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If you’ve been looking for flat bed business class across the pond for a family of four in summer 2023, you may be in luck. A couple of days ago, a member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group flagged a bunch of Delta One business class award space from New York to Berlin that is available via Virgin Atlantic for 50,000 miles and less than $7 per passenger one way. While I think this route is currently using an older / outdated business class product, it is nonetheless flat bed business class during peak summer dates for multiple passengers, so I was happy to book seats for my family of four.
- Delta business class award space from New York (JFK) to Berlin, Germany (BER) is available for 4 or more passengers on many dates in May and June 2023
- Book via Delta for around 225,000 miles per passenger (bad deal)
- Book via Virgin Atlantic for 50,000 miles and less than $7 one way
- Alternatively, these seats should also be available to Air France / KLM, but at less of a deal than via Virgin Atlantic
Business class award space between the US and Europe can often be tough to find during peak summer travel months. That has been especially true in Summer 2022, where we’ve seen multiple blogs report the unusually thin existence of award space nearly across the board.
That’s what makes this award space notable: in June of 2023, we are seeing multiple dates with space for multiple passengers in Delta business class from New York (JFK) to Berlin, Germany that are available to book via partner programs. Even if Berlin isn’t your final destination of choice, it can certainly make sense to use this deal to get the long-haul flight in comfort and then book separately from Berlin to wherever you ultimately want to go in Europe.
That said, don’t skip over Berlin if you’ve never been. I spent about 3 months renting an apartment in Berlin about a decade ago and I had a great time exploring the city. Prices were very reasonable by European standards and the city has a pretty vibrant artsy scene. There is certainly plenty of history and culture to soak up for a few days. At least at the time I was there, it seemed to be quite a hub for young Europeans given the relatively low cost of living (I don’t know whether that may have changed in the interim, but I have fond memories).
Here’s a look at space for four passengers in late May and early June 2023:
In fact, you don’t even lose many dates when you bump it up to six passengers in business class nonstop.
There are even a handful of dates with enough award space for eight passengers, though that is admittedly much more limited. Award space extends a couple of weeks beyond the calendar as shown above, with availability ending in late June.
To put this deal in perspective, four passengers on a randomly selected date from above would pay 225,000 miles each to book this flight via Delta:
That’s a total of nine hundred thousand miles for a family of four if you book via Delta — versus 200,000 total miles for all four passengers via Virgin Atlantic. Yes, you could book an entire family of four via Virgin Atlantic for less than what Delta will charge you for a single passenger.
I actually had a Virgin Atlantic Delta booking that I’d been meaning to cancel. This space convinced me to finally get on the phone with them and cancel it to free up the miles to use for this Summer 2023 availability. I originally transferred to Virgin Atlantic during a point transfer bonus, which makes these Delta redemptions sweeter yet since my original cost for 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles was fewer than 50,000 transferable points. If you need to call to cancel an existing booking, know that hold times can still be long — I couldn’t cancel online and I spent almost 45 minutes on hold waiting to speak to an agent (or rather the Google Assistant did since I let my Pixel phone hold for me while I typed this post). The initial estimate was 30 minutes. That’s certainly less than I waited on any of my many calls to Aeroplan last month, but be aware that it may take a while to reach an agent.
Of course, if you’re just looking to make a new booking, you can do that online quite easily. Once I cancelled my existing booking, the miles were immediately redeposited and within a couple of minutes of hanging up the phone, I had made my new booking.
Since Virgin Atlantic has no cancellation fee when the taxes are this low (technically, you just forfeit the taxes when they are less than $50 per passenger, but in practice I’ve even gotten the taxes back on past cancellations), I didn’t even concern myself with finding a return flight yet. I’m happy to get this outbound locked up and then I have about 11 months to work on finding a suitable return flight. If I can’t find anything, I’ll cancel my flights to Berlin and perhaps forfeit the $24.40 that I paid in taxes (but get all my miles back).
If you’re looking to get to Europe in summer of 2023, particularly with a large group, this is a nice opportunity even if not the most luxurious business class product in the sky.
H/T: Andrew in Frequent Miler Insiders