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#939947 by LloydieJL
30 Nov 2017, 12:33
I've noticed some good Upper fares from Manchester to NYC. I always usually go from Heathrow but I notice there are some sub £1.5k fares. Is this usually the case?
I live in Nottingham so Manchester Airport is as convenient as Heathrow (if not more so) but I'm aware there's no Clubhouse. Even so, the absence of Clubhouse can't be the only reason for the price disparity.
I'm now wondering if I continue to wait for a sale from Heathrow or just go for it - I even have 47,000 miles I could use on it.
Any reason why the price is different from Manchester? Anyone fly that route regularly? And any thoughts on canny ways to use my miles for a journey early in the New Year?
Thanks :)
#939955 by Kraken
30 Nov 2017, 19:55
I'm also from Nottingham & use MAN regularly on the VS leisure routes (mainly MCO). When I have done a price comparison between MAN-MCO & LGW-MCO in the past, it's pretty much always been the same price, or only a £ or two difference between the two airports.

Whilst the Escape Lounge at MAN is no Clubhouse, it has upped it's game on the food offering recently. This does not make up for the fact that us "Northerners" get severely short-changed on the Virgin Clubhouse experience at MAN - I can only hope a Clubhouse is on the cards as part of the redevelopment work that is taking place at MAN / in T2.

Despite having said the above, I would not travel from LHR/LGW for choice if the route was available from MAN. The M25 around LHR is a carpark most of the time - I can get to/from MAN in under 90mins.

Once onboard, the service should be the same irrespective of the airport, but you're less likely to find an inexperienced "fresh out of training" crew member on an ex-MAN flight. (Virgin generally only recruit for London based crew - once out of probation they can put their name down to transfer to MAN, but there is a waiting list). I've never had a bad flight to/from MAN service wise - that said, the best VS flight I've ever had was ex-LGW.
#939978 by cheesebag
01 Dec 2017, 10:50
No brainer... Man every time. I'm from Cannock and done the ATL route a few times. Although the LHR clubhouse is great and I enjoy seeing how many cocktails I can down before I board I certainly wouldn't be paying £500 extra for the clubhouse experience!
#939980 by tontybear
01 Dec 2017, 11:27
The MAN-NYC route is still new and VS is still developing the market so hence some good offers. I don't think there will be any further reductions for early January as they seem to have been done not that long ago.

Personally go from the airport that is nearer / easier to get to/from home / cheaper to park at rather than for any other reason such as the CH.
#939981 by mitchja
01 Dec 2017, 11:58
The MAN>BOS £999 Z fares are long gone unfortunately. Not seen those for some time now sadly :-(

You can still get those ~£1400 ORD VS/DL fares though which go via ATL or JFK from MAN.

MAN T2 is a bit of a mess at the minute though and you will probably get a remote stand so bus to/from the aircraft both on the outbound and inbound as several gates in T2 have been closed as part of the terminal re-modeling.

I believe VS 744 flights from MAN still use the proper terminal stands, so JFK next year (which will also be a 744) may be OK. That does mean a lot less Upper Class availability though sadly.
#939983 by VS075
01 Dec 2017, 13:32
If both airports are about the same in terms of convenience, I'd go for whichever is offering the best price at the times that you like.

My preference is always MAN, simply because I live 30-45mins away (put it this way, if inbound flights are using Runway 23R and it's a clear morning, I see all the stuff coming in to MAN from across the Atlantic and the island of Ireland and IOM fly over my house at around 8,000ft and is just outside the holding circle they sometimes get made to do until they can slot them in) and would much rather support routes from one of my local airports if one exists than go down to LHR, even if it means paying slightly more which would get wiped out anyway once transfers to/from LHR and overnight accommodation if needed is factored in.

The T2 works may be a bit of an inconvenience for the next few years, but I guess we'll just have to go through short-term pain for (hopefully) long-term gain. For me, LPL is also an option for certain domestic/European routes.
#939984 by VS075
01 Dec 2017, 13:39
tontybear wrote:The MAN-NYC route is still new and VS is still developing the market so hence some good offers. I don't think there will be any further reductions for early January as they seem to have been done not that long ago.

Personally go from the airport that is nearer / easier to get to/from home / cheaper to park at rather than for any other reason such as the CH.


MAN-JFK may be new to VS, but other airlines have operated that route for some time including DL, and United (before then Continental) were operating double-daily MAN-EWR for a while. I think the offers may not be plentiful for much longer given that AA are withdrawing and question marks over UA's long-term commitment to MAN-EWR. Unless Norwegian start a route to SWF, VS' real competition besides the legacies offering one-stop options elsewhere is Thomas Cook and United.

That said, I agree that the lack of CH at present wouldn't be a deal breaker for me and would be quite down my list of priorities when other factors are considered.

Another thing to point out is that Virgin Holidays have a V-Room at MAN if you're one of their customers.

mitchja wrote:I believe VS 744 flights from MAN still use the proper terminal stands, so JFK next year (which will also be a 744) may be OK. That does mean a lot less Upper Class availability though sadly.


Is that just guaranteed for departures? When I arrived into MAN last September from MCO on G-VXLG, we were put onto a remote stand and bussed over, but the outbound flight involved G-VGAL being tugged from a remote stand to the terminal as we were on the VS073 that departed at 1245.

Another thing to consider is that the loss of contact stands is partly offset by Monarch sadly no longer being around as they also used T2.
#939986 by Seyre1972
01 Dec 2017, 14:56
We recently flew MAN-JFK Upper - booked early March as a 50th birthday treat. As others have said - Escape lounge is no Clubhouse - but for the price difference - you couldn't grumble. We drove up from North Kent on the Thursday evening, night in the Crowne Plaze (eat elsewhere unless you want to take a second Mortgage) Even with the Hotel and petrol - it was about 2k cheaper to fly out of MAN than LHR.

I'm currently looking for a short trip March next year - and if MAN is in same price bracket - will do it again (combined with a trip to my parents)

Flight outbound was from a jet way off the terminal - inbound we were put onto a remote stand, and bussed to the terminal - not ideal - but for the money I'm not going to complain .....

One thing to be said for the Virgin Escape lounge - the drinks/bar are all self service - so treble Baileys in your morning coffee as a starter is a pleasant way to start your holiday/trip !!
#940016 by LloydieJL
02 Dec 2017, 13:36
Thanks everyone - useful info.

I was curious why the price was quite so different. I've just checked again, and on the dates I'm looking at next year, LHR-JFK is just over £3k whereas MAN-JFK is just under £1.5k. I honestly thought it was some sort of sale fare. I'll likely book this next week and not use any miles as at this price it'll help my miles and tier points nicely (it'll certainly keep me silver!)

I'm guessing the price difference is down to it being a newer route that they want to promote. Much as I love the Heathrow Clubhouse (and I really do love it), I think I can more than survive in the Escape Lounge until I board. Plus there's still the JFK Clubhouse to enjoy on the way back. It strikes me as an absolute steal of a price - I'm surprised Virgin aren't making a bigger noise around it.

Also, for the Nottingham folk, I love the idea of a Nottingham V-Flyer meet-up!
#940440 by LloydieJL
30 Dec 2017, 09:58
Well, I booked a few weeks ago. MAN - JFK. All sorted... or so I thought...

Then I saw the news about the wet lease of the Air Berlin aircraft and I called Flying Club. Unlike some, I've always liked the herringbone configuration in Upper (and the bar for that matter) so I had a chat with the Flying Club rep, they spoke to the supervisor, and I've now been put on flights from Heathrow for no extra charge.

Obviously I was delighted by this (*cough* Clubhouse *cough*) but my delight was further enhanced when I saw that on the way out I am now Upper Class (I) rather than Upper Class (Z). - I was previously (Z) on both legs of the journey.

All in all, quite a result.
#940443 by pjh
30 Dec 2017, 14:46
LloydieJL wrote:Well, I booked a few weeks ago. MAN - JFK. All sorted... or so I thought...

Then I saw the news about the wet lease of the Air Berlin aircraft and I called Flying Club. Unlike some, I've always liked the herringbone configuration in Upper (and the bar for that matter) so I had a chat with the Flying Club rep, they spoke to the supervisor, and I've now been put on flights from Heathrow for no extra charge.

Obviously I was delighted by this (*cough* Clubhouse *cough*) but my delight was further enhanced when I saw that on the way out I am now Upper Class (I) rather than Upper Class (Z). - I was previously (Z) on both legs of the journey.

All in all, quite a result.


Do travel the night before as I could have driven to Manchester and had an hour to spare in the time it took us to get from near Cambridge to Heathrow last Thursday :)
#940451 by LloydieJL
31 Dec 2017, 13:40
pjh wrote:
Do travel the night before as I could have driven to Manchester and had an hour to spare in the time it took us to get from near Cambridge to Heathrow last Thursday :)


Either way I'd have booked a night in a hotel beforehand. I'm not fan of jumping in the car to the airport so I tend to catch a train and stay over. Less chance of missing a) time in the lounge / clubhouse or even worse b) the flight.
#940452 by Kraken
31 Dec 2017, 15:07
LloydieJL wrote:
pjh wrote:
Do travel the night before as I could have driven to Manchester and had an hour to spare in the time it took us to get from near Cambridge to Heathrow last Thursday :)


Either way I'd have booked a night in a hotel beforehand. I'm not fan of jumping in the car to the airport so I tend to catch a train and stay over. Less chance of missing a) time in the lounge / clubhouse or even worse b) the flight.

Even though I am only about 70 miles from Manchester Airport, I always stay over the night before for the reasons mentioned above. Have done the Radisson a few times as it cannot be beaten for convenience to T2 - but you pay (quite a lot) for the convenience, especially if you also dine in the main restaurant.

More recently I've used PremierInn's - there are 3 near MAN (two on Runger Lane & one at Heald Green). You can get rooms at either for £29 if you book at the right time and it's a fixed price £6 taxi to the airport in the morning. The Heald Green PremierInn is right next to the train station too, so you can get the train into Manchester in the evening for a good selection of food & drink. If you're travelling light you can also get the train to the airport (1 stop) in the morning.
#940465 by pjh
01 Jan 2018, 01:22
LloydieJL wrote:
pjh wrote:
Do travel the night before as I could have driven to Manchester and had an hour to spare in the time it took us to get from near Cambridge to Heathrow last Thursday :)


Either way I'd have booked a night in a hotel beforehand. I'm not fan of jumping in the car to the airport so I tend to catch a train and stay over. Less chance of missing a) time in the lounge / clubhouse or even worse b) the flight.


Definitely worth it. Had the offspring not been at home the night before I would have done the same - it would have saved the raised blood pressure caused by the sight of all the roads to LHR being set red on Google maps.
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