Business Class to Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after Australian frequent flyer redemptions. Unfortunately for Virgin Australia Velocity members, Virgin releases very few Business Reward seats on their flights between Australia and the United States. But it is possible to redeem Velocity points to Los Angeles if you understand the system.
Virgin Australia flies to Los Angeles direct from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane using Boeing 777-300ERs. These aircraft feature Economy, Premium Economy and “the business” class.
Virgin Australia has a great product to Los Angeles in all three classes of travel, and there are no fuel surcharges on Virgin reward flight redemptions. A Velocity Reward Seat from Melbourne to Los Angeles costs 44,800 Velocity points in Economy class or 95,500 points for Business. Premium Economy will set you back 71,700 Velocity points. Taxes of $107.25 are also payable in all classes of travel. (This amount increases when Velocity introduces carrier charges from 1 January 2019.)
Virgin Australia Economy award availability to Los Angeles
Award availability in Economy class is relatively good. Economy reward seats on Delta’s Sydney-Los Angeles flight consistently become available around 330 days in advance. Meanwhile, Economy Reward seats on Virgin Australia’s own flights seem to be released around 318 days (10.5 months) ahead of time.
If you happen to have Platinum Velocity status and can’t find any Economy award availability more than six months in advance, don’t forget that you can use the Guaranteed Reward Seat benefit to book up to 4 seats.
Virgin Australia Business & Premium award availability to Los Angeles
Redeeming Velocity points to Los Angeles in Business Class is much more of a challenge. As a rule, Virgin Australia does not release any Business award availability in advance. Occasionally you might be lucky enough to find the odd reward seat several months before the flight, but this is rare. Your best chance to redeem Velocity points to Los Angeles in Business class is actually to book last-minute.
Virgin Australia typically releases Business and Premium reward seats around six days before the flight’s departure date. That’s why you’ll often see plenty of award availability on flights departing in the next few days, but not further out.
The same applies for Premium Economy award availability, though you’ll have a slightly higher chance of finding Premium Reward seats further in advance.
When booking on the Virgin Australia website, make sure you select a “Reward” seat (as marked above) and not a much more expensive “Any Seat” award!
Unfortunately there is a chance that no Business Reward seats will be made available on some flights. So waiting until the last minute to book can be risky. If no seats are released, you could end up spending thousands on a last-minute revenue airfare.
If you’re hoping to travel on a certain flight, you can set up an Expert Flyer award seat alert and be notified once an Economy or Business reward seat becomes available:
Redeeming Velocity points with partner airlines
As well as with Delta, don’t forget that you can redeem your Velocity points to fly Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines does occasionally release Business class award seats from Australia to North America (via Hawaii). You would need to call the Velocity call centre to redeem Velocity points on Hawaiian Airlines.
If you still haven’t found any reward seats, you can also transfer your Velocity points to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program. KrisFlyer miles can be redeemed for Star Alliance flights, including on Air Canada and United. Air Canada occasionally releases award availability on its flights between Australia and Vancouver. And United sometimes releases Business class award seats close to the departure date.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Is International Virgin Reward availability now worse that QANTAS?
Would you like help with redeeming Velocity points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.