Virgin # 1: Big Flying Club sale on US routes … just 25,000 miles return!

Virgin Atlantic has continued to turn the screw on British Airways by announcing a redemption sale on Economy seats.

As I posted back in July, Virgin has recently lowered the taxes on Economy redemptions.  On many routes, eg New York, you will pay over £100 less in taxes per person on a return flight redemption compared to Avios.  You also need fewer miles on many routes – that New York seat will cost you 35,000 miles return, compared to 40,000 Avios with BA.

Virgin and Delta crew

For bookings to the US and Canada made between September 6th and September 20th (so you might – might – be able to transfer Tesco Clubcard points in time to book and get the 30% bonus currently available), the rates are:

Boston – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

Chicago – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

Los Angeles – 25,000 miles + £290 tax

Miami – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

New York – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

Orlando – 25,000 miles + £215 tax

San Francisco – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

Vancouver – 25,000 miles + £260 tax

Washington – 25,000 miles + £240 tax

These truly are good deals for return, economy tickets.  You can book as far out as you can find availability.  However, Upper Class is NOT available at discounted rates.  Upper Class redemptions, and Premium Economy, will require the usual miles.

Even better, Virgin has drastically changed its shocking cancellation policy.  See todays other post ….

(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.)

Quadruple SAS EuroBonus miles with Hilton stays
Virgin # 2: Virgin has changed its archaic reward cancellation policy at last!
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  1. I assume we can’t transfer points from Avios back to clubcard points ? !!!!

  2. Economy redemptions rarely make much sense to me, but these do.

    I can’t find a non-stop revenue ticket for our dates in May to Vancouver for less than £700, but this offer coupled with the transfer bonus means I can do it for 20k MRs.

    This means I’m selling MR points at well over 2p each even after taxes.

    That’s quite good, yeah?

  3. By the way, my 250 Virgin miles for installing their shopping toolbar arrived today! Search for my old post on this if you missed out,

  4. These are indeed good deals… unfortunately there is still no Virgin Little Red service from Belfast, so BA still edges out Virgin for me, even with the discounts (since the BHD – LHR leg would either be an additional redemption or a revenue ticket, which outweighs the tax savings).

  5. Kiran Kaja says:

    Having built up about 150k Avios and also maintaining silver with BAEC, it is rather hard to switch to other loyalty programs. By the time I build up any meaningful points balance with Virgin, the offer would have been gone. The cheaper economy redemptions are still a great deal though. But I guess BAEC would know that there are probably enough of reluctant people like me who won’t switch to Virgin that easily. A couple of years ago in 2011, BAEC did offer 50% savings on redemptions. I remember using 25K avios instead of 50K avios for LHR-HYD-LHR. I think they ran a similar offer in summer 2012 as well. haven’t seen any sign of it this summer.

    • Virgin has run these discounts twice now in a year. But its only economy and only on certain routes – and, you’re right, BA may run another 50% off sale, although the economy is probably a little too healthy for that this year.

  6. Just booked the me and the wife to Vancouver in May, then taking my brother to NYC for independance day.

    • Same here Carl.

      There’s some excellent deals on ex-Vancouver Alaskan cruises in May. 🙂

  7. Is this valid on DL as well? I also wonder whether this, and the change to the cancellation policy, might be DL’s influence – a step towards harmonisation for the JV?

    • I think the cancellation policy is definitely linked to DL, because anyone booking a VS flight with DL miles would be using DL’s more flexible cancellation policy, leaving Flying Club members at a disadvantage.

      What interests me about the 25k miles sale is that you can book right out into next Summer. I would understand it better if you could only book up to, say, January, when fares are pretty weak anyway.

      I just looked up a BA return to NYC in November over a weekend – £422 in cash, plus 10,000 Avios earned back. You’d be a fool to spend 40,000 Avios + £360 tax on that ticket. On the other hand, £240 tax plus 25,000 Virgin miles is not so terrible compared to £422 cash – it is about 0.75p per Virgin miles which is a level I consider acceptable (just about) on an Avios redemption.

  8. You have just made my niece very happy, she has booked to come out to Orlando with us, excellent!

  9. You can upgrade the economy offers to premier economy if you have vouchers from spend on their credit card.

  10. Yes, 1 voucher per 5k spend but of course extra tax and you need availability in both economy and premium.

    • In my experience you only need availability in Premium economy when using the voucher 🙂

  11. I think it’s worth noting too that one-way redemptions are 12,500 miles, which could be useful for those wishing to avoid Economy when flying Eastbound.

  12. how often do virgin run these promotions of 25k of miles to the USA?

  13. can I buy a reward ticket for someone else on virgin? I want to fly my sister from orlando to manchester… see me. I want to transfer SPG or Hilton points for this. Do I have time?

    • Yes, you can book for someone else.

      If you transfer Tesco vouchers, they will hit Virgin overnight so absolutely no problem booking before the Virgin sale ends. However, SPG transfers are VERY variable. The last Lufthansa one I did took 30 days! Emirates, on the other hand, transfers arrive every Saturday, so you wait 1-6 days depending on when you action it. No idea about Virgin, unfortunately.

      Amex Membership Rewards transfers CAN be quick if you’ve transferred to them before. The first one is always a few days slower, though, as they wait for Virgin to verify your account details before sending over the points.

      • That’s great to know.
        I have never transferred club card vouchers before. To get the 30% bonus do I just follow the instructions on or is there a special link?