Delta Air Lines acquired a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic last year and the two have slowly been integrating their services to the US. Timetables have been tweaked to even out the spacing between flights and some Delta services have co-located with Virgin at Heathrow Terminal 3.
This latest move seems a little odd though.
From October 26th, Virgin and Delta are going to swap two services:
Delta will take on one of the two Los Angeles services currently run by Virgin
Virgin will take on one of the three daily Atlanta services currently run by Delta – this is a new route for Virgin
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is. It is possible that Delta is struggling on the Atlanta service and feels that British customers may feel happier switching from BA to Virgin than from BA to Delta. It also broadens the Virgin route network.
Since Virgin Atlantic and Delta both already operate to LA, the logic here is less clear. Virgin did occasionally drop to one flight per day during the Winter months so this may be a way of keeping the route operating at full capacity for the full year. One possibility is that, because the return trip to LA is over 24 hours and Atlanta is under 24 hours, this may be a way of improving aircraft utilisation.
It is not clear what will happen to anyone already booked onto the scrapped Virgin LA service in Premium Economy, as Delta does not offer that.
Given all of these other changes it is interesting to note that there is not a peep about Virgin Atlantic joining Delta in the SkyTeam alliance – although Delta seems less committed to that than it was.
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):
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.
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.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)