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Virgin Atlantic and Delta swap over transatlantic flights

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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.

Virgin and Delta crew

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

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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 & two 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (3)

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

  • Billy says:

    I don’t think Delta does operate to LAX as their flights currently are as a codeshare.

    • Adey says:

      Yeah, the press release indicates it’s Delta’s first non stop LAX LHR.

      Was worried my upcoming trip would be affected by this but looking at the flight details I think I’ve dodged the Delta flights.


  • Scott says:

    A benefit of this should hopefully be to open up new multi-stop redemption opportunities with Flying Club. I’m looking at going to Lima later next year with a stop in Vegas on the way home. Due to other half’s nervousness at flying and not wanting to fly over the South Atlantic, we were looking at going LHR-JFK-ATL-LIM followed by LIM-ATL-LAS-LHR with the JFK-ATL and ATL-LAS on paid tickets. This was all because Delta don’t allow one way redemptions, so as to be able to fly directly home from Vegas we’d do the LHR-JFK and LAS-LHR with Virgin who do.

    This new flight now means that we won’t have to worry about going through JFK on the outbound saving time and money (although I can’t see the redemption levels for Virgin’s flights to Atlanta on their website yet, so it might end up being a few more miles than New York).

    Overall though, this should hopefully allow better redemption opportunities using Delta’s hub in Atlanta for trips Stateside and perhaps down into South America.

    This is all dependant on reward availability of course…

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

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