Virgin status matching from BA Silver and BA Gold via Little Red

Virgin Atlantic appears to have hit on a new trick to increase loads on its struggling Little Red UK domestic services – by offering to status match British Airways Executive Club customers to Virgin Flying Club!

I have heard from a couple of sources now that cabin crew on Little Red flights are coming around the cabin offering to status match British Airways Silver and British Airways Gold cardholders.  No other cards seem to be accepted, and it is not clear if you need to be carrying your BA card at the time.

Virgin Flying Club Silver status is not hugely valuable.  Virgin Gold, however, lets you use the exceptional Clubhouse lounges in Heathrow and elsewhere, whatever your class of travel, when flying Virgin long haul.

More prosaicly, a Virgin Gold also gets lounge access at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester when flying Little Red.  At Manchester Terminal 3, you can use the attractive Escape lounge (below) that I visited last year.

Escape lounge Manchester

I wouldn’t take a special flight to Manchester just to try to get a Virgin status match!  However, if you need to fly a domestic to Manchester, Edinburgh or Aberdeen from Heathrow, this may be the carrot you need to give Little Red a try.

In other Little Red news ….

Virgin Gold customers no longer have lounge access in Heathrow Terminal 1.  The deal Little Red had with Servisair to use their lounge has ended.  However, as this lounge was a complete dump, there is no great loss.

Virgin Gold card holders can now collect a £10 Costa Coffee voucher from the Little Red help desk by Gate 8.

This is only a temporary situation until Little Red moves to the brand new Terminal 2, although that is not expected to happen until the end of 2014.  Little Red is currently planned to be the last airline to move across.

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Comments

  1. They make an announcement on board specifically offering to status match and you just have to ask for the form.
    Complete the form, show your BA card and that’s it. The crew take JFK form back.
    Well that’s what they did for me. It was really easy, very friendly …… And does not work!
    A month on from doing so nothing.
    A pity really as little red was a good experience if you ignore using T1, which is a dire experience.
    The aircraft were new, clean and the crew friendly, a huge improvement on BA. Having status would at least lessen the blow of using T1 though it’s only the serviceair lounge which is nothing special.
    The fact that they can’t manage this process suggest Virgin still very amateurish in that respect and that there is no real commitment to domestic operations which is a slot sitting exercise till something better comes along.

    • John Connor says:

      Doh! Did you read the article? The Servisair lounge at T1 is no longer offered – you get a costa coffee voucher in the gate 8 area instead… MUCH better!
      Contact VS CS and see what the hold- up is..

  2. John Connor says:

    I think you need to edit your title.. it’s a status match from BA to Virgin, not “to BA “…

    • Changed, but technically I think you could say ‘match to’ something! Will you match my BA Gold? Will you match to my BA Gold? Will you match from my BA Gold?

      • andystock says:

        What are little red’s lounge plans at T2 when they move across?

        I really cant see little red existing in the long term, even moving into T2 there is still the issue of going from T2 to T3 unlike BA were domestic flights are in T5 with Belfast and Dublin to move to T5 in October.

        • Good question. I imagine the Premium Plaza lounge (which looks fantastic, search for my old post).

          • Lady London says:

            If Premium Plaza Lounge is anything like the Premium Plaza lounge in Singapore, it will be great. Hard to imagine they will be offer the same flexible services menu at same fair cost as in Singapore though. I had a wonderful massage at the one in Singapore – some of my body relaxes when I even think about it!

  3. Surfnode says:

    Actually the transfer from little red works pretty well at the moment, you just peel off directly at the gate onto a dedicated bus that takes you to T3. I recently transferred from T5 to a virgin long haul flight and that turned into a 10,000 steps challenge.

    All virgin would need to do now is take a leaf out of delta’s book and allow end to end use of electronic devices to make it a really useful service. Allegedly lowly Ryanair allows this now, surely they should manage too?

  4. Oh Matron! says:

    I flew 3 weeks ago on LHR-MAN-LHR

    Loads were nearly full. The weekend flight from MAN was full: They had off duty cabin crew using the spare crew seats! Loads are certainly picking up.

    Regarding the loss of the service air lounge: This is a benefit. It truly is a dump

    Regarding the Escape Lounge at MAN: I love this place. The food isn’t bad, and their breakfasts are great (Want a sausage AND bacon sandwich… Just ask!) Being able to watch the planes take off and land is great. The only thing it lacks is a shower

  5. Dominic says:

    One should also not knock the acquisition of another gold card – it can of itself be useful in getting other status matches…

  6. After doing a Little Red flight I tried out the status match as a bit of an after thought using the Marco Polo Gold and an email to VS customer services. They offered a status challenge, I needed to accept the challenge and then book a (paid!) flight to get Silver status and then would be fast tracked to Gold after completing a certain number of flights. Didn’t take them up on offer as I don’t really want/plan to do much flying with Virgin which involves actually paying for a ticket!

    I have done 3 flights on Little Red out of EDI (Fr and Sunday nights) and all the flights have been quiet. As for the planes and the service I think they deserve to do well.

    The Edinbugh Servisair lounge is currently being upgraded to an Aspire Lounge (probably as a result of the shiny new BA lounge they have as a next door neighbour), due to open in May.

    • shadowfixer says:

      I have a VS flight coming up in a months time, and have CX Gold, Do you remember the fast track challenge rules to get to Gold?
      Is it worth doing – VS silver shouldn’t be too difficult – but doesn’t actually get you much.

      Thanks
      SF

      • Text below…

        As a Cathay Pacific Gold cardholder, we can consider a fast track through Silver to Gold status in our Flying Club. This offer means you are immediately upgraded to Silver status with a rapid promotion to Gold. Members normally have to earn 40 tier points within 12 months to achieve Flying Club Gold status. With this offer, you only need to earn 20 tier points in 7 months.

      • And this (sorry but in iPhone)

        For us to consider you for this offer, we ask that you are:

        a) already a Flying Club member
        b) have a forthcoming confirmed revenue flight booked with Virgin Atlantic.

        • shadowfixer says:

          Thanks for the reply.

          Lots of good information there.. It seems that i would be unlikely to earn 20 tier points (although the family as a whole will). In the next 7 months..

          Doesn’t hurt to ask though :)

          Thanks again.

          SF

  7. shadowfixer says:

    Having looked about abit re Status Matching Airline Frequent Flyer programmes, this Flyertalk post (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milesbuzz/9558-status-match-master-thread.html) suggests that you will only get one match per life

    “Bear in mind that status matches are generally one-time only affairs — so only request the match if you plan to use the status and requalify. Otherwise it’s a future opportunity wasted.”
    Its an old post – Does anyone know if this is still the case?

    Thanks
    SF