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The blog Delta Points reports you can no longer find Business Class awards on Virgin Australia flights using the Delta website.
These awards are some of the most lucrative with Delta SkyMiles.
For 80,000 points one way you can score lie flat Business Class on one of Virgin Australia’s flights from Los Angeles to Sydney or Brisbane, 14+ hour affairs where being in Business makes a world of difference.
And availability has historically been very, very good, with multiple seats available on many flights throughout the year.
We checked the Virgin Australia site to see what seats it’s offering its own members.
And the good (but still bad) news is Virgin Australia isn’t releasing any Business Class award seats to its own members on flights to and from the U.S.
See here a typical day where there is no availability of Virgin’s ‘Business Reward’ seats to Los Angeles:
And Delta still has access to Business Class on Virgin Australia flights within Australia…
So the good news is Virgin or Delta aren’t specifically blocking Delta SkyMiles members from booking Business Class awards.
And we can’t blame Delta systems glitches either.
The bad is Virgin Australia has simply stopped releasing Business Class award seats altogether to and from the U.S.
Which makes this very likely a temporary issue.
Virgin Australia is in the midst of reconfiguring its aircraft to feature brand new Business Class seats.
Right now the 777s it flies to the U.S. are set up with 33 seats in Business Class using a 2-3-2 configuration, which is pretty tight by current standards.
The new configuration will have a 1-2-1 configuration with no middle seats, and every seat will have direct access to the aisle.
That’s great for comfort, but it means fewer seats on the plane.
It’s not officially disclosed, but perhaps fewer than 25 seats will be in the new configurations.
That means awards will be harder to come by.
This has been a big trend in Business Class awards over the last few years.
Many airlines have gone from Business Class with 6 or 7 seats across to First Class like configurations where there are just 4 seats across, giving everyone has direct access to the aisle. And that’s reduced the number of Business Class seats on each plane, which makes award space less likely to be available.
It’s one reason American Airlines awards are so hard to get right now.
So when Virgin Australia award space reappears, if you see a date that might work, grab it, as it will probably get harder to score as these improvements roll out.
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