Just booked! Award space to Israel in upper class on Virgin Atlantic is wide open

Jan 17, 2022

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There is a rare opportunity to use your Delta SkyMiles for Virgin Atlantic upper class flights to Tel Aviv via London Heathrow right now. At 170,000 SkyMiles round-trip, you aren’t likely to see this deal stick around forever.

In fact, I jumped on it after I first read about it on Thrifty Traveler Premium – the premium flight deal service is available for $49.99 annually or $7.99 per month.

As you may have read, I had a trip to Tel Aviv booked back in December using Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles. Unfortunately, I had to cancel that trip after Israel re-shut its borders in the wake of a surge of the omicron variant. 

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Now that Israel’s borders are opening back up, I’ve been searching to finally take the trip, but I haven’t been able to duplicate it during multiple searches on Air France. When I saw the deal alert for the trip using SkyMiles, I jumped on it.

Related: I had to cancel my trip to Israel, but I got my miles back

I wasn’t able to do it quite as cheaply this time, but I figured, this deal would be a good opportunity to try Virgin Atlantic. By comparison, the last time I booked, Flying Blue was charging just 144,000 miles round-trip in Delta One.

The first couple of times I tried to book the trip this time, I got a weird error message saying the flights were sold out, but I was eventually able to get the flights booked at Delta.com. If you are having trouble, try alternate dates.

(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta.com)
TLV to LHR Delta award search
(Screenshot courtesy Delta.com)

Another cool thing about these itineraries is you may get to fly on one of Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350-1000 jets, which are equipped with its new suite product.

(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)

In the end, this trip cost me 170,000 Delta SkyMiles plus $169.23 in taxes and fees. Not bad considering this itinerary is more than $2,700 if booked for cash (as a refundable fare).

Deal basics

Airlines: Delta Air Lines
Routes: JFK/ATL/LAX/SFO and more to TLV
How to book: Directly through Delta
Travel dates: Now through December 2022

Sample flights

You can find these flights widely through the end of the year from multiple U.S. cities, including West Coast gateways like San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX).

(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta.com)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta.com)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(Screenshot courtesy Delta.com)

Maximize your purchase

Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), the Citi Premier® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3 points per dollar on air travel, the American Express® Gold Card for 3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2 points per dollar on travel.

Related reading: Why the Amex Platinum might just be the best card for Delta flyers

Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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