Virgin launches new reward seat sale in Economy and Premium Economy

Virgin Atlantic has launched another 20% off sale for reward seats.

And this time Premium Economy is included as well!  The sale runs until 23rd September.

Virgin Atlantic 350

Virgin taxes on Economy redemptions are lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways although they are roughly similar for Premium Economy.  Following the Avios devaluation in April, you will also need substantially fewer miles than BA for an identical route.

Here are some example prices in both Economy and Premium Economy:

New York – 28,000 miles + £249 / 44,000 miles + £363

Barbados – 36,000 miles + £225 / 56,000 miles + £359

Delhi – 34,000 miles + £293 / 56,000 miles + £407

Hong Kong – 40,000 miles + £328 / 64,000 + £325

You can ALSO travel to Washington, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Antigua, Cuba, Grenada, Montago Bay, St Lucia, Cancun, Tobago, Johannesburg, Lagos, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai.  The taxes and miles needed can be found here.

What is interesting about this sale is that you can book for any time in the next 11 months.  There are no date restrictions as long as seats are available.  Remember that, even with 20% off, not all of these deals necessarily make sense in low season – New York cash tickets would only be £300 in January for example.

You must book before September 23rd.

If you are short of miles, remember that Virgin miles transfer INSTANTLY from American Express Membership Rewards as long as your accounts are already linked.  It will take a couple of days if you have not previously linked your accounts.

Transfers from Tesco Clubcard are also very fast, usually overnight – the ‘Clubcard to Virgin’ page is here.

You can combine these discounts with a CombiFare.  CombiFare is explained in this post, but basically if you can only find a redemption in one direction Virgin will sell you a cash ticket for the other half at a discounted rate.

You cannot do a ‘miles plus money’ redemption for these deals.  It has to be a 100% miles booking.

Virgin is also offering a 20% bonus on purchased miles and a 20% bonus on Miles Booster.  I will look at this in more detail tomorrow.

Full details of the Reward Seat Sale can be found here.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

20% bonus when you buy Virgin miles or use 'Miles Booster' - good deal?
Iberia increases the 'buy Avios' limit to 100,000 - and gives a 30% bonus!
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  1. Would the economy redemptions work with the Virgin Amex upgrade voucher? And if so, would you pay the taxes on an economy seat or a PE seat? Thanks

    • I think
      A) need avaialbility in PE
      B)you need to pay taxes in PE
      C)last time it was not possible to use the voucher let’s see if someone has the answer

      Yesterday i was not finding any availability for what i may like…argh!

      Does anyone know why on the Virgin site they are flying the routes to Tokyo and Singapore (flown by Ana and Singapore Airlines) and then at the time of booking they say the route doesn’t exist?
      So i have to call? I knew it before thanks! but why showing it on the website search then!

    • You can definitely use the upgrade voucher with this offer, its in the terms and conditions ( you could last time too ).
      There doesn’t need to be availability in Economy, only premium.
      You pay the taxes for a premium redemption.

    • Paul Irving says:

      I used my voucher fine the last sale so should work fine this time also, just make sure there is PE space on the flight you are looking at.

  2. Rob, on the Virgin website it states redemption bookings “to the UK”. Does this mean you have to book a return? or are these redemption seats available for a OW booking. I looked at DXB-LHR last night and it was showing no discounts in miles.

  3. Spotted a typo: Las Vegas rather than Last Vegas.

    I think I’m going to hold my nerve and assume that they’ll run another one of these around January time, since they have done so in the past, as I will hopefully be in a better position to book my trip by then.

  4. So frustratingly I purchased reward seats for a flight in PE about 3 weeks ago. Anyone know if I can cancel them and then purchase in the sale?! I would assume not. I am gold with VA though if that might help?

    • Hi Chris,

      I did it the last time they had a sale (May, I believe). Bought an economy reward to DC and then they had a sale a week later. I called up, they cancelled the booking and then rebooked for the sale miles. Just make sure you get a ‘knowledgeable’ agent – you’ll know if they’ll be able to correctly help you once you explain your situation. And ask if there is availability in PE on the flights you have already before cancelling!

      From Virgin:
      If for any reason a flight Reward is cancelled by the Member outside 24 hours of departure, 100% of the Miles will be re-credited to the Member’s account. A cancellation fee of £30 per person for changes to flights originating in the UK, US$50 per person for changes to flights originating in the US or local currency equivalent of US$50 per person for changes to flights originating in any other region will apply

      They may waive the fee since you’re gold – doesn’t hurt to ask!

      Good luck!

      • Hi, the £30 cancellation/change fee, would that be per person per flight or per person per booking e.g. including. return flights?

        • Believe its per person per booking. So cancellation of a return flight booked as a single ticket will cost you £30

        • I have done this today. Cancelled two one way PE flights to Hong Kong and rebooked, saving 16k miles. Cost me 2X £30, but the taxes for some reason were slightly cheaper this time, so overall £40 cost for 16k miles well worth it. I made sure I was very clear that I would have no risk of losing the flights before going ahead though..

        • YQ is less because of cheaper oil prices.

  5. Does anybody know if the 20% bonus miles only applies to seats booked as part of this sale? I have an upcoming flight which I haven’t boosted yet, as I’m waiting for the bonus however the terms aren’t awfully clear and the website where you purchase the miles makes no reference to “an extra XX miles” when purchasing.


  6. Is the PE price for Hong Kong correct? The taxes are stated as £3 less than Economy.

  7. Rob, trying to search for the May article about miles booster (dated 12th May). Come up in the search results, but when I try to open it… get a 404 page not found error.

  8. Quick question. If I book a reward flight to Chicago next Spring for 28,000 return. Can I then change the dates for the £30 fee? Or with new dates will the reward cost go up to 35,000 as technically its a cancellation and rebooking?

    • Just the £30 fee as it is just a date change not a cancellation and rebooking.

    • You are charged miles at the rate that they are on the date you make the change, not the rate when they are booked.

  9. Just out of interest, does anyone know whether a PE seat booked in a sale can later be upgraded to Upper Class using miles? And if so, how much it costs to upgrade it?

    • Yes you can. You will be charged the difference in miles, taxes and charges.

      • Is the difference in miles based on the PE sale price or the standard PE miles price?

        e.g. New York: 80, 000 – 44,000 = 36,000 or do they just take it as the difference between PE and Upper Class 80,000 – 55, 000 = 25,000.

  10. O/T – (apologies but relevant thread is several days old) – Raffles have you heard any more from your Amex contact re Accor Plat through Amex Plat? This is of particular interest to me as my Accor Plat expires on 31st Oct and my Amex Plat also renews in October. I have just booked 3 Sofitel stays in Cambodia, for November and should get the 3x points promotion, plus the 11,500 pts promotion too! However, the upgrade of rooms, Club floor access and the 3x pts promotion are dependant on my Accor Plat status still being valid (ie renewed!)

    • No, silence so far.

      • Sebastian says:

        I hope this gets clarified soon, Accor Plat is my only reason for keeping the card, as the lounge access in Sofitel is well worthwhile. If that goes I am done unless the do something like SPG platinum to replace it.

    • My husband has just retained accor platinum, and we only stayed one time this past year.
      He hasn’t had the platinum card for 2 years

      • Thanks Louise – I’ve had accor plat (through amex plat) for nearly 2 yrs but have had 16 nights in the last 11 months……fingers crossed!

  11. OT, but does anyone know why I would be able to see a MilesAAver award on for a BA flight on Ba metal but cannot see the same availability on I always thought the sAAver tickets were the same fare bucket as BA uses for award availability?

    • Probably wobbles. If you ring the call centre they may well be able to pull it up, unless it is AA showing phantom seats.

      • thanks, I don’t want to call up yet because I need to find an acceptable open-jaw itinerary because sadly there is no availability on AA or BA coming back

  12. OT – Emirates have belatedly put some football games up for redemption on their website – don’t think they were there a few days ago. Lower demand Arsenal games still 20k for exec boxes (appears the Spurs game was at this level amazingly, but sold out). I can’t see how much is available as I just cleared out my account of 40k orphan service-recovery miles.

    • Thanks Paul, off to redeem!

    • Does anyone know if those football ticket redemption’s are resell-able?

      • No – you MUST provide photo ID when you collect in the name of the person you named when you booked. It would only work if you pre-sold it before you booked it.

        • cheekychappie says:

          Not too far away from my novel way to hit spend targets 🙂

          Got one maturing in November (my date mistake but part of the learning curve).

          My first one was amazing.

        • cheekychappie says:

          Just checked my November Amex investment and even after fees I have doubled my money already – it’s going up steadily week by week and not a share/ stock etc that might go down as well, ie it will (almost but not quite certainly) only go up from now on given the demand.

          Talking turkey, I only invested £500 this time but it could have been a lot more, certainly has its limits, though – or you’d attract attention. Still in test mode.

          Perfectly legal, I checked it all out.

          The skill is probably what you decide to buy, since you will sell it on down the line. But I reckon a middle-of-the-road approach would generally work fine.

          All electronic so nothing physical to send.

  13. I had an existing economy one way redemption from Miami booked in economy. Looked and saw that prem was available in the sale but I was 1010 miles short. Although my Amex account wasn’t linked the transfer happened instantly! A quick call to Virgin and I’m now in prem :-). Did on existing booking and wasn’t charged a change fee (not sure if that’s cause I’m vs gold due to a little red hop and status match)…