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Virgin Atlantic has changed its archaic reward cancellation policy at last

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My biggest gripe with Virgin Flying Club – which has been going out of its way to appear more attractive in the last year or so – was the, frankly, pathetic cancellation policy.

These were the rules:

Cancel your mileage flight and you lose 25% of the miles used

Cancel your mileage flight within 7 days of departure and you lose 100% of the miles used

As far as I was concerned, this was simply not acceptable.  People often save miles for years to get a reward flight, so impose a swingeing 25% penalty if they had to cancel – even many months before departure – was simply not on.

Virgin Atlantic 747

However, things may have changed.  Although, oddly, Virgin Atlantic hasn’t told anyone about it.

As was posted on Flyertalk yesterday, the Virgin terms and conditions for Flying Club redemptions now say this:

If for any reason a flight reward is cancelled by the Member outside 24 hours of departure, 100% of the Miles will be re-credited to the member’s account. A cancellation fee of £30 for changes to flights originating in the UK, US$50 for changes to flights originating in the US or local currency equivalent of US$50 for changes to flights originating in any other region will apply. If for any reason a flight reward is cancelled within 24 hours prior to departure, no Miles will be refunded and no fee will be charged. If you change the original travel date (within 24 hours of departure) and later decide to cancel your flights, you will forfeit the mileage used for the reward. Once travel has commenced Miles cannot be refunded. Except as expressly stated in these Flying Club Terms, Miles are not refundable and changes or revalidation are not permitted in case of no-show.

Truly, miracles do happen!  This now makes Flying Club a far more attractive proposition for me.  I need to book a long way ahead to get 4 seats for my family, but booking a long way ahead obviously means more chance that plans will change.  I might even do a transfer to Flying Club now via the Tesco or Amex conversion bonuses ….. my current balance of 8,000 won’t get me far!

Next week, I will run a post outlining all of the reasons why you might want to consider collecting Virgin miles via the current transfer bonuses, even if you don’t already have any.  Ironically, I had already written that post when this news came in … time for a re-write!

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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 points bonus 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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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 sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (25)

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

  • Simon says:

    Looking forward to reading the article next week, I’m tempted to do a speculative transfer of my clubcard points to Virgin, shame the bonus isn’t 50% this time.

  • Deenesh says:

    First post. I must say this website has been a real find so thanks to all who contibute. Stupid question but along with the 100% miles refund if you cancel, do you also have the taxes and charges refunded also? You just pay the £30 cancellation fee?
    Currently having a massive dilema as to which scheme – Avios or VFC to commit to. I have accounts with both and points with both. BA better for upgrades using Avios, VS better for full economy tickets plus taxes etc. However VS don’t fly from Glasgow which is a big hassle for me personally due to my location in Scotland.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you get the taxes back as well. Fundamentally the canx terms are now the same as BA, albeit £5 higher fee. £30 is per person, by the way.

    • oliuk says:

      I find the ability to upgrade 2 cabins at once on VS (ie ecoomy to upper) very useful, and cant be done on BA!

  • Heather says:

    Well I would be careful with this. I have just this minute spoken with VA and I have been advised that I would loose 25% of my miles if I were to cancel an August 14 flight say in two months time. I would only get a 100% refund of miles if I cancelled within 24 hours. I explained that the terms and conditions had recently changed and she told me that she was reading from her screen. Suffice to say I didn’t book. My return date isn’t up yet, but I was tempted to book the outbound, on the hope that I could get an Avios return later.

  • Heather says:

    Look at this link that is still on the VA page under the flying club terms and conditions

  • Heather says:

    Sorry paragraph 6 talks about re crediting only 75%. What I can’t find is what happens to the taxes are these refunded

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

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