One of my criticisms about Little Red, the new Virgin Atlantic domestic airline I outline here, was that redemption flights via Virgin Flying Club were likely to be very uncompetitive due to the taxes that Virgin levies on redemptions.
Well, it seems that Virgin had spotted this one coming. They have decided to match the Reward Flight Saver taxes deal that BA offers and they have undercut British Airways on the number of miles needed!
You can see the announcement on this page. (EDIT: link removed as dead)
In summary, redemptions on Little Red to/from Heathrow to London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen will cost just 7,500 Flying Club miles plus £30 taxes.
This is a better deal than using Avios, where you will need 9,000 Avios points plus £30 to fly the same routes.
You need to remember that Virgin has a thinner schedule than BA, although you get at least three flights per day to each destination. It is still early days for the Little Red services, so it is not clear how easy it will be to get redemption seats in the long-term.
Virgin Flying Club is a Tesco Clubcard, BAA WorldPoints and American Express Membership Rewards partner, so even if you never fly with Virgin you can move miles into Flying Club fairly easily. You can also pick up Virgin miles fairly easily through their promotions – you can currently get 5,000 miles for opening a Virgin Money ISA and 3,000 miles a night for staying in certain Hilton hotels in London and Scotland, for example. You can also get 20,000 or 30,000 Virgin miles from the sign up bonuses for the American Express Gold and Platinum cards respectively, or 10,000 Virgin miles from converting the Starwood Amex sign-up bonus.
Be aware of their cancellation policies, though. You lose 25% of your miles if you cancel, and 100% if you cancel within 7 days.
(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic, Little Red and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)