feed the agent:

  • The first flight is Alaska 464 from Seattle to Los Angeles on March 5 in business class.
  • The second flight is Virgin Australia 8 from Los Angeles to Brisbane on March 5 in business class.
  • The last flight is Virgin Australia 932 from Brisbane to Sydney on March 7 in business class.

This is all valid, fantastic award space that no longer displays on but is bookable by phone with Delta miles. This award would cost 160,000 miles as part of a roundtrip Business Class award. (On January 1, 2015, it will be bookable one way for 80,000 miles.)

Bottom Line now only displays award space on:

  • Delta
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Korean

For the rest of the partners, you have to search elsewhere and call Delta to book. Virgin Australia and Alaska were just removed from Luckily both are easily searchable online.

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