Virgin Flying Club launches reward seat sale – 25% off economy redemptions!

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Virgin Atlantic has launched its regular January reward seat sale.

Almost all economy routes are reduced by 25%.  The best part is that you can book for any dates you want over the next 11 months.

Virgin sale

Here are the rules:

Book by 22 January

No restriction on travel dates

Economy only

All routes, including Little Red, included

100% miles redemptions only (no ‘Miles Plus Money’)

Open jaw flights (ie fly to San Francisco, come back from Los Angeles) OK

Virgin taxes on economy redemptions are already lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways for economy redemptions.  Even without a promotion, the miles required are also lower than Avios for some destinations (a New York seat will cost you 35,000 miles return, compared to 40,000 Avios with BA.).

Here is a sample of charges for Economy flights from London on Virgin Atlantic using miles WITHOUT knocking off the 25% discount:

New York £246 (British Airways: £354) 35,000 miles (40,000 Avios)

Barbados £242 (British Airways: £321) 45,000 miles (50,000 Avios)

Las Vegas £216 (British Airways: £380) 42,500 miles (50,000 Avios)

Johannesburg £359 (British Airways: £387) 50,000 miles (50,000 Avios)

Dubai £248 (British Airways: £328) 38,500 miles (40,000 Avios)

This sale is therefore pretty aggressive.  A return to New York will cost you 26,250 Virgin Flying Club miles compared to 40,000 Avios.  The taxes will be £246, saving £108 per person over BA.

Remember that Virgin also has a few departures from Manchester, so this sale is especially interesting if you live in northern England.  For Summer 2015 Virgin will be also running flights from Belfast and Glasgow.

It does not specifically mention whether these sale tickets can be combined with the Virgin credit card upgrade vouchers to Premium Economy, but that is not normally a problem.

Because of the two week booking period, there is plenty of time to convert some Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin Flying Club if necessary.  The conversion rate is 625 per £2.50 voucher, so a little higher than the Avios rate.  You can also convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin – these go across INSTANTLY as long as your Amex and Virgin accounts are already linked.

Virgin is also offering a 25% bonus if you buy Flying Club miles via this link before February 4th.  If you are a few thousand short then this is also an option.  (The bonus does not show until you get to the order page.)

There is also a 25% bonus on ‘Miles Booster’ which I will look at tomorrow.

Full details of the Virgin Flying Club reward seat sale can be found here on their website.

PS.  Before you ask, there is no sign of Avios repeating its sale from last January.  This is probably not surprising given that a) they accidentally ended up selling some of the world’s finest hotels at 50% off the usual cash price and b) they let you book certain European cities for certain dates for £1 of tax, which – if you were BA Gold – you could then change for free online to any city for any date!

(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.)

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  1. roberto says:

    Rob … The 25% extra bonus for buying miles is not indicated after following the link

    • It is there …. you need to keep clicking through and the bonus shows on the eventual page where you pay.

      • Roberto says:

        You are 100% correct , it is there – I just did not keep clicking.. I transferred miles to my better half so we will be looking at availability in and out of LAS or LAX.

        On a side note virgin saw this as a transaction which keeps both sets of miles “live” for another 3 years which is nice..


  2. Bruceylegs says:

    Hi Raffles, off topic – Talk Talk announced this morning that they have acquired Blinkbox (and Tesco Broadband). I suppose this means we lose a nice source of Clubcard points unfortunately:–talk-/rns/acquisition-of-blinkbox-and-tesco-broadband/201501080708495863B/

    • Pooh! Yes, it looks like that ship has sailed unfortunately.

      • According to their takeover faq (see below) the ship is still in port. I’m sure they’ll give advance notice of points awards ending but wouldn’t be surprised if they keep Clubcard long-term to promote their newly acquired services (Tesco broadband as well as blinkbox).

        “Will my Clubcard points be honoured?

        Yes, all purchases will continue to earn Clubcard points. Should this change we will drop you a note to let you know.”

  3. Looks like Adam will be about to keep his £20 for charity in his pocket for a while!! :))

  4. Colin JE says:

    I can confirm that credit card upgrade certificates ARE allowed, as I booked my discounted flight yesterday.
    The 25% bonus was showing on points purchases but not on miles booster.
    Is MB 25% uplift definite?

  5. I guess this doesn’t, however, get you 25% off the 1250 mile one-way redemption rate for Little Red flights for Flying Club Gold holders?


  6. Interesting. Vegas actually looks like a good value economy redemption!

    Do you have to book a return? Would it be better to book a one-way from UK and then the return as a one-way via Delta and pay only $5 tax?

    Is Virgin availability any better than BA?

    • Depends how cash rich and miles rich you are. If you have Delta miles already it is a no-brainer to use them and pay $5 to come back. If you are transferring Amex points when, as Delta rewards as more expensive in miles terms, you need to do the maths on what is best for you.

      In general Virgin availability to the US is better than BA at the moment but it comes and goes and can vary by route.

  7. BA-Flyer says:

    Once you hit the spend target for the credit card voucher, how long does it take to appear in your account? Do you need to wait for the next statement, or is it straight after the transaction that takes you beyond the spend threshold?

    • Companion vouchers post immediately but the upgrade vouchers don’t post till anniversary. Mine is next month so will have to wait until the next reward sale to use them (spent 10k so due two upgrade vouchers)

      • Do you get the upgrade vouchers with the free Virgin CC?

        • spacedog says:

          You do indeed get the PE upgrade vouchers with the VS white card. I got mine a month or two ago and have used them already.

      • Where do you find these vouchers?
        I’ve spent the required funds, but can see on my Virgin account or with the CC provider.

    • I think (but check the terms) that the Virgin credit card upgrade vouchers are only issued at the end of the card year, annoyingly.

      • They are issued at the end of the year and appear in your flying club account.

      • Also, if you wish to cancel your card and get the £140 annual fee refunded, make sure you don’t use either card after your anniversary date and cancel within 30 days.

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