Nutmeg Avios

Virgin launches new reward seat sale in Economy and Premium Economy

Virgin Atlantic has launched another reward seat sale.  This one is the same as February, with a 30% discount, which is more aggressive than we saw in previous years.

These deals look pretty good – especially as Premium Economy is included as well.

You can book until 22nd September.  This is same deadline as for the parallel ‘buy miles’ bonus.

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 last 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 – the Premium Economy deals look particularly attractive:

New York – 24,500 miles + £259 / 38,500 miles + £415 (this is up £70 since the February sale!)

Barbados – 31,500 miles + £211 / 49,000 miles + £347

Delhi – 29,750 miles + £254 / 49,000 miles + £390

Hong Kong – 35,000 miles + £278 / 56,000 + £427

Almost all other routes are bookable too.  A full list of taxes and the miles required 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 30% off, not all of these deals necessarily make sense in low season.

The closing date for booking is 22nd September.

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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I try out BEAM, the Virgin Trains West Coast on-board entertainment system
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  1. Are the examples of miles plus tax you quote above return or one way?

  2. Does anyone know if there is any bonus (targeted?) to add a supplementary card holder on PRGC?
    If so how do I get one?

  3. Does anyone know if when using a premium upgrade voucher the miles calculated are based on the 30% discounted miles?

    • Yes, you pay the reduced economy rate, it makes it a great deal

    • You pay the economy miles, and the premium economy taxes/charges.

      You ONLY need availability in PE, not economy, but not all reps know this so they may have to put you on hold while checking and booking.

  4. Typical! I booked flights two days ago!

    I’ll call them up and see what they can do.

    • I cancelled and rebooked this morning – if there is availability, it’s likely worth the £30 fee to cancel and rebook for the miles you save.

      • If you change the booking class (e.g. move from economy to premium or vice-versa) you’ll get the discount and avoid the booking fee, repeat to get back to your original cabin 😉

        • I thought they charged for all changes, is moving class is exempt from a charge then?

        • I’ve never been charged for moving cabin so long as the dates are the same. Done this twice now. It’s processed the same way as a change – original booking canceled and original points refunded then new booking made.

        • Does it have to be the same flights to avoid the change fee, or would a different flight on the same day also be ok?

        • I’ve only done it on the same flight myself. There’s certainly a limit to what you can get away with, you’re reliant on the discretion of the booking agent.

  5. Graham Walsh says:

    Awesome, about to book flights to Boston for next year. Saves me nearly 40k points for the 3 of us 🙂 Will also use up my Premium upgrade vouchers.

  6. Andrew H says:

    O/T but Virgin related – has anyone received their 500 free miles for booking with Virgin Trains yet?

    • No I haven’t, even though I double checked and they were definitely meant to be paid in by 31st August. I filled in a miles claim form on Monday (4th September) but have yet to hear any response.

    • I was just about to post the same comment ! Thank you for doing it 🙂 I have checked both of our accounts and nothing.

  7. My Amex MR transfers to Virgin have been taking around a week the last few times I’ve done it.

  8. A reasonable deal as you say, Rob – also shows the value of the Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher though – 52k + £350 for CW return to Chicago isn’t that much more than the Premium Economy price above 🙂

  9. I think Virgin are offering a 20% bonus conversion from clubcard until 16 Sep too which would combine quite nicely!

  10. Very OT. IHG reservations. If I book a rate and add 1,000 bonus points per night, how does this appear on the receipt / booking confirmation?

    • It does appear on the booking in text but the additional cost is not shown in the costing if I remember correctly. I did one for the last accelerate promotion.

  11. Can these then be upgraded to Upper at a later date using Miles?

    Also, Has anybody every used the companion miles offer? (not the voucher).
    Says something like buy a full fare upper ticket and get a companion in the same class for only 60,000 return (usa)

    • You can’t officially upgrade a voucher’d PE ticket to UC, but I have done it at LAX thanks to a friendly agent! 😉

  12. Sorry, OT – I’ve cancelled my gold rewards card, does my lounge club still allow me to access twice or does that automatically cancel with the gold card?

  13. It’s a shame they’ve hiked up the PE fee’s! When i booked in February it was about £350 in surcharges/fees.

    Out of interest, when using the PE upgrade voucher on the Virgin Amex do you pay the fees for economy or premium economy? Looks like my voucher won’t post until after the sale ends but would be good to know for future

    • You pay the PE fees but the economy miles, and only need seat availability in PE. Vouchers post on the card anniversary date, not when you hit the spend target.

      • Thanks! Can’t remember when my anniversary is! All I know is that it was around the September/October time!

        • Can you not work it out from your online statements?

        • Good idea, will have a look this evening

        • Actually seen them posted on to my FC account already. Looked at my emails and application went in to MBNA on 10th September so I got them a few days early 🙂
          Got to get booking now whilst the sale is on!

    • Previously I have booked an economy redemption, and added a PE upgrade over the phone when the voucher comes though.

      There is the issue of there being no PE availability by the time you have the voucher, so you’ll need to be flexible in this case and change date.

      Try to book the economy redemption for a period that has plenty of availability in PE to increase your chance of being able to use the PE upgrade voucher.

      These tips have helped me capitalise on the reduced economy miles and the upgrade voucher on several occasions.

  14. Anyone booking with Virgin be aware that the taxes and duties on the link is incorrect as I booked flights to Seattle with points and the taxes were lower online with my booking, but Virgin advised me they have advertised taxes incorrectly. It worked out £289 with my actual booking but when you click the link at the top of the page it advised taxes and duties are £445 to Seattle. I think it is best to call them to get an accurate price.

    • Something dodgy going on with virgin these days. I booked economy seats during the last sale and decided to upgrade to premium cabin with this sale. I was told tax difference was £168. I told the CA that online I could only see a difference of £61.He popped me on hold and came back saying it’s now £138 I insisted it was still wrong then he popped me on another hols and eventually came back with yes it should be £61. From. £168 to £61. One just needs to be very careful with their calculations.

  15. I checked flights a few days ago was was planning to book them once I spoke to my partner. The deal has now finished and it will cost be an extra 30K air miles. Does anyone know how often they have these sales because I would book them now if the sale was still on but now it doesn’t feel like a very good deal.
    Can I do anything to get the old better deals?