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#936574 by stagsfan
09 Jul 2017, 17:10
After a hiatus of a couple of years, I am looking to spend some miles on a Virgin Atlantic flight to Antigua in late Oct or Nov this year. No UC reward seats online, so I phone up and get confirmed no UC reward seats in a 5 week period in which I could travel. I then say can I do UC for cash out and PE reward back (which is available). The rep says she has to transfer me to the UC team, and after 15 more minutes of holding I hang up. Phone again - on hold for 5 mins, hang up. Leave it 10 mins, phone again - on hold for 5 mins, finally speak to a chap who says you cannot mix and match cash and reward seats anymore.

So putting aside the poor customer service / extremely busy VS staff.... If I want a redemption - it has to be both ways - is that right ???

Which if true makes it impossible to get my US west coast trip next summer (given that getting two UC reward seats back to the UK is impossible in my limited experience). In the past I have gone out on UC reward seats and back for cash.
#936576 by gumshoe
09 Jul 2017, 18:13
Yes I'm afraid the Combi Fares where you could use miles one way and pay cash the other were enhanced away in November, reportedly because Delta's booking engine (which VS now uses) couldn't handle them.

Of course just because there are no UC reward seats now doesn't mean there never will be - they can and do pop up at any time. So if there are Y or PE rewards available it might be worth booking them and then upgrading at a later date if availability opens up. I think most V-Flyers would agree patience and persistence is the key to success.
#936578 by TimCrawley
10 Jul 2017, 03:53
Another issue would seem to be the lack of available UC to/from ANU even if you want to pay cash - maybe they really have sold out but only showing any availability on Fridays and Saturdays from November onwards and only on 21/10 and 28/10 from late September right through to end of October (based on 14 nights). Now that can happen on the 747 routes where only 14 UC seats but seems unusual to me on a route with 31 UC seats (according to current seat map for my flight there at end of October) .... so either route really is booked solid (great news for VS), heavily pre-allocated to VH but some may get released back to VS later or simply a mistake on seat availability on the bookings system.

You might have to try the dark side - BA have plenty of availability for October in CW in the £1600-1700 price range while sale still on .... if you don't fancy that then following Gumshoe's sage advice to just keep trying is your only alternative really.
#936661 by stagsfan
15 Jul 2017, 16:56
In the end booked PE return for cash, and will try and get UC reward upgrade outbound, if they crop up. Inbound mileage seats are available in UC, but think we will try and focus on outbound. I need miles for next summer's trip.

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