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 (September 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:
Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.
You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 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.)