Delta to launch Edinburgh to New York and Heathrow to Salt Lake City (redeem via Virgin)

Delta Air Lines, the US airline which is a 49% shareholder in Virgin Atlantic, has announced two new routes from the UK for 2016.

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which would usually mean crediting their flights to their own SkyMiles programme or KLM’s Flying Blue.

However, because of the Virgin Atlantic tie-up, you can earn and redeem Virgin Flying Club miles on Delta services. You will also earn Virgin tier points.  This means that – to all frequent flyer intents and purposes – you can treat these services as if they were Virgin services.  You will even be able to use the amazing Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow if the Salt Lake City flight goes from Terminal 3.

Delta

Let’s look at these new services in detail.

Heathrow to Salt Lake City will launch on 2nd May using a Boeing 767-300ER.  This will  initially be a seasonal service over the Summer.  The press release says that business class will feature fully flat seats.

Edinburgh to New York JFK will launch on 27th May.  This will use a Boeing 757-200 which is not ideal but – at 163 seats – is probably realistic.  The outbound flight is nicely timed, leaving Edinburgh at 10.30 and arriving at 13.01, allowing you to get to your hotel just as check-in opens up.  The return departs JFK at 20.15 to land at 08.40.  Again, the business class seats will be fully flat.

Both services are daily.

Details of how to spend Virgin Flying Club miles on Delta can be found here.  The good news is that you will only need 90,000 miles for a Business Class return flight from the UK (40,000 in Economy).  The bad news is that you MUST book a return trip so you are reliant on finding availability in both directions.   You should use Delta’s website to search for days with reward availability at their lowest pricing level and then call Virgin to book.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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Comments

  1. Some of Virgin’s partner rates actually don’t look too bad. I presume the rates quotes on their website are for return flights. Although the NZ rates look a bit too low to be return (J LAX-LON 85,000??).

    The do say open-jaws can be booked – does anyone know if that can be on different airlines?

  2. Virgin’s partner flights are really very poor though. I was hoping Delta in particular would improve, but compared to VS these are the problems: Return flights only (must be Delta both ways) more miles required than on VS metal and no way to search availability online and no it doesn’t match Delta’s own availability… As an example I tried to find seats on the MAN – NYC flight, the agent could see nothing in J for a couple of months before I gave up. I wouldn’t mind but the cabins were almost all empty, they just aren’t releasing seats.

  3. Redemption limitations a bit annoying but good to have another option – also good to have some competition for United on route. Could be a nice use of VS points, even better if APD went in Scotland as that would make it a much better value option!

  4. Getting back to the UK on Delta (or KL/AF) is dead easy and cheap,using ‘points/miles from literally anywhere in the U S.
    We never ever book the return home until we’re over there.

  5. high end hobo says:

    When using VS points for DL flights, are you hit with YQ?