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Get 5,000 bonus Flying Club miles when you book Guest List

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Last September, Virgin Atlantic launched an interesting new service – Guest List.

Most frequent travellers acknowledge that, whatever they may think of Virgin Atlantic’s on-board product, the ground service at Heathrow (and to a lesser extent Gatwick) is unbeatable. It certainly leaves British Airways a long way behind, even with all the improvements from Terminal 5.

If you fly Virgin Upper Class on a fully-flexible cash ticket, you get all of these extra benefits:

Virgin Atlantic 747

  • A chauffeur driven car to and from the airport (75 miles radius)
  • At Heathrow, be dropped off at the Upper Class Wing, a drive-in / walk-through private area, with your baggage unloaded and checked in for you
  • At Heathrow, use a private security channel (fast-track security pass at Gatwick)
  • Access to the Virgin Clubhouse lounge – the Heathrow one is generally seen as one of the top 10 airline lounges in the world

Guest List allows you to access all of these benefits if you are flying in Economy or Premium Economy.

The Guest List service is now a year old. If I am totally honest, I did not expect it to last this long – I genuinely didn’t think that enough people would pay the money. It seems that I was wrong – or that Virgin has a very modest new business target.

The price list (and full details) can be found here. It goes from £240 for one person, one way, up to £3,600 for nine people who require a car to and from the airport on both the outbound and return flight.

As a first birthday promotion, Virgin Atlantic is currently offering 5,000 Flying Club miles with the purchase of a ‘Guest List’ package. This is a one-off award per booking, so it has more impact on a booking for one person – I doubt it would swing the decision of anyone contemplating paying £680 for a family of four.

The core market, of course, is not the family market but corporates who want to trade down from Upper Class to save money but retain access to its perks.

I would say that this service works best if:

  • You live nearly 75 miles from the airport, and would otherwise have a hefty taxi bill or car parking bill
  • You are going to Heathrow, where the facilities are substantially better than those at Gatwick (no drive-through check-in, no private security and immigration)
  • You do not have Virgin status which would otherwise get you Clubhouse access
  • You will have enough free time at the airport to enjoy some of the amazing features of the Clubhouse
  • You are not travelling with children (kids over 2 count as a ‘person’ for the purpose of calculating your fee)

For me, it would be a poor deal. We will soon have 2 kids over 2 years old and we live relatively close to Heathrow (a £50 taxi ride). £680 one-way would effectively mean paying £630 (knocking off the cost of a taxi) for private security and immigration and lounge access – not a great deal.

However, if I lived 70 miles from Heathrow with, say, a £150 taxi bill and was travelling alone, the £240 fee would not look too bad. 5,000 Flying Club miles on top may even be enough to swing it.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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 (6)

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

  • Farringdon says:

    I wasn’t aware of this product but I think it’s a great idea. I imagine it’s also high margin for VS, even if the takeup is relatively low. The only incremental cost for them is the car service, and presumably have have a heavily negotiated deal with the vendor for that. If they price it right, it seems like it would be an attractive proposition. I imagine this being appealing to medium to high end leisure travel who can’t afford to buy a seat in J.

    Not sure how attractive this would be to corporates though. They could either get a cheaper deal on car service themselves (or tell their employee to take the train). The rest of the cost is for lounge access – and VS promote their lounge as a fun place, not a place to work.

  • Charlie says:

    Add a haircut and a massage at the lounge, that would be a must if I was forking out £240!

  • Andrew says:

    Worth noting that the Upper Class Wing drive-thru check-in is now available to all Upper pax to use with their own taxi or friend/relative drop-off, even if your ticket type doesn’t provide the car service. This isn’t very heavily publicised, though they do contact you a few days before travel to see if you want to book a slot.

  • Oliver says:

    This sounds good. Buy an economy ticket and buy guest list. Use all the ground services to the fullest then just sleep on the plane.

    • Oliver says:


      “Entry and up to a three hour visit in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at your departing airport, with leisurely boarding commencing 50 minutes before flight departure.”

      Not worth it for 3 hours in the clubhouse. If it was all day then I would get the value of food and drink out of it.

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

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