While it may not be a household name in the U.S., Virgin Atlantic offers flyers a great value with its Flying Club loyalty program. Once you understand the program’s point system, award chart and relationship with partner airlines, you’ll be able to find redemption sweet spots for flights all over the globe.
We’ve identified five sweet spots to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for an incredible value.
About Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Travelers have many options to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, even when they aren’t flying with the airline. Here are the common ways to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points:
Flying with Virgin Atlantic. Earn more points with higher elite status and premium seats.
Credit airline partner flights to Virgin Atlantic. Partner airlines allow you to add your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club loyalty number to your reservation to earn points.
Booking hotels and rental cars with partners. Earn Virgin Atlantic points with your stays or rentals.
Spending with The Virgin Group partners. Virgin has numerous affiliated businesses where you can earn points, including purchases at hotels, for experiences and wine.
Make purchases with your Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®. Earn 3x points on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5x points on everything else. New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus based on their spending. Plus, you’ll receive a companion reward when you spend $25,000 each year.
Points Booster. Earn additional points on your past or future flights when you pay a fee.
Understanding the award chart
Among your options for redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, booking an award flight typically offers the best value. The number of points required to book an award flight depends on your destination, class of cabin, and time of travel.
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points award chart is separated into two categories: standard season and peak season. Within each of these categories, there are three tiers: economy classic, premium, and upper class cabin seating. The award chart is based on a round trip flight to or from the U.K., with redemption rates based on the region around the world you’re traveling through. For one-way flights, the redemption rates are cut in half.
Round-trip reward flights (standard season/peak season)
(Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DC)
(Atlanta, Miami, Orlando)
Nigeria, China, and Hong Kong
(Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle)
Peak season travel dates are spread throughout the year and generally cover some of the most popular travel dates, like Christmas, Memorial Day weekend and summertime. The Caribbean has slightly different peak season dates, so pay close attention if that’s where you’d like to travel.
Many people wonder: “Do you get points for award flights on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?” While you won’t be able to earn additional Flying Club points on an award flight, Virgin Atlantic award tickets earn tier points toward elite status.
Redeeming points with partner airlines
When you have Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, you can redeem them with airlines in addition to Virgin Atlantic. Although the airline isn’t part of one of the three major airline alliances, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club partners with many popular airlines:
All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
5 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club sweet spots
Between the Flying Club and partner airline award charts, there are numerous sweet spots for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. Here are five options to help you get supersized value from your points. In addition to points, Virgin Atlantic reward flights will have applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges.
1. First class flight from the U.S. to Japan on ANA (55,000 to 60,000 points one way)
While the award charts on Virgin Atlantic’s website quote prices as a round-trip flight, you can cut the number in half for one-way tickets. First class round-trip flights between the Eastern U.S. and Japan are 120,000 Flying Club points, making a one-way flight 60,000 points. West Coast travelers can save a few points because flights are 5,000 points cheaper one way (or 10,000 round trip).
2. Virgin Atlantic upper class from the U.S. to U.K. (95,000 points round trip)
If you have flexibility in your travel dates, you can book a standard season (aka off-peak) round-trip award ticket from the U.S. to the U.K. for 95,000 points. This redemption rate is available for travelers coming from the Northeast, the Midwest and the South. West Coast travelers have to pay 40,000 additional points.
3. Air France or KLM business class from the U.S. to Western Europe (48,500 points one way)
When flying from the East Coast to Western Europe during off-peak dates, you’ll save a lot of points. The East Coast and the Caribbean are in Zone 6 of the Air France and KLM Flying Blue award charts, while Western Europe is Zone 1. Zone 1 includes Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and other popular destinations. You’ll pay 48,500 Flying Club points for an off-peak, one-way ticket instead of 58,500 during peak travel dates.
4. Air New Zealand business class from the U.S. to New Zealand (62,500 points one way)
Virgin Atlantic’s partner redemptions with Air New Zealand offer a great value with business class flights from the U.S. to New Zealand for 62,500 Flying Club points each way. These flights are typically over 12 hours long, so you’ll get extra time to enjoy the luxury of business class. Plus, in business class, you’ll get to lie down and catch some sleep so you’ll be refreshed and ready to explore when you arrive.
5. Delta One from Europe to the U.S. (55,000 points one way)
Delta One flights using Delta SkyMiles can cost hundreds of thousands of miles. However, when you book them with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, you can find huge savings. One-way flights from Europe to the U.S. can be booked from 50,000 Flying Club points. A similar flight using Delta SkyMiles may cost 120,000 to 320,000 miles.
The bottom line
When looking to redeem your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, there are many sweet spots within its award charts. It’s good to know all the ways you can earn Virgin Atlantic points and how to understand redemption rates in order to get the best value out of this loyalty program. Even if the sweet spots we’ve identified don’t appeal to you, they might help you understand the value that lies beneath the surface. Before you book your next flight, look around Virgin Atlantic’s partner award charts to see if you can find your award flight for less.
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