a row of seats in an airplane
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Let’s be honest, it’s been a pretty crappy Black Friday so far in travel. Sure, there have been a few exceptions, but I certainly hit the snooze button for the most part.

Today however, a nice new fare appeared, which ticks a few boxes. Great price, great comfort and great opportunity to fly business class for far less than most people will pay. Like it!

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have some great premium economy fares available, and for about 20,000 points and an extra £120 (about $160) per person, you can score an upgrade to business class, with pretty great availability.

a seat on an airplane

The Flight Deals

Premium Economy is a definitively better experience than economy. The legroom is better, the seat width is better and many other elements are too. When it’s priced at silly money, it’s hard to make the jump, but when it’s only marginally above economy, particularly now, the extra space and smaller cabin can be epic.

Right now there are wide open £553 ($737) round trip deals from London to New York on Virgin and British Airways is just fractionally above.

It’s a great deal worth booking just on its own, but when you combine the chance to upgrade using points or a voucher, it’s even better. These fares are widely available in January, February and March of 2022, on the same dates seats in Upper Class or Club World are also available using points.

Any seat available using points is also available for upgrade, and upgrades from the UK to the US are relatively inexpensive, coming in around 20,000 points and £120 in extra taxes. US to UK segments tend to carry higher fees, but it can be worth a look.

a desk with a laptop on it

To “win”, you just book premium economy on a date you know Upper Class or Club World has availability and then call to upgrade. Virgin Atlantic did away with its lowest premium economy fares not being upgradeable and British Airways has always allowed all Premium fares to be upgraded.

Here’s a calendar of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class upgrade availability, thanks to SeatSpy.

a calendar with red circles
Any date with a red circle has seats available for upgrade. Just be sure to book the specific flights with availability.

And here’s British Airways Club World upgrade availability, also thanks to SeatSpy.

a calendar with green circles
any date in Green has seats available for upgrade.

The Dates You Can Travel

These deals are primarily focused on near term travel in January, February and March, all of which are fun times to visit New York – you know, festive weather, winter sales and all.

The lowest prices can be found most easily for departures between Monday and Wednesday, but are only slightly higher other days of the week. Best thing to do is to pull up a price calendar for either airline and zero in these great fares.

How To Book (And Upgrade)

These flight deals are pre-pandemic levels of great. Sub £750 premium economy to cross the pond is always welcome, and anything in the £500’s is stellar. You can check out this Google Flights link, which takes you directly to the lowest prices.

If you want to upgrade, just be sure to search for Upper Class or Club World flights on your chosen dates (using the avail calendars above) and then be sure to select flights where seats are available.

Find more on the Virgin Atlantic upgrades here, and the British Airways here.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. … marginally more expensive, alot worse catering, smaller seats, less well maintained IFE and no ground customer service…

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