2020 has not been kind to the travel industry - and that is an understatement and a half.
Bums simply have not been on airline seats, through the fault of no one at all. It simply hasn't been possible. Countries have been closed, governments have not implemented effective track & trace programmes which inevitably led to mandatory 14 day quarantines once arriving in a country.
Airlines scrambled to save money in any way that they could, and resisted issuing refunds - and opted for 'credit' for passengers to use for future travel.
Then, the news of the vaccine arrived - not just 1 or 2, but 3 vaccines that could be rolled out within weeks. This gave a huge boost to the airline industry, and markets reacted accordingly. Share prices rose immediately upon this news, as there was a renewed confidence in both investors, but more importantly in passengers. Passengers that were in dire need of a holiday abroad, or to visit family members. Passengers had been nervous about parting with their money as there was uncertainty.
Share prices of airlines reacted positively to the news of a vaccine.
As the end of November approached, with the annual #BlackFriday sales - it was a perfect time to inject some enthusiasm and excitement into the market. The light was at the end of the tunnel. Now it was time to tempt passengers to get back on board and start planning for what should be a much more positive year ahead in 2021.
Twitter was bustling with rumours and excitement about what deals and bargains could be found.
I kept a keen on eye on what others were finding. And pounced when I found what I needed.
I was buying out of necessity, and not just because it was a good deal. After rearranging my 2020 wedding in South Africa due to COVID-19, I took advantage of an Etihad deal earlier in the year. But I thought that I could be cunning... for I was still in need of honeymoon flights.
I hopped on to Virgin Atlantic's website, stuck in the dates that I need to be in South Africa for my wedding - and WOW! What a deal!
2 x passengers in Virgin's brand new A350 Upper Class - for £2002.68
Not bad, when the same flight, same plane, same dates - in economy, would cost £1872.88.
Premium Economy was better than economy, at £1601.88 for 2 x passengers.
So now I am sitting with Etihad credit - to be used on honeymoon flights (destination tbc) - and a direct flight in the luxury of Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class. Not a bad day's work indeed.
As of today - 25th November 2020 - the flights that were snapped up for so cheap, are now back to their usual prices.
Well, what can I say about #BlackFriday deals? You snooze, you lose...
In this case, I'll be snoozing at 38, 000 feet on a flat bed!
Virgin Atlantic's Premium & Upper Class sale deals can be found here - https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/flight-deals/black-friday/premium-upper-class-deals.html