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#937173 by newbyuk
02 Aug 2017, 18:37
Apologies if this has already been covered elsewhere (I did look but found nothing). Having been GOLD for 15+ years I think I have only ever used the companion award you get on renewing gold once (on a J class fare to SYD a few years back) as I seem to remember the rules were always that you need to book into J class to get the free companion ticket in Upper which was never great financially.

I just called up Flying Club Gold to double check whether this was still the case and was told that the rules have changed and you can use the voucher even if booking in I class now which I thought was a real change/benefit but am not sure I believe it (they also then went on to say you need a mileage seat available for the companion which am sure never used to be the case either!).

I checked the website T&C and cannot find anything about this so can anyone please confirm booking I class will mean you can benefit from the companion ticket in Upper and whether you need the Reward space in Upper for the companion?

many thanks in advance!
#937175 by matt.hibb
02 Aug 2017, 19:30
Can definitely confirm a companion voucher (specifically from renewing gold) can be used against a purchased I fare, just did it a few weeks back. Great change in the T&C if you ask me. And yes there has to be a reward seat available in the class you want to book into. No idea if that is new or not. I can't find anything explicitly spelling that out on the site, but I only took a quick glance. Although companion seats are listed on the reward flights page under flying club which to me does imply they can only be used like other reward seats. And the voucher would merely mean no miles required for the companion.

I also have a black cc companion voucher to burn, but I used the gold renewal one since its expiration was before the cc one. However I did enquire as to the rules to use that one and the flying club agent did say the rules were the same, i.e. can be used against anything but Z. I expect to be testing this information out in practice soon ;)
#937179 by SlimpyJones
02 Aug 2017, 20:48
matt.hibb is pretty much spot on.

It's listed in the Terms and Conditions, but you have to dig deep to find them!

http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/foo ... rship.html

2.23. Gold Membership Complimentary Companion Reward
2.23.1 Flying Club Gold Members receive one Complimentary Companion Reward upon renewal of their Flying Club Gold membership. The Complimentary Companion Reward is issued at the end of the Gold membership year and is valid for 12 months from the date that it is awarded. The Complimentary Companion Reward can be used in the same way as the Companion Reward; however, the Member does not need to redeem Miles.


Companion seat fare classes are here:

http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/fly ... ights.html

Under the "Companion Seats" tab:

You can save a seat onboard for a friend when you buy a full adult ticket in all booking classes, except for our lowest price tickets (N, O, V) in Economy, (K) in Premium Economy and (Z) in Upper Class.


So you can use an I code fare, which is definitely an improvement!

:)
#937206 by DoomWolf
03 Aug 2017, 21:21
matt.hibb wrote:I also have a black cc companion voucher to burn, but I used the gold renewal one since its expiration was before the cc one. However I did enquire as to the rules to use that one and the flying club agent did say the rules were the same, i.e. can be used against anything but Z. I expect to be testing this information out in practice soon ;)


That would contradict the terms and conditions on the VS website.

http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/foo ... -card.html

Spend £15,000 on card purchases on the Virgin Atlantic White American Express® Credit Card, or £7,500 on the Virgin Atlantic Black American Express® Credit Card, by the end of any year and you will be eligible to receive a complimentary companion return flight reward the next time you book a full fare qualifying flight with Virgin Atlantic. (A full fare qualifying flight are those tickets purchased in booking classes: Y,B,R,L,U,M,E,Q,X,W,S,H and J. Companion rewards cannot be booked online, only over the phone, so agents are able to explain the booking classes at time of booking.)


I've asked this question before and not got any answer, so I assume no one really knows for sure. I'll be very interested in how you get on trying to use the CC companion voucher in a UC class other than J.
#937208 by joeyc
03 Aug 2017, 21:45
From my read of the info I believe that SimplyJones is correct and companion tickets may be used on 'I' fares now. I think the T&C condition posted by DoomWolf was overlooked by VS legal and the IT hamsters.. shocker there ;-)

Let's not forget the rules have 'recently' changed, so the best thing to do would be to double check with VS. If the CS agent you speak with does say no, do refer them to their own website - SimplyJones cited the pages to look at.

I've had a few conversations with VS booking staff since last November and at times it seems like we are all still trying to figure out what revenue management have done. We'll get there eventually :cool:
#937218 by Smid
04 Aug 2017, 09:16
Did they sneakily make the Credit Card Companion voucher vaguely useful? Not sure of the value of I class, but certainly better than needing it to be J.

Difference to me on BA was their credit card had something useful to offer in their 2 for 1, given I don't travel dandruff IFE class (Premium Economy).
#937219 by SlimpyJones
04 Aug 2017, 09:28
I class used to be pricing close to J,C,D etc, but lately it's been only a few hundred quid more than a Z. Which is pretty good given it qualifies for the car transfer, extra TPs, and now companion eligibility.
#937220 by CommanderB
04 Aug 2017, 09:36
SlimpyJones wrote:I class used to be pricing close to J,C,D etc, but lately it's been only a few hundred quid more than a Z. Which is pretty good given it qualifies for the car transfer, extra TPs, and now companion eligibility.


Yeah, I was thinking that too. How long before thats enhanced away... whoops sorry, thinking like a BA flyer 8-)
#937256 by matt.hibb
07 Aug 2017, 18:04
You can sort of check. Under advanced options you can choose the 'Booking class' radio button, then select 'Upper Class I (or higher)' from the drop down. This doesn't guarantee the resulting fares are all I, just at least I (i.e. could be I, C, D or J), so it's worth checking the fare breakdown in the flight summary.
#937257 by CommanderB
07 Aug 2017, 18:10
Yes you can, in the fashion Matt.Hibb mentioned. Thats how I do it.

However, as soon as the fare is anything other than basic, and the first letter is not I anymore, you are into unknown territory and will need to use ITA matrix or a paid tool such as Expert Flyer. You can always call VS as well - but that is sub-optimal IMO.

Stuart_f has a great explanation of how to use ITA matrix here.
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