88-year-old has ‘dream’ VA Upper Class flight after passenger gives up seat

Dec 17, 2019

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A young man traveling in business class on a flight from New York with his family met an 88-year-old woman traveling in economy. Before the flight took off, however, the two had swapped seats.

Jack and Violet became fast friends at the airport and Jack decided Violet would have a better time in business class, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Leah Amy, who says she’s a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, documented the encounter between Jack and Violet, who she called her “[favorite] passengers ever.”

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“Jack and his family purchased seats In our Upper Class cabin for a flight home from New York, but when he got onboard, Jack went and found violet in economy and swapped seats with her,” Amy wrote in a Facebook post, which has since been shared over a thousand times.

“He then sat on the row of seats directly next to the economy toilets and never made a peep or asked for anything the rest of the flight,” Amy continued. “No fuss, no attention, literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart, no one asked him too.”

Violet seemed to have an incredible trip, enjoying business-class amenities such as dinner (with real silverware!) and lie-flat seating. It was Violet’s first time in business class, Amy wrote. She traveled to New York to visit her daughter, Amy wrote, but hadn’t been in a while because of a knee replacement.

Of the hundreds of flights I’ve operated, I’ve had the pleasure of looking after footballers, supermodels and some…

Posted by Leah Amy on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

TPG has reached out to the flight attendant who worked the flight and Virgin Atlantic for comment.

We at TPG hope Violet had a great flight up front. We’re fans of Virgin’s Upper Class product here ourselves. TPG U.K.’s Director of Content Nicky Kelvin flew from London (LHR) to New York (JFK) earlier this year and enjoyed the friendly service, comfortable bed and plentiful redemption options.

Speaking of which, it’s pretty easy to accrue Virgin Miles in Flying Club, especially as it’s a 1:1 transfer partner of all the major transferable points currencies (American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou).

For instance, you could apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Just by earning the welcome bonus on the card, you could earn enough points for a one-way Upper Class flight between London and New York. Amex earlier this month rolled out a new targeted transfer bonus, allowing cardholders to earn up to 30% in bonus miles when transferring Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic. The card comes with an annual fee of $550 (see rates and fees).

While Flying Club redemptions can be a good deal at times, the best values aren’t always found on the airline’s flights. While the mileage component of Virgin Atlantic awards can be reasonable, the fuel surcharges, combined with the UK’s departure taxes, can diminish the value of some redemptions.

Instead, you may want to explore using use your Flying Club miles on partners like Delta (e.g., Delta One Suites to Europe for 50,000 miles + $5.60 one-way) and ANA (e.g., first class US-Tokyo from 90,000 miles). Just note that Flying Club charges on a per-segment basis, so your best bet is to find nonstop award flights. And if you do find a Delta-operated flight, be sure to compare the Flying Club award rates to those offered directly with Delta SkyMiles, as Delta’s numerous award sales and variable pricing could make transferring your Amex points to Delta a better option.

Featured image courtesy of Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

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