It’s tough to beat the fancy and private Delta One Suites for a long flight to Asia. And if you want to book it for cheap, today’s your lucky day.
While Delta often wants 300,000 SkyMiles or more each way for these expensive flights, you can book the exact same flight through Virgin Atlantic for just 60,000 miles each way. It’s one of the best deals in the world of miles and points – and an ongoing transfer bonus makes it even cheaper.
American Express is currently offering a 30% bonus on transfers to Virgin Atlantic. That means you can book these flights with just 47,000 American Express Membership Rewards points.
The trick is finding award availability at these low rates via Virgin Atlantic – and you’re in luck. There’s some good availability in spring and summer 2020 for up to four to fly Delta One suites from the U.S. to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) and Shanghai-Pudong (PVG) in spring and summer 2020.
That includes some flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), and even Atlanta (ATL) or Detroit (DTW). And the best part is there are tons of dates with four or more seats available!
Scope out the full list of routes where you can fly in a Delta One suite to get a sense of your options. But keep reading for a look at some of the best ways to fly Delta One suites to Asia for just 60,000 miles. And read our guide on using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta flights for everything you need to know to make this work.
Thrifty Tip #1: Don’t live in one of the cities with great Delta One availability? Use a positioning flight to get there. Otherwise, you can generally fly from any airport with Delta service to connect with one of these flights on the same itinerary for 82,500 miles. Just start by searching from your home airport on Virgin Atlantic’s website.
Thrifty Tip #2: Looking for flights to Seoul-Incheon (ICN)? Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic’s site can’t pull up that airport. You’ll have to call Virgin at 1-800-365-9500 to find availability and book it.
Here’s what we’re seeing:
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
You easily can ride in style to go explore Japan’s amazing capital city from Delta’s Midwestern hub for just 60,000 miles. You just have to time it right. There’s scattered availability from January all the way through April 2020, with a bunch of award space in late April.
But here’s the best part: Every one of the dates shown above has at least four Delta One seats available at that price. In fact, many of these dates have at least eight seats available. That’s almost unheard of, as it can often be challenging for even a couple to snag business class seats together using miles.
As a reminder, the exact same flight costs at least twice as much when using SkyMiles to book. And often, it’s much, much more.
Unfortunately, the availability from Minneapolis to Tokyo dries up as summer approaches, thanks to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. And there’s not great availability to book a return flight to Minneapolis using Virgin Atlantic, so you may have to consider employing one of our other favorite ways to fly between Japan and the U.S.
Read our review of Delta One Suites from Tokyo-Haneda (HND) to Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Detroit (DTW) to Beijing (PEK)
Want to go see the Great Wall? Detroit (DTW) is a great starting point to fly there for cheap in Delta One Suites.
There is a smattering of dates throughout the spring, but you’ll find strong availability for two or more passengers flying to Beijing-Capital (PEK) from July through September and beyond. Every date below has at least two seats bookable for just 60,000 miles each way.
And unlike the Minneapolis example, it’s even easier to hitch a return flight from Beijing home to Detroit next summer.
Atlanta (ATL) to Shanghai-Pudong (PVG)
Atlanta-based flyers are hostages in Delta’s massive hub, and they rarely get in on amazing deals like this. Yet using Virgin Atlantic miles could get an entire family to China for cheap.
There’s a ton of award space to fly to Shanghai-Pudong (PVG) for just 60,000 miles each way throughout summer 2020. For example, look at how easy it is to book two Delta One suites in the summer.
There’s also some decent award availability throughout the spring flying from Atlanta to Shanghai. And again, booking the same flights to return to Atlanta isn’t too difficult, either.
Seattle (SEA) to Shanghai-Pudong (PVG)
It’s time for something a bit different.
You’ll still have your own suite, but Delta flies a new Airbus A330-900neo between Seattle (SEA) to Shanghai-Pudong (PVG). And if you’re dying to try out this new seat, here’s your best chance to do it for cheap.
There’s fairly decent availability scattered throughout the spring, summer, and early fall of 2020.
How to Get Virgin Atlantic Miles and Book
To get in on one of these amazing deals for a Delta One suite, you need some Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer Delta SkyMiles over to Virgin Atlantic, or vice versa. But you can still easily earn the miles you need.
That’s because the airline is a transfer partner with three major bank points currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points.
But with the ongoing 30% transfer bonus from American Express, that should be your obvious choice. Booking a $5,000-plus flight to Asia with just 47,000 points is nearly unbeatable. Read our guide to transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to airline partners.
The American Express Platinum Card is a strong option for frequent flyers to get the Amex points they need to book a Delta One suite. The $550 annual fee may seem steep, but that comes with at least a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 within three months and an unbeatable set of travel perks. But be sure to check to see if you qualify for a 100,000-point bonus.
Using Virgin Atlantic miles to book a Delta One suite is one of the savviest moves a frequent traveler can make. And while it can be tough to find the dates that work to make this workaround a success, this is an amazing chance to fly to Japan or China – or bring the whole family – using the Amex transfer bonus to do it for even fewer points.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.