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 Atlantic 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 Atlantic 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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2021)
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, one has a bonus of 15,000 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:
(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.)