(EDIT: The status match seems to have ended on March 1st)
The major Avios devaluation last week has left many people questioning their future loyalty to British Airways Executive Club. Many are worried if they can retain status under the new tier point arrangements.
It is very timely to remind you that Virgin Little Red is still offering on-board status matches to Virgin Flying Club to anyone who flies with them (cash or reward ticket) and is carrying their BA Gold or BA Silver card at the time.
In addition, a BA Gold receives 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles (worth around £100) and a BA Silver receives 5,000 Virgin miles (worth around £50).
A Virgin Gold member also receives 2,000 bonus miles on their birthday, so arguably the status match for a BA Gold is worth 12,000 Virgin miles in total, or £120 of value. I did this match in 2014 and it worked OK.
If you know that you won’t retain status with BA now, you may want to lock in a year of Virgin status by doing this. It is especially good if you are Virgin Gold and fly domestically.
As a Virgin Gold, you would have access to the very smart new Aer Lingus lounge in T2 when flying Little Red.
More prosaicly, a Virgin Gold also gets lounge access at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester when flying Little Red. At Manchester Terminal 3, you can use the attractive Escape lounge that I visited in 2013.
If you need to travel to Manchester, Aberdeen or Edinburgh in the near future, and have British Airways status, you may want to consider moving at least one leg to Little Red. Remember that Manchester flights end in late March and Aberdeen and Edinburgh flights end in late September.
It is probably better flying INTO London with Virgin, because otherwise you would be giving up your access to the British Airways lounges at Heathrow on your outbound.
If you are BA Gold and have time on your hands, you might even want to do a Little Red flight just for miles and the status. A return redemption on Little Red will only cost you 7,500 Virgin miles plus £30, so this will be totally offset by the 12,000 miles you will receive for being matched. Cash tickets are also very cheap, even at short notice.
You would have Virgin Gold for 13 months – which would get you Virgin Clubhouse access if you flew them longhaul, even in Economy, and use of the Aer Lingus lounge on any future domestic flights.
There is one more reason to get Virgin status. You won’t find another oneworld airline willing to match your British Airways status. However, it is possible that you may be able to persuade airberlin or another oneworld airline to give you status based on your new Virgin card – and that will enable you to continue accessing British Airways lounges.
(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.)