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#960178 by Donkeh
22 Mar 2021, 11:59
Hi all,

Wishing everyone happy travels soon! In the meantime, I have set myself a target of heading for gold and more specifically, gold for life. I understand the requirements for gold each year and I also understand the requirements to meet gold for life.

I have been gold in the past, but it was a few years back now. I'm currently sat right at the bottom - but obviously looking to change that.

I am a regular visitor to Las Vegas more than anything - however historically I have only travelled twice per year. Noting the tier points available per flight now - twice per year isn't going to be enough and to that end I need to work out if there is a "best" way of achieving my goal. I'm open to flying out and back again (classic tier point runs!) but I'm also open to a long weekend somewhere for example.

In order to help me achieve my goal, I have some questions which I'm hoping you can help me with.

1. How do I book a (J, C, D, I) class flight instead of a Z flight when the search is returning Z? I would rather not book fully flexible fares to achieve this, but I believe I might be a middle ground?
2. What happens if I book a flight to LAS through ATL for example. While this increase tier point return?
3. If tier points are the same regardless of where you fly, is there a "cheap" or "quicker" option for picking up those points. (LAS is a pretty long flight!)

I'm open to any other suggestions you have for me. In general, money isn't an issue in achieving this goal, but I want to be frugal in achieving it.

Thanks for your help :)
#960179 by matt.hibb
22 Mar 2021, 12:39
1. I *think* if you want to book a specific fare class, you will have to phone and book. You can definitely do that, I have done it in the past to book an I fare rather than a Z back when I qualified for CDC. The booking engine defaults to cheapest available. Sometimes it gives you an option to "upgrade" to flexible, but that's usually up to a full fare J in my experience. You only need I for full tier point earning.

2. Booking a flight with a stop (in ATL for eg) will add to your tier point earning. I do that all the time because my destinations are rarely served by VS direct. You add the cumulative tier points together for each leg of the journey.

LHR - ATL - LAS return will net you:
240 (100 for LHR - ATL and 20 for ATL - LAS, each way) on a Z fare
480 (200 for LHR - ATL and 40 for ATL - LAS, each way) on anything above that (J, C, D or I).

See earning charts at the following pages for each leg
https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/fl ... oints.html
https://www.virginatlantic.com/global/e ... lines.html

3. It makes no difference how far you go on a VS flight, the tier point earning is the same. It does differ if you were to book on a partner airline though (Delta, KLM etc). I think Tel Aviv is the current shortest route available on the VS network?

You can possibly get really fancy and use the ITA Matrix to seek out journeys to LAS that require 2 stops in just 1 direction on 1 of your trips. That would earn you over 1000 tier points if you just manged to get 1 extra domestic Delta flight in J, C, D or I. You would have to call VS with the specific routing and fares you found and see if they're willing to book it. I've never done this, but in theory I think it's possible.
https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

One last point though. Chasing gold for the sake of it seems a little pointless to me. The main benefit is earning more miles. Others include lounge access when not flying upper, exit row seating in economy, upper checking when not flying upper etc. But if cash is not that big of an issue and you're booking Upper anyway, most of these benefits are immaterial in my opinion. Sure it's nice to get recognised and personally greeted as gold by the crew (this is very hit and miss too!), but I wouldn't be going out of my way to qualify if I only flew a couple of times a year. Best investment I've ever made over and above what I'd already be spending is to get Global Entry!
#960180 by gumshoe
22 Mar 2021, 12:48
If Lifetime Gold is your aim, remember only tier points earned on VS metal count so although you’d still earn tier points for domestic DL legs on indirect itineraries, they wouldn’t count towards your Lifetime Gold tally.
#960181 by mitchja
22 Mar 2021, 12:48
Transfers / CDC's are longer no longer included in any Upper Class fare. VS quietly removed this benefit last year.

Not even D or fully flexible J fares include any transfers at either end now.

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