Virgin Atlantic begins service between London and Seattle at the end of March 2017, and there is a ridiculous amount of flat bed Business Class award space on the route throughout the spring and summer.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 8.36.12 PM

Here are the daily flight schedules:

  • Seattle –> London, 7:10 pm – 2:00 pm
  • London –> Seattle, 11:00 am – 1:20 pm

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Product

Virgin Atlantic’s Business Class, called Upper Class offers a flat bed, Clubhouse access, and access to an onboard bar.

Award Space

Seattle -> London

Here is the color coded key to understanding virginatlantic.com’s award search calendar:

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 7.40.00 PM

Over two thirds of the days in April have SIX Upper (Business) Class award seats open.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 7.40.10 PM

There are six Upper Class award seats available every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of May.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 7.42.18 PM

Every Saturday, a couple Thursdays, and a Sunday in May open up if you change the calendar to two travelers.

In June you seem the same pattern as May of every Monday through Wednesday with six Upper Class award seats available.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 7.42.54 PM

If you change the June calendar to two travelers, pretty much every single day of June has Upper Class space.

July’s got the Monday through Wednesday pattern for six available, same as the previous two months, plus a couple Saturdays and a Thursday.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 7.43.36 PM

Changing July’s calendar to two travelers shows Upper Class award space for every single day.

 

London -> Seattle

Space for the return is sufficient, just not as ridiculously plentiful as the outbound. Calendars for six travelers during April – July were sparser, but lower that traveler count to four or two and you have plenty of options, especially if you can travel Monday through Wednesday.

The other factor to consider on the return is that leaving London will have high departure taxes of over $300) no matter what miles you use or airline you fly. So instead, perhaps use Avios or a low-cost carrier to hop somewhere else in Europe and return home with a different type of miles from a low tax country. Have United miles? There’s heaps of Star Alliance Business Class award space returning to the US from Vienna over this coming summer.

Booking Virgin Atlantic Awards

You can book Virgin Atlantic flights with Virgin Atlantic miles or Delta SkyMiles. The advantage of booking with Virgin Atlantic miles is that you need way fewer miles. Here is the roundtrip award chart to the United Kingdom with Virgin Atlantic miles. One way awards cost half the number of miles.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 3.02.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-09 at 3.02.35 PM

The drawbacks are that Virgin Atlantic awards booked with Virgin Atlantic miles have BIG fuel surcharges (between somewhere in the $400 range) and the prices are valid only to London, not the rest of Europe.

When booked with Delta, there are no fuel surcharges, and you can connect in London to other cities in Europe. All Delta awards that fly Virgin Atlantic cost 62,500 miles one way in Upper Class between the United States and Europe.

I don’t live in Seattle… can I still utilize this award space?

Yes, if you are booking with Delta miles. Tack on an Alaska Airlines flight in Economy or Business (Alaska is partners with Delta). As long as it’s the least expensive award space available, it shouldn’t change the price of the Delta award. I would say you could tack on a Delta flight in the same manner, but One Mile at a Time claims the pricing will go haywire for reasons I’m not so sure about. But it’s SkyMiles after all, so anything is possible, or not possible…

If you try, let us know how it goes in the comments.

Booking the Award

You can search for award space on virginatlantic.com or delta.com. If booking with Virgin Atlantic miles, you can book on their site as well. If booking with Delta miles, you can try pricing it out on delta.com, which should work fine as long you’re booking just the main segment between Seattle and London. But if you’re adding any domestic connections to get to Seattle or fly onwards from London, the pricing will likely be funky and you’ll need to call Delta SkyMiles (1-800-323-2323) to make sure you pay no more than 62,500 each way for Upper Class.

Pay the taxes and surcharges with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 12 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Bottom Line

There is a seriously large amount of flat bed Upper Class Virgin Atlantic award space between Seattle and London over next spring and summer. The best way to book it is probably with 62,500 Delta miles and no fuel surcharges one way.

Don’t have any Delta miles? Transfer SPG Points (and remember, you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every SPG Point transfer in increments of 20,000) or Membership Rewards 1:1 to Delta SkyMiles.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 80,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Learn More

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.