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Delta to launch Edinburgh to New York and Heathrow to Salt Lake City

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Delta Air Lines, the US airline which is a 49% shareholder in Virgin Atlantic, has announced two new routes from the UK for 2016.

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which would usually mean crediting their flights to their own SkyMiles programme or KLM’s Flying Blue.

However, because of the Virgin Atlantic tie-up, you can earn and redeem Virgin Flying Club miles on Delta services. You will also earn Virgin tier points.  

This means that – to all frequent flyer intents and purposes – you can treat these services as if they were Virgin services.  You will even be able to use the amazing Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow if the Salt Lake City flight goes from Terminal 3.

Let’s look at these new services in detail.

Heathrow to Salt Lake City will launch on 2nd May using a Boeing 767-300ER.  This will  initially be a seasonal service over the Summer.  The press release says that business class will feature fully flat seats.

Edinburgh to New York JFK will launch on 27th May.  This will use a Boeing 757-200 which is not ideal but – at 163 seats – is probably realistic.  The outbound flight is nicely timed, leaving Edinburgh at 10.30 and arriving at 13.01, allowing you to get to your hotel just as check-in opens up.  The return departs JFK at 20.15 to land at 08.40.  Again, the business class seats will be fully flat.

Both services are daily.

Details of how to spend Virgin Flying Club miles on Delta can be found here.  The good news is that you will only need 90,000 miles for a Business Class return flight from the UK (40,000 in Economy).  The bad news is that you MUST book a return trip so you are reliant on finding availability in both directions.   You should use Delta’s website to search for days with reward availability at their lowest pricing level and then call Virgin to book.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 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 Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 (10)

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

  • chris says:

    Some of Virgin’s partner rates actually don’t look too bad. I presume the rates quotes on their website are for return flights. Although the NZ rates look a bit too low to be return (J LAX-LON 85,000??).

    The do say open-jaws can be booked – does anyone know if that can be on different airlines?

  • James says:

    Virgin’s partner flights are really very poor though. I was hoping Delta in particular would improve, but compared to VS these are the problems: Return flights only (must be Delta both ways) more miles required than on VS metal and no way to search availability online and no it doesn’t match Delta’s own availability… As an example I tried to find seats on the MAN – NYC flight, the agent could see nothing in J for a couple of months before I gave up. I wouldn’t mind but the cabins were almost all empty, they just aren’t releasing seats.

  • Alan says:

    Redemption limitations a bit annoying but good to have another option – also good to have some competition for United on route. Could be a nice use of VS points, even better if APD went in Scotland as that would make it a much better value option!

  • mikeact says:

    Getting back to the UK on Delta (or KL/AF) is dead easy and cheap,using ‘points/miles from literally anywhere in the U S.
    We never ever book the return home until we’re over there.

    • Grimz says:

      Looks good but you have to book returns and the problem is the flight from UK!

  • high end hobo says:

    When using VS points for DL flights, are you hit with YQ?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t know – good question though ….

      If you book Virgin flights using Delta miles you do not pay the Virgin YQ!

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

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