Virgin Atlantic has launched another of their occasional reward seat sales. There is a 30% reduction on the miles needed for a host of destinations (in ECONOMY ONLY).
This means, for example, that Boston drops to 28,000 miles return, Las Vegas to 35,000 miles return and Barbados to 35,000 miles return.
The reward seat sale runs until 17th June. Travel dates vary by destination, see the website for details.
Full details can be found here, but you need to log in to your Flying Club account to see them. If you are short of miles, Virgin is also offering a 15% bonus until 30th June when you buy miles.
More interestingly, Virgin has cut the fuel surcharges on its Economy redemptions.
This is NOT temporary, looking at the announcement, and will remain in place after the reward seat sale has finished.
Some examples of the new taxes and surcharges figures are (return, Economy):
New York £240 (British Airways: £359)
Barbados £237 (British Airways: £328)
Las Vegas £213 (British Airways: £356)
Johannesburg £362 (British Airways: £400)
Dubai £243 (British Airways: £335)
As you can see, the difference between Virgin’s new lower taxes and surcharges and BA’s is quite steep – between £38 and £143 per person based on my examples. Given that Economy flights are much the same in terms of service and seat pitch, this could become a real competitive advantage for Virgin.
(It is not clear what happens now if you use one of the vouchers from the Virgin Flying Club credit card to upgrade an Economy seat to Premium Economy. Do you have the pay the higher taxes and surcharges figure for Premium Economy or not?)
It is still not certain, even with a 25% discount AND reduced surcharges, whether these still represent a good deal. Price up a cash ticket and see what you are getting per miles, factoring in the miles you would earn on a cash ticket. If you are not getting at least 0.75p per mile then I would think twice before spending any miles.
Let’s see if BA is now spurred on to do some tinkering to its own fuel surcharges. Virgin appears to be taking the game to BA at the moment on reward pricing, with its new domestic routes also undercutting BA in terms of miles required.
(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.)