Virgin Atlantic Award to JNB?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TheInternationalLine, Sep 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    Thinking about booking a Continental/United award to Johannesburg next summer (from Chicago). While I can find South African Airways availability to JNB on CO.com, I also know Continental partners with Virgin Atlantic, which seems to have a better business class product to JNB.

    Will Continental let me book awards to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic?

    (I read rumors about Continental only booking certain routes, etc.)
     
  2. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    Go for LX.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, JNB is a valid destination on VS metal on a CO award. That said, I don't think that VS in C is all that much better than SA and if VS takes the higher rates (it does in some routes, particularly in Africa and the Middle East) I wouldn't bother with it at all.

    And I agree with the Black Cloud that getting LX would be much better than either VS or SA.
     
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  4. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    I'm a bit confused by your statement -- wouldn't VS award travel take the same number of miles as other partner airlines, per CO's award chart?
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    It doesn't on all routes and I don't have the whole thing memorized. But I do know that there are some destinations in Africa and the Middle East where redeeming on VS is more points than on *A partners.
     
  6. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    Thanks so much for the info! Finally got some VS flights to JNB to show up on CO.com if I searched from JFK instead of ORD. Looks like it's the standard 60k (one way) in VS UC from JFK to JNB -- woohoo!
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Enjoy the mediocre seat, mediocre IFE and craptacular food on board. The lounge in LHR is fine (food is still pretty bad) but I'd probably take SA and would definitely take LX over VS based on my experiences in the past year or so.
     
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  8. lohiadk

    lohiadk Silver Member

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    I have noticed Virgin Awards come up on the CO website when you do a reward search and the points required were the same as star alliance
     
  9. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    I flew from CPT to JNB on SA in C a few weeks ago and the flight was fine. Great IFE, decent food and service, and the seat wasn't bad for sleeping at all (fully flat).

    Probably a better option than VS. That's a long flight with VS' offerings.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It depends on the destination. They are not all the same.
     
  11. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    Correct.

    On the CO award chart,

    ***Amounts vary based on operating carrier. In the Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, the higher amounts apply to itineraries that include Virgin Atlantic

    Has the WA's "How much is that award" tool been updated with VS differential?
     
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  12. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Consider a Pacific routing (both directions) if using CO miles to Africa. Excellent value, IMO, and some outstanding carriers to choose from when traveling in that part of the world.
     
  13. Flyer1976
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    Dude...I would just take SA to JNB...Their Premium Class product will rock you away over VS...

    This is true...you can route to JNB via Asia but you have to be very creative (i.e LAX-BKK-JNB works).
     
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  14. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    To borrow ideas from a recent trip...

    ORD-PVG /stopover in Shanghai less than 48h/ PVG-IST / day in Istanbul / IST-JNB
    JNB-ZRH / stopover in Zurich / ZRH-FRA-ICN / day in Seoul / ICN-ORD

    Might not work out precisely that way but there are dozens of other routing choices. (New) LX/OZ/TK happen to be some of my favorite business class products.
     
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  15. DeacFlyer1
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    Way to pee in his cornflakes. The OP was obviously excited by his find...you can certainly disagree as to the quality of the product on VS versus others (and in fact, I'm sure the OP would welcome your opinion), but no need to do it in a disparaging way.
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    How would you suggest I do so in the future?

    The VS product is mediocre. I have no problem saying so based on recent experience. Given the opportunity for the OP to look into other options that might be better I have no problem suggesting them. That's what we're here for: to help each other make the most of our travel experiences.
     
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  17. DeacFlyer1
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    I just felt your response was basically saying "you just made a bad decision"...when you say something like "Enjoy the mediocre/Enjoy the craptastic", you obviously don't mean "Enjoy something that sucks", so you're essentially saying "I would've never made a poor choice like that."

    I absolutely agree that we're here to help each other make the most of travel experiences...I just think we need to do it in a positive way, which I didn't feel the first sentence was. The OP was obviously excited by his find, and I put myself in their shoes reading your response...I would've felt kindof crappy if I had just booked the VS award and been excited about it, only to have someone say "You're going to have crappy food/service/product when you could've had it a lot better doing it another way, and I never would've booked the award that you just booked and were excited about."
     
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  18. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Having just booked it last week, South Africa on VS does not require more points for C than C on SA or any of the other partners.
     
  19. PaulMCO

    PaulMCO Active Member

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    Do you think UA/CO would end their Alliance. They seem to be scrapping others -- gone are the UA-Emirates, the Amex Platinum (end 30 Sept), priority pass in RCC lounges (end 30 Oct).
     
  20. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    As much as it pains me to admit it ;), SBM12 is absolutely correct in regards to the VS experience.

    VS is overrated, I did it once just to be able to say I did it. Now, I would take LX or SA.
     
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  21. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback, folks. I was definitely (overly?) excited about the VS experience due to the herringbone seating in C and their LHR lounge. Seriously, I can sit in a hot tub in between my flights? Admittedly, I get more excited about amenities than food.

    Now that I've figured out how to get CO's search to show me some flights, it seems like grabbing both a VS flight and a SA flight won't be a problem, and I'd get access to the VS lounge in LHR and SA service on the Africa flight. LX isn't that appealing in C since it isn't their top cabin, and I haven't read many good things about their seats (even on the A380).

    Asia routings are also attractive based on the carriers. Maybe it's back to the drawing board. :)
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    You only get into the VS Clubhouse in LHR if you are departing LHR on VS metal. If you are looking at US-LHR-JNB/CPT and use SA on the second flight then no Clubhouse for you.
    I hope you mean LH (Lufthansa) and not LX (Swiss) here. :oops:

    Swiss is all-around a better C product than VS, SA or LH. I actually enjoyed the LX C more than LH F this past Christmas.
     
  23. TheInternationalLine
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    Ah, yeah, I was confusing LH and LX. LX availability looks almost non-existant. :(
     

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