My biggest gripe with Virgin Flying Club – which has been going out of its way to appear more attractive in the last year or so – was the, frankly, pathetic cancellation policy.
These were the rules:
Cancel your mileage flight and you lose 25% of the miles used
Cancel your mileage flight within 7 days of departure and you lose 100% of the miles used
As far as I was concerned, this was simply not acceptable. People often save miles for years to get a reward flight, so impose a swingeing 25% penalty if they had to cancel – even many months before departure – was simply not on.
However, things may have changed. Although, oddly, Virgin hasn’t told anyone about it.
As Craig of Flying Piggie posted on Flyertalk yesterday, the Virgin terms and conditions for Flying Club redemptions now say this:
If for any reason a flight reward is cancelled by the Member outside 24 hours of departure, 100% of the Miles will be re-credited to the member’s account. A cancellation fee of £30 for changes to flights originating in the UK, US$50 for changes to flights originating in the US or local currency equivalent of US$50 for changes to flights originating in any other region will apply. If for any reason a flight reward is cancelled within 24 hours prior to departure, no Miles will be refunded and no fee will be charged. If you change the original travel date (within 24 hours of departure) and later decide to cancel your flights, you will forfeit the mileage used for the reward. Once travel has commenced Miles cannot be refunded. Except as expressly stated in these Flying Club Terms, Miles are not refundable and changes or revalidation are not permitted in case of no-show.
Truly, miracles do happen! This now makes Flying Club a far more attractive proposition for me. I need to book a long way ahead to get 4 seats for my family, but booking a long way ahead obviously means more chance that plans will change. I might even do a transfer to Flying Club now via the Tesco or Amex conversion bonuses ….. my current balance of 8,000 won’t get me far!
Next week, I will run a post outlining all of the reasons why you might want to consider collecting Virgin miles via the current transfer bonuses, even if you don’t already have any. Ironically, I had already written that post when this news came in … time for a re-write!