BUSINESS CLASS AWARD ALERT: West Coast – Europe for 9 Or More Passengers (Virgin Atlantic, Use Delta Miles or Credit Card Points)

Yesterday @NoelRunkle tweeted about truly fantastic Virgin Atlantic business class award space between Seattle and London.

Virgin Atlantic takes over the route from Delta on March 26, and will operate it with a Boeing 787-9. Flights are timed wonderfully for connecting from other West Coast cities to Seattle; for spending the full day in Seattle before departure; for connecting beyond London; as well as connecting down the West Coast on arrival back in the States.

  • Seattle – London, 7:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Virgin Atlantic VS106
  • London – Seattle, 11:00 a.m. – 1:20 p.m., Virgin Atlantic VS105

While award space is even better searching the Virgin Atlantic website, I want to focus just on what’s appearing online at Delta.com.

Here’s non-stop availability for 2 passengers in business class:

But wait… there’s more… want to take the whole family from the West Coast to Europe? here’s availability for 6 passengers in business class:

In fact, if you can limit yourself to midweek travel, you can even take 9 or more people in business class using miles at the saver level on this route!

Virgin Atlantic has an excellent business class. I don’t love the herringbone configuration of their fully flat seats, but it’s still quite good if not world-leading. (You won’t get chauffeur service on awards.)

Whose Miles to Book This Award Space?

Chase, American Express, and Citibank points transfer directly to Virgin Atlantic. However you’ll pay 100,000 miles roundtrip and significant fuel surcharges booking through them.

Delta charges 125,000 miles roundtrip with no fuel surcharges, and is an American Express transfer partner. In addition to avoiding fuel surcharges, you should be able to get a US connecting flight to Seattle (such as on Alaska Airlines which hubs there and is still “technically a partner at this point”) plus connections beyond London on SkyTeam partners — although you’ll likely need to search flight-by-flight for availability and also likely need to call Delta to book and hope it prices correctly.

Virgin America Elevate is a Citi and American Express transfer partner, but points transfer at 2:1. Starwood to Virgin America Elevate is a huge value at 1:1 (plus 5000 bonus points for transferring Starpoints to 20,000 miles). Virgin America doesn’t publish the Seattle – London award price on their website but Tiffany thinks it should only be 50,000 miles roundtrip making fuel surcharges totally worth it.

You can use miles from other partners as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. How much are fuel surcharges through VA? do points from Chase and Amex transfer instantly? Is there any hold option to wait for the points?

    Thanks!!!

  2. Ok, those surcharges are ridiculous, almost $1200 round trip.

    Is there any real way to take advantage of this availability if I only have Chase points (just shy of 300K) and Amex points (about 115K) ? Thanks!

  3. I tried this on Virgin Atlantic’s website (Seattle to London) but keep getting the error “Flying Club miles cannot be used on this route.” Any idea why?

    Meanwhile I did the search on Delta and found a Delta Business Kona-Amsterdam for 70,000 miles one way, so booked that. Their return from Europe to Idaho (which I wanted to do) was 80,000 so I booked that on American for 57,500 miles. But your article gave me the idea to look.

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