UPDATE 3.4.18: Still Working!
It just reinforces my theory once again: Delta flash sales aren’t really sales, as this one keeps working after the expiration date just like other “sales” before it. Not that I’m complaining. 🙂
Some suite redemptions are gone (which was to be expected), but it didn’t take me long to find that coveted suite award space.
If you don’t need a suite, then you have more options. Once again, the Virgin Atlantic site doesn’t show many European destinations. so when you don’t see a city you want to go to, just call: 800-365-9500.
Here are some examples of Delta One (regular Business Class seats) availability for 2 people on some routes in the summer.
New York to Paris
Atlanta to Milan
Boston to Dublin
The End of the Update
OK, so in order to get a Delta One Suite for 39,000 Amex points you would’ve had to transfer your Amex points to Virgin during that 30% transfer bonus deals. I did, so I’m sitting on a nice amount of Virgin miles right now. But even if you didn’t, 50,000 Virgin miles is still a bargain for this seat.
Delta currently has a rare Business Class Flash Sale on flights to Europe. The list of the eligible routes is quite expansive, although you will have to play with the dates and (I dare say) destinations to take advantage of the sale. Of course, when Delta has a “sale” for a Business Class seat it means the normal 64,000 miles that you would’ve paid anyway when they still have an award chart. But whatever Delta is charging is not relevant anyway.
Nick over at Frequent Miler wrote a great post about using 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to book, and I immediately remembered that great 30% Amex MR transfer deal that would lower your rate to 39,000 Amex points per one way travel. If you missed out on it last time, make sure to take advantage next time it’s offered, but even without the bonus, 50,000 miles is a pretty sweet deal for a Delta One seat to Europe.
How to find a Delta One Suite
And then I remembered an even better product: new Delta One Suites on the A350 and on the retrofitted 777-200.
Getting this Unicorn-quality seat to Europe is tough. Delta only flies them to Europe from Detroit and Minneapolis (also from Atlanta to Paris, but that’s going to discontinued in Spring as far as I remember), and the award space is abysmal, to say the least. I tried to play with different dates and routes, and wasn’t able to find anything until I stumbled upon Detroit to Amsterdam. Then, just after just a few tries, I hit gold.
Do your search directly on Virgin Atlantic whenever you can (it’s not always possible, because the Virgin Atlantic site doesn’t list all destinations). In my experience, availability on the Delta site doesn’t necessarily correspond with the award space on Virgin Atlantic and vice versa.
Also, keep in mind that Delta has 3 DTW-AMS flights daily. Two of them are on the A330, and only one is on the A350 that features these elusive Delta One Suites. Make sure you’re getting exactly what you want (although equipment, as you know, is subject to change without notice).
Here is what you’re looking for:
- DTW-AMS: DL132 departing at 4:27PM
- AMS-DTW: DL133 departing at 9:30AM
What if you’re not interested in Amsterdam?
Just take a train or short cheap flight to wherever you’d rather be. Amsterdam is close to almost everything in Western Europe.
What if you don’t live in or close to Detroit?
Then get a cheap positioning flight or forget Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic miles work best when there is a direct flight. When you start adding segments you will pay more. Using Delta’s own miles would probably be a better deal at this point. However, this deal only works when you book a round-trip flight, and Delta’s award chart is notoriously flaky. Change your trip length slightly and your whole sale can go up in smoke.
Is there another reason to book this sale with Delta miles?
Yes, like I mentioned at the beginning, availability between Delta and Virgin Atlantic may not match.
Here is an available Delta One Suite round trip flight when I dummy-booked it on the Delta site.
These dates are not available on the Virgin Atlantic site.
The current Delta Flash sale is a pretty good deal any which way you look at it. Use Virgin Atlantic Miles if you need a simple nonstop one-way or round-trip flight. Use Delta miles if you need a more complex round-trip itinerary (although get ready to deal with the maddening Delta online booking engine). If you live far away from Detroit and don’t want to deal with a positioning flight just get a “simple” Delta One seat. You can’t go wrong with 39,000-64,000 miles, especially in the prime season.
Will this “sale” really end on March 1? I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t. Most of Delta’s previous sales worked long after the deadlines announced. On the other hand, Delta Business Class sales are rare, and they usually want your first-born child for the privilege. If you have Europe and summer in your travel plans this year, book ASAP.