I thought this may be a helpful and time-saving tip if you don’t already know this, if not here it is:
I’ve just booked an upcoming trip and encountered something I haven’t seen before when booking. I was booking an Etihad redemption (how surprising) through Velocity and all day it showed, and this afternoon it went. Now, this is perfectly normal as it could have been booked out. However, it wasn’t.
I always search Etihad Guest as its accurate 90% of the time so after seeing there was availability I knew there was a problem on Virgin’s end.
Virgin will show ‘Sold Out’ when in theory it may not be.
So after a call to the Velocity call center they confirmed what I was thinking, there indeed was availability and I went ahead and booked it.
The only downside of booking online is the fee for over the phone, but paying that is better than not having the flight.
The other thing that you may come across is what’s called ‘Phantom Availability’ and damn does it suck. Phantom availability is when you search for awards, and you’ll see seats visible only to find they aren’t actually there.
This is an example of a Sydney to Los Angeles first award schedule, if only that would be real!
To make sure it is not there, check a second source.