Virgin launches new 30% off redemption seat sale in Economy, booking to 2017

Virgin Atlantic has launched another reward seat sale.  This one is more aggressive than those we saw in 2015, with a 30% discount.

Given that Economy fuel surcharges have also come down by about 10% in the last six months, these deals look pretty good.

You can book until 11th May.  There is also a parallel ‘buy miles’ bonus which runs to the same date and which I will cover tomorrow.

Virgin Atlantic 350

Virgin taxes on Economy redemptions are lower (by roughly £50-£70) than British Airways.  Following the Avios devaluation last April, you will also need substantially fewer miles than BA for an identical route, especially on a ‘peak’ Avios day.

Here are some example prices in Economy:

New York – 24,500 miles + £231

Barbados – 31,500 miles + £209

Delhi – 29,750 miles + £250

Hong Kong – 35,000 miles + £260

Almost all other routes are bookable too.  A full list of taxes and the miles required can be found here.

As an example, an off-peak Avios redemption to New York in World Traveller currently prices at 26,000 Avios + £301.  On a peak day, however, the Avios price is 40,000 + £301.

What is interesting about the Virgin sales is that you can always book for any time in the next 11 months.  There are no date restrictions as long as seats are available.  Remember that, even with 30% off, not all of these deals necessarily make sense in low season.

The closing date for booking is 11th May.

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 30% bonus on purchased miles and on Miles Booster.  I will take a look at this tomorrow.

Full details of the reward flight sale are here.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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.)

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  1. This is where the premium economy upgrades with the Virgin credit cards come in really handy, BTW. Keep ’em stored up for when there’s a redemption sale, and it’s often a bargain.

    • James A says:

      Was going to ask if these were redeemable for seats booked in the sale.. I don’t see why not but you never know! Good news if so!

      • I’ve done it a couple of times before with redemption sales and has worked fine – can’t see why they would have changed the rules on it.

  2. In my limited experience, Starwood transfers to Virgin are also reasonably fast – it took ~48 hours to complete when I did this in January this year. This was my first Starwood to Virgin transfer and my accounts were not previously linked.

  3. Are there any miles bonuses available for signing up to a new Virgin Flying Club account?

    I spoke to Virgin yesterday to find my account was closed as I basically hadn’t touched it for years (only just getting into air miles). I have 22k MR points sitting in an Amex account so I’m not far off a return to NY with Virgin.

    • There is a referral bonus of you open an account then fly on a paid ticket, but it sounds like you need the points for your first flight which is to be a redemption, correct?

      • Correct. I read on another site that I could get 3,000 miles for signing up via the Virgin Red app. However, having downloaded it, I can’t see the offer advertised. Anyone know if this offer is still running?

  4. I did lots of transfers from tesco, to virgin, whilst the bonus was on, and miles only credited to our accounts once a week, normally over the weekend. I was doing £50-£100 every other day , £1200 in total.

  5. Is it just me, or can you not see the table of points required from an iPhone?

    I have to view the desktop version of the site to see the table and it really annoys me!

  6. Paul Irving says:

    This can also be used in conjunction with the FREE PE upgrade you get with the credit card.

  7. I’ve used the PE upgrade voucher on many previous Reward seat sales to great effect,

    Slightly related, had the new 100% HH pts promo not come up I was thinking of emptying my VS account to HH.

    Was speaking with Flying Club Gold yesterday, mentioned that I was considering moving away due to connecting flights hassle, they said in addition to the new UK FlyBe code share (for those of us that need regional links) Virgin are also looking to do “something in Europe”. Person sounded v upbeat about the next couple of years.

    They gave no more details, but maybe expanding KLM/AF code shares so folks can connect to Delta/VS flights?

    Maybe I’ll hang onto my VS miles a wee bit longer…

    • James A says:

      Just join sky team already VS

      • Yes indeed. Will avoid the situation whereby a Skyteam elite who flies on a DL T3 route not in business doesn’t have lounge access. I’m AF elite and have to fly Y (company policy) LHR-JFK but won’t get lounge access if I go with Skyteam. It keeps making me fly OW (sapphire) as at least have lounge access.

  8. My upgrade vouchers should post on the 13th May… Do these sales ever get extended?

    • You can book the economy seat now and call in to upgrade later, even if the sale’s already ended. I’ve done it once.

  9. I very nearly used my amex credit card upgrade vouchers with this sale.

    2 premium economy seats to Hong Kong and back for 70,000 points and £820 is incredible value.

    Went with crazy qatar in the end though; couldn’t resist the allure of £1K biz from Edinburgh. The Virgin voucher will keep for another 10 months : )

  10. John ABZ says:

    For those in regions obviously have to weigh up that BA give free regional connections, but the FLYBE tie in will be interesting. That said flew JFK-LHR-ABZ last week with BA and was with their sub contracted service – I think it was SUNAIR (Danish) – from LHR-ABZ, and it was shockingly bad experience.

    I have been a FLYBE fan for a few years now.

    Re Delta, I flew domestic US and transatlantic with them – economy – a couple of months ago and found them excellent. Would deffo fly Delta again.

  11. TomTom says:

    Can these be booked one way?

  12. Where would I find my Amex Upgrade certificate? Never thought I’d use it so never bothered but I might just now….

  13. I’ve not got my head around virginclub I’m an Avios girl, is it possible to do this?
    book economy with points in sale, upgrade to prem when i qualify for my 2 upgrades from credit card (i a few months time, as I’ve not actually applied for this card yet), then upgrade again to upperclass?

    i suspect the answer is no, but would love to be proved wrong.
    i have no virgin miles yet, just a wad of tesco cc vouchers and amex points, but want to get the most value out of them.. i would like to take 2 adults out upper and 2 kids to NYC in economy.
    if anyone could help me please

    • My understanding is you can’t upgrade again to Upper from the Premium Economy reward flight, at least I couldn’t with Virgin Amex upgrades. I could only pay for Economy then upgrade to premium Economy.

  14. It is a shame that this runs to the 11th as Tesco Clubcard pays out end of May, very good offer though! Thanks Raffles

  15. Lynne Young says:

    I am new to am ex I have got 36000 point in now but as I use virgin generally from manchester and am a frequent flyer with them can anyone explain where I find out when am ex do a transfer to virgin with bonus.i have spoke to both virgin and am ex but neither have heard if they do a bonus or were the info is
    also how do you get an ungrade voucher as I have never seen this befor

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