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#932800 by tarnia
17 Feb 2017, 15:17
Hi Everyone

After a 18 year wait after first flying with VA this year I am going to be finally fulfil my dream of flying Upper Class

We are looking to go to Cancun in early Sept from Gatwick

I know this is low rainy season so are flights usually still available three months ahead of time. They seem to have gone up recently but I am sure I remember special offers last year for this time of departure.

Thanks and love the forum guys

Tarnia
#932801 by gumshoe
17 Feb 2017, 15:55
Hi and welcome!

Two things to bear in mind here:

First, the 747s VS use on the Cancun route only have 14 seats in UC. So it doesn't need many people to book the cheapest 'Z' fares for them to sell out, then prices start rising quite steeply.

Secondly, thanks largely to the Brexit vote we're not really seeing the bargains we saw a year ago (with the exception of new routes like Manchester-Boston where they've had some very cheap flash sales to try and drum up business).

There may be an amazing UC sale that covers the exact dates and route you want - or there may not. You can't predict it sadly, so the usual advice is if you see a fare you're ok with, book it and don't check back.

Good luck.
#932804 by rolandrat
17 Feb 2017, 16:40
I agree with gumshoe with regard supply and demand, and increase cost.
I booked a week in St Lucia on 29th December 2016 via virgin holidays (for travel in May 2017) and it cost me approx £3400 for two in UC.
Move forward to now and the exact same holiday flying UC is over £9600 (UC part is over 7.5k of that), the UC seat plan was almost empty when I booked, its quite full now!
#932808 by marshy11
17 Feb 2017, 17:49
Welcome.

You could look at flying out from another airport, i.e. one that isn't in the UK. Prices can be considerably cheaper, especially in UC/CW.

There is an ExEU thread on here I will try and locate it.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=287783&hilit=consolidated
#932809 by Lucille
17 Feb 2017, 20:19
To the OP, firstly I upgraded my wife and my own outward flights last year to Cancun from PE (which we'd flown previously) and paid £320 each. The inward upgrades were almost £2k each, the VA person I did the upgrade with said primarily this was due to the inbound being a night flight. As another poster said if you see a deal you like I'd go for it.

It's only relatively recently that I've started to enjoy upgraded seats and like you, I'd kinda always promised myself one day I'd get the opportunity to try an Upper/Business/First Class trip. My own experience was that my wife and I were totally blown away with the vast difference that flying Upper, even compared with PE made to our holiday. Literally, the holiday and luxury experience starts the moment you walk into the Clubhouse entrance corridor.

The only problem now for us is that having 'turned left', doing anything else now would be a bit of a letdown. Thanks to the Black Amex Card and introductory offer and doing all my spending on it, Tesco's, Virgin Trains we'd accumulated more than enough miles to upgrade PE to UC both ways for our Cancun trip in June this year. Last year UC was full on the way out and waiting for that 'deal' might cost you your opportunity, for a saving of a couple of hundred quid it's not worth the risk in my opinion.

VA have also changed flight schedules to Cancun this year, cancelling some flights (some low season Thursday return flights I think). Another reason to book as early as you can to reserve seats, if you are unlucky to have a schedule change it gives you some leverage with VA to get you some priority on an alternate flight in the same class. Our return flight was cancelled and I persuaded VA to open two additional reward seats on the next return flight for us.

Edit: However, I'm far from an expert
#932811 by stuart_f
17 Feb 2017, 23:23
£2203 seems to be the price. BA and VS are price matching each other right now.

Ex-EU is going to be tricky with the Z fare rules:

IF THE FARE COMPONENT INCLUDES TRAVEL WITHIN UNITED
KINGDOM
THEN THAT TRAVEL MUST BE ON
ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING
ANY VS FLIGHT
ANY BE FLIGHT.
AND
IF THE FARE COMPONENT INCLUDES TRAVEL WITHIN AREA 1
THEN THAT TRAVEL MUST BE ON
ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING
ANY VS FLIGHT
ANY DL FLIGHT.
AND
THE FARE COMPONENT MUST INCLUDE TRAVEL BETWEEN EUROPE AND
AREA 1 ON
ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING
ANY VS FLIGHT OPERATED BY VS
ANY VS FLIGHT OPERATED BY DL.


Area 1 is airline code for the Americas. So what this is saying is that the cheap Upper fares (Z class) can only be booked direct or in conjunction with a connecting flight with VS (Virgin Atlantic) or BE (FlyBE) if you are connecting from UK. There's exactly 1 possible BE flight to Gatwick within UK and it starts in Newquay.

The obvious ex-DUB fares won't work with this one.

If £2203 seems like a good price and, after 18 years, it has to be those dates then book now. Otherwise wait for a sale. If the worst happens and all the VS seats go your backup is BA who are price matching the £2203.
#932814 by marshy11
18 Feb 2017, 09:34
I'd forgotten I had a sky scanner alert on Cancun, for August and beginning Sept. The lowest price* I had an alert for was £1399 with BA (CW) from LGW.

Just found it in my trash.

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 08.35.24.png
Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 08.35.24.png (68.99 KiB) Viewed 2297 times


Just looking again for a random week this September, cheapest I found (only looked briefly) is BA £1663 via Dub.

* Actually it was £1391 on 20th October. It went up and down every 3-6 weeks only coming back to £2132 on 15 Feb.
#932901 by tarnia
20 Feb 2017, 16:26
Hi Thanks for all your replies. Virgin Holidays do not do the Resort we want which is a shame. Punta Cana was another option but no Virgin flights :(

I realise that there are only a few seats I looked on seat guru about that

We need to fly from Gatwick changing planes is not an option as my partner is disabled and cannot stand or walk long distances.

I hope to be in a position to book at the end of April ( we are just finishing a house build at the moment) so i will keep my fingers crossed. We have some flexibility on dates if the worse happens I will get to turn left this year if it kills me.

Ill keep watching all your news and thanks for your help

Tarnia x
Virgin Atlantic

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