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Virgin cuts fuel surcharges on Economy redemptions – now £38 – £143 lower than BA

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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.

Virgin Atlantic 747

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.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

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

Comments (7)

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  • Mr Bridge says:

    just booked (saturday 1st june) club world to orlando, previoulsy was showing taxes and surcharges at £828 pp, when i booked was only £507.

    have BA secretly cut too???

    • Luckyjim says:

      No, £507 is correct, and unchanged, for club world to Orlando. BA site sometimes shows taxes up to £828 until you get to the final stage and it shows the correct amount. Not sure why. Maybe it would be £828 if you included a stopover.

      • Mr Bridge says:

        im always happy to pay less, so smiles 🙂 from me

  • Chris C says:

    Anyone know if this applies to cash fares or just redemptions?

    If it is to cash fares as well has the total cost been reduced or have they just shifted the YQ into the base fare element ? (which to be honest is where the YQ should be in the first place)

    • Rob says:

      Just redemptions – in theory, just economy redemptions

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This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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