Virgin Atlantic quietly removes the ability to view Flying Club award availability by month
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Virgin Atlantic has made a small but potentially very frustrating change to their Flying Club search engine.
Previously, when searching for flights to redeem your Virgin Points on — whether operated by Virgin Atlantic or their partner airlines like Delta or Air France — you would be shown availability on the date you had searched for, as well as three days before and after. If none of these dates worked (or there was no availability that week), you could select to view a price calendar to see availability, as well as the cost in miles and fees/taxes for an entire month.
Unfortunately, as first reported by Thrifty Traveler, this price calendar option has now quietly disappeared from the Flying Club search engine.
TPG has reached out Virgin Atlantic who have confirmed that the changes are intentional and not due to a temporary IT glitch. A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told TPG:
“To ensure the greatest accuracy when searching for reward flights, we’ve made a routine adjustment and temporarily removed the calendar view option. Customers can continue to search using our flexible dates feature, which we know is a popular option to get the most value from hard-earned Virgin Points.”
The spokesperson noted that the removal of the calendar view option is temporary. But for now, it will be more time-consuming to search for award availability using Virgin Points. If you can’t find seats within a few days of your original search date you will have to search again, and only your new search date and the three days on either side will be shown.
However, there are other ways to check availability that circumnavigate the Virgin Atlantic site. One of TPG’s favourite methods is to use SeatSpy which allows you to check for possible point redemptions across an entire year. You can read more about SeatSpy here.
Virgin has come under criticism lately for both raising their already astronomical fuel surcharges on premium cabin redemptions to and from the United States and releasing virtually no Upper Class award availability on popular routes.
We will keep you posted on any developments in the Flying Club platform, but for now, you may have to spend a lot more time finding the seats to redeem your Virgin Points.
Featured image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
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