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.
Here are the rules:
Book by 22 January
No restriction on travel dates
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.
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.)