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#959039 by Quinny1999
21 Jan 2021, 17:55
I am new to redeeming Virgin reward points and was hoping for some advice please.

I have a companion voucher which has just landed and around 45,000 points. We will be looking to travel MAN-BGI anytime Mar-May 2022 and wondered what is my best approach?

As I understand it the best value on the reward redemption is usually Upper in terms of maximising the reward, but I am way off having enough points, plus the wife doesn't like flying so prefers the idea of sitting side-by-side.

If premium is my best option, I am guessing I could fly off peak and try and book with points, then providing there is two reward seats available book the companion and pay the taxes? Or look for one reward seat and pay cash for the first seat and use the companion for the second?

When is the best time to find reward seat availability, as soon as the flight is released?
#959041 by Q_Division
21 Jan 2021, 19:34
In terms of PE you are correct that you can do either a cash fare + reward or 2 reward. Flexibility is normally useful so being "happy" with both options is a good start. In terms of when, it's a bit a guess work. "Normally" I would have thought they may start appearing at 10 months, they don't normally appear at the 11 mark but with the state of the world who knows. Seatspy is currently showing PE seats through June, not sure it's necessarily indicative of next year though.

In terms of "value" you're right UC is normally a "good" use of points but if your wife prefers sitting side by side then PE can still be "good" use. As for miles vs cash, I'm usually inclined to look at the cash fare and then decide if it's "good" or not.
#959054 by Quinny1999
22 Jan 2021, 09:47
Ok thank you for responding.

I am guessing that all bookings when using a companion voucher need to be done over the phone?

Do you know if you can use a companion voucher with Virgin Holidays just against the flight?
#959136 by Kraken
25 Jan 2021, 17:34
Q_Division wrote:Yes, it needs to be done over the phone.

As for the VH bit, I have no idea although my gut say probably not as I don't think it is broken down like that.

I'd say with 99.99% certainty, you won't be able to use the voucher with Virgin Holidays against the flight. Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic may both have "Virgin" in their names, but that's where it ends. One is a travel agent / tour operator & the other is an airline. As with all travel agent / tour operator bookings, only they can make amendments to the flight element - and the airlines do not have to (& generally don't!) make any special offers they would offer themselves on a direct booking (e.g. companion / upgrade vouchers) available to the travel agents.

The only time you may just get lucky is on the day of travel itself, at the airport. Your booking is released from travel agent control to airport control on the day of travel. The rules regarding upgrades / vouchers can sometimes go out of the window if space is available & departure time nears.

There is no guarantee of the above (airport control / rules out of the window). A friend was taking his parents to NYC on a Virgin Holidays booking, flying in Premium Economy both ways. On the morning of travel there was space in Upper Class, so he went to the LHR ticket desk to try and upgrade the outbound sector to Upper Class - he offered cash, miles, or a combination of the two. One agent started to do the upgrade until a supervisor noticed she was trying to upgrade a Virgin Holidays issued ticket... the computer may have said yes, but the supervisor said no - even for a cash upgrade.
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