Best way to get to the USA in Business Class

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by dougsuth, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. dougsuth

    dougsuth Newbie

    Jul 21, 2015
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    I need to seek out the collective wisdom of you guys. I have looked through most (I think) threads on this topic but so far want to make sure I’m on the right track. I have Velocity Gold, and my friend has Velocity Red. We both want to fly to USA in business class (open to JFK if its worthwhile). What is the cheapest way for us to do this? Realising it may be a different solution for both of us due to the different statuses. I have previously flown from SYD > LAX in business class using points.

    From what I have seen I can:


    1. Purchase business reward seats for ~88,000 points each way, but deal with poor availability.
    2. Purchase a freedom ticket and upgrade it for 45,000 points each way.

    For the red status:


    1. Purchase business reward seats for ~88,000 points each way, but deal with poor availability.

    Is this it? Or is there a better solution I have missed? Final destination is JFK, but happy to do my internal USA flights in economy.

    Appreciate any assistance.
     
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  2. sergeyvzn

    sergeyvzn Established Member

    Dec 9, 2010
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    If you happen to have an AMEX VA platinum card - use the offer of a discounted 2 for 1 business fare? I think it's not much cheaper but may be an option
     
  3. dougsuth

    dougsuth Newbie

    Jul 21, 2015
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    Sorry I should have clarified that. I have a NAB Velocity Platinum and a standard green Corporate AMEX for work. Thanks for your reply though it could be an option to investigate.
     
  4. CJEMNMAC

    CJEMNMAC Active Member

    Jun 12, 2014
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    A few points :

    Cost is 95,500 points each way to LAX

    The upgrade option comes out of the reward seat pool ( at least if you want to guarantee yourself the seat ). You can buy 2 x freedom tix and upgrade both. I have done this providing both tickets are on the same PNR. You should always check on the phone before purchase. Either way you would deal with the same availability issue. If you are flexible you should have no problem with 2 reward seats.

    I would do the domestic USA flights on DL and take the status credits toward requalifying if you need
     
  5. clipped_wings

    clipped_wings Member

    Feb 7, 2016
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    I agree with CJEMNMAC, it's a compromise that requires flexibility and a bit of phone calling, but worked well for us.

    You will need to research suitable dates with J reward seat availability first. Then, you would need to purchase two Y+ seats on that same flight , but here is the compromise. Hopefully the Y+ seats aren't too expensive, but if they are close to the lowest J price, you may be better off just paying for J and reaping more points. Be on the phone with Velocity Gold at the same time if preferred. If you do score cheap Y+ seats, ask Velocity to upgrade you straight away.

    Happy travels.
     


  6. Jack3193

    Jack3193 Established Member

    Oct 1, 2012
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    For me, buying Y+ and upgrading with points is likely to be poor value. For a start, this option will only be available on the SYD-LAX-SYD sectors, and I believe if you purchase a Y+ fare from SYD-JFK, you end up in economy on the LAX-JFK-LAX sectors. Obviously it depends to some extent on whether you can get a sale fare (that might change things), but typically you are looking at close to $5k for a Y+ return fro SYD-JFK. So if you upgrade both ways, it will cost you $5k + 90,000 points per person, and that's for J between SYD-LAX-SYD and Y from LAX-JFK-LAX.

    To provide context, I am going away with work in January with QF/AA. I'm departing from MEL, going to Chicago, then with 3 internal flights and returning from DFW-SYD-MEL, all in Business, for a grand total of $6,800 (this trip will also earn me 600 QF SCs and over 50k points). I'm not saying you should go with QF, but if you are flexible on dates, airlines and airports and look for specials, you can probably get fully paid J returns to NY (or somewhere reasonably close) for less than $7k, and earn a heap of SCs and points while you're at it. That would be a no brainer compared to the VA upgrade option IMHO.

    If you have enough point for outright J awards with Velocity it's a different matter - but as someone else pointed out it will cost a lot more than 88,000 points/person each way - I believe it's 127,500 + cash component of a few hundred bucks - so I'm not sure if you have enough points or not. I think it's also harder to find reward availability with Velocity if your final destination is not LAX (i.e. if your trip includes a sector operated by DL), so straight out rewards to LAX and then cash fares within the US are also worth considering.
     
  7. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Sometimes "Sale" Y+ ticket are cheaper than Freedom tickets.
     
  8. Ausbt

    Ausbt Active Member

    Apr 21, 2012
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    I recently did PE Freedom outbound to SYD-LAX and PE Saver inbound with upgrade requests wait-listed on both. Cost was $4K. Only the inbound upgrade came through, so that was 45K points. Those points were fully covered by accrual of buying the tix via Amex Velocity and earning them in the air. I've noticed the cash upgrade quotes have crept up lately as well. With J fitout ver 1, you could often see a $600 starting point. These recent flights had $1,200 & $1,400 starting bids respectively. First time in the new J for me - certainly it is very, very good.

    On another note, crossing west to east I had LAX-MSP-EWR with Delta in W (Comfort+) for a total earn of 105 SC and cost of AUD$460. Had a JFK-LAX return in Y with Delta for just 20 SC and cost of $210.
     
  9. Jack3193

    Jack3193 Established Member

    Oct 1, 2012
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    Yes I totally agree it's well worth looking beyond the cheapest fare class with DL - sometimes even "First" isn't that expensive. Last year I flew Cincinnati-Atlanta-Seattle for $590 in First, earning 120 SCs. The cheapest fare, from memory, was about $300 and would have only earned 30SCs. And the DL First product was pretty decent, I have to say (probably on par with QF East Coast domestic J), which was nice given that this involved a 90 minute flight followed by a 5.5 hour flight.
     
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  10. Ausbt

    Ausbt Active Member

    Apr 21, 2012
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    The DL First product East-West-East direct is great. Not so anywhere else however, it's really more like AU domestic J. I actually took a United First as well BOS-EWR, also akin to AU Dom J. Pretty short flight. Funny moment at the United lounge in BOS (very nice, BTW) when I presented my Amigo Avianca Hombre-de-luxe gold *A card that I got status-matched via Velocity

    Lounge angel 1: "can't say I've seen this one before" *shows the other angels*
    Lounge angel 2: "that's Avianca, they're all good"
    Me: "I've actually never flown that airline"
    Lounge angels: "really?"
    Me: "yeah. actually I haven't flown United for 15+ years either"
    Lounge angels: "shame on you!" (now wondering if indeed they should admit me and why the hell I have this card as well)
    Me: "going to change that today though"

    Ahh, but I've paid my dues. Last time I flew United was '99 on a RTW Y + a bunch of other *A carriers. Earned a heap of points on that trip. Damn shame I joined *A via Ansett though... :-|
     
  11. brebbles

    brebbles Intern

    Jun 26, 2013
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    #11 brebbles, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
    Depending on any number of preferences, not that least where you want to enter the US and whether you wanted to pay outright, you can fly with HA's lie-flat business bed from SYD-HNL-JFK-HNL-SYD with stopovers for $AU5,500 (the HNL-JFK sectors convert to the new lie-flat beds mid-Feb). Not to mention a Velocity earn of 560 SCs and about 30,000 pts each for the journey if my maths is correct.

    Google flights helped me find the cheapest multi-city trip for the above (in $US), the prices can vary wildly by date.
     
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  12. n7of9

    n7of9 Member

    May 10, 2012
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    How many times can i Like this post? I seriously had never paid attention to HA, but for that $ and SC earn for West USA, I smell an NYC shopping trip coming up (and the side trip to Niagara which I never quite made it to last time)...I'm excited!
     
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  13. trippin_the_rift

    trippin_the_rift Established Member

    Apr 2, 2006
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    Buy Virgin America points and use on VA. 80,000 return in biz class plus low taxes. Around $3.5k.
     
  14. sergeyvzn

    sergeyvzn Established Member

    Dec 9, 2010
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    Can't buy more than 60k a year - he'd have to wait for quite a while
     
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  15. Eggsbenedict

    Eggsbenedict Member

    Nov 28, 2013
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    I don't think anyone has mentioned the Singapore Air options

    SYD - SIN - FRA - JFK
    123,366 VA Points and $693.62 each way if transferred to Krisflyer (Notoriously bad availability)

    Or

    SYD - SIN - SFO
    114,750 VA Points and $648.82 if transferred to Kristlyer (Seems to have pretty decent availability)

    You may also be able to book these through Velocity and save on surcharges
     
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  16. dougsuth

    dougsuth Newbie

    Jul 21, 2015
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    Just had a chance to read through all these responses, thanks so much for your input everyone, lot of great ideas and options. I'm going to send the link to this thread to my friend so they can see what options exist. Thanks again!
     
  17. trippin_the_rift

    trippin_the_rift Established Member

    Apr 2, 2006
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    Join rewardbase and buy unlimited numbers!
     

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