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I Booked SFO-JFK Virgin America First Class for 25,000 AS Miles not 62,708 VX Miles

Good evening everyone.  I’m really excited that Virgin America flights are now booking with Alaska Airlines miles.  I have had my eye on a SFO-JFK flight around Labor Day Weekend, but I was waiting for an airfare sale before booking.  I was leaning toward JetBlue or Virgin America since I have lots of miles with those airlines, but I was just waiting for the price to drop.  Here are the current prices for a one way flight in economy, business, and first.  I’m not sure why some flights fall into business class and not first class, but whatever.

google-flights-sfo-jfk-first

Alaska Airlines just published their award chart for travel on Virgin America and the prices look pretty good.  Intrastate works best for California since you can fly between SFO-LAX-SAN.  I’m not sure what other states have multiple airports served by Virgin America – does anyone know?  First class flights in the continental US are reasonably priced.  Virgin America flights to Hawaii and Mexico can also be a good deal, assuming you can find award space and paid flights are expensive .

Going back to my SFO-JFK Virgin America first class flight, the current price is $1,299 or 62,708 Virgin America miles.  There are currently 5 first class award seats listed.  I wonder what the award price would be if I used Alaska Airlines miles…

I plugged in my flight details on Alaska Airlines’ website and searched for award flights.

search-alaska-airlines-website-for-sfo-jfk-flights

Here are the search results.  I am not sure why First Class is cheaper than Main Cabin, but I didn’t want to wait and find out.  I think the 30,000 mile option is the refundable economy ticket price.  Either way, I selected the 25,000 mile option for first class.

alaska-airlines-search-results-sfo-jfk-virgin-america

I confirmed the details and the price of the award ticket.

virgin-america-sf-jfk-flight-selected

I then selected my first class seat.

pick-your-sfo-jfk-first-class-seat

I reviewed all the details again and paid the $5.60 with my Citi Prestige Credit Card (I will get the charge reimbursed by Citi in a few days, thanks to my $250 airline credit).

review-sfo-jfk-virgin-america-flight

My SFO-JFK flight is confirmed.  On the reservation there is an Alaska Airlines and Virgin America confirmation code that look almost identical.  I will need to use the Virgin America confirmation code when I check in for my flight on Virgin America.

sfo-jfk-virgin-america-flight-booked

For fun, I refreshed my search on Virgin America’s website and now there are only 4 first class award seats available.  It seems that inventory updates pretty quickly between Virgin America and Alaska Airlines.  This is also a quick and easy way to check the number of award seats that Alaska Airlines has access to before searching on Alaska Airlines’ website.

sfo-jfk-virgin-america-award-seats

Lastly, you can convert Virgin America miles into Alaska Airlines miles at a 1 : 1.3 ratio (but not vice versa).  If I wanted to book this award ticket and didn’t have any Alaska Airlines miles, I could convert 19,231 Virgin America miles into 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles.  I am not sure how quick the conversion process is or if you have to transfer in 1,000 mile increments, but I am sure someone knows the answer to those questions.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great evening everyone!

22 thoughts on “I Booked SFO-JFK Virgin America First Class for 25,000 AS Miles not 62,708 VX Miles

  1. Jon W.

    I think they used to have a DAL-AUS route but terminated it. Not sure why they didn’t just say “intra-California” as it’s really the only state (SFO-LAX, SFO-SAN, SFO-PSP) with intra-state VX routes, but maybe they are making it flexible if they decide to open a VX intra-state route elsewhere?

    Reply
  2. Scott

    I tried booking 3 different flights and each time i got to the purchase screen and it said this: “The request was not successful. See the red message(s) below. Space on partner flights cannot be confirmed. Please change the dates, cities, or flights of your original request” Am I doing something wrong or does that just mean those flights were full? I was attempting 2 first class seats from LAX-JFK. I tried 2 different flights on June 27 and 1 on June 28.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      There might be an IT issue going on now. Try again in the morning or afternoon and see if it goes through. I hope you can snag the award seats.

      Reply
      1. Scott

        Still not working – and I tried a 3rd date as well (sorry, i know I’m being impatient). Any chance calling to book would do the trick? I can’t imagine there is no award space for any of the 4 flight over 3 dates I looked at. VA still shows plenty of seat available on their site for those same flights. I know the merger might have something to do with it as well – IT issues as you said.

        Reply
          1. Scott

            OK, well a 54 minute call later here is what I got: The Alaska rep got the same thing I got, then tried something else, then called the VX help desk. He said that for some reason the space isn’t available and is ‘acting’ like it’s a partner airline instead of what should be the new VX-AS relationship. Anyway he said he would report it and he suggested trying again later this week or next week. My flight isn’t until late June so I’m gonna go that route. I guess you got in before the system went haywire or something. Lucky you.

          2. Scott

            New update: Called again and this rep was able to look at it manually and said that none of the Virgin America flights were actually available at the 25k price – they were all at the 60k price (at least the 2 days he looked at for me). He doesn’t know why it’s not updated on the AS website when we look at it.

          3. Scott

            Ok – thought I’d give it one more shot before I moved onto a plan B…..and it worked this time. Exact original flight i was looking for – booked online. My entire trip is now complete :)

  3. cj

    hmmm -wouldn’t you rather fly JETBLUE MINT for 649 same dates price or use miles as you say you have a lot
    I would think you would want the best 1st class in USA over a 2 row long a$$ flight
    just sayin

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      The cash price of the ticket doesn’t matter so much, but I would definitely want to try JetBlue Mint if the award ticket cost the same amount. I didn’t bother checking other airline award space before booking Virgin America.

      Reply
  4. S Scott

    Nice work! So Virgin America (1) transfer to Alaskan (1.3), at 1 – 1.3 ? Or did I get that flip-flopped? Seems odd b/c Virgin America miles have been harder to come by (Comenity Bank card for maybe 15-20k for the longest time was V Amer. best CC offer). Nice work… I need to check this out. Alaskan can no longer be used on Emirates, yes? (off topic). Peace.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      You got the transfer ratio correct, so 1,000 VX miles would convert to 1,300 AS miles. You can still book Emirates awards, but the cost is higher than before.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Booking Virgin America Awards at 69% Off and NY Giants Trash a United 767 - View from the Wing

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