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Virgin Atlantic launches a status match for BA flyers – with strings

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Virgin Atlantic has launched a surprise status match for British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver members.

Whilst this is open to top- and mid-tier members of other airlines too, you have to think that this is driven by a desire to capitalise on BA’s recent PR problems.

It is NOT a no-brainer and there is no guarantee that you will qualify simply because you have a British Airways Executive Club Gold or Silver card.

Full details are on the Virgin Flying Club website here.

Apart from BA, the airlines include American, United, Emirates, Etihad, Jet, Cathay Pacific and South African Airways.  These cover the core countries where Virgin now operates.

Here are the reasons why you might NOT qualify:

You must have a flight booked with Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class or Premium Economy for a Gold match or any class for a Silver match

You must send a screenshot of your British Airways account showing that you are doing enough travel on Virgin Atlantic routes to ensure that you would retain Gold or Silver if you are matched

How much travel will your statement need to show?  We don’t know.  However:

Silver requires the equivalent of 1 Upper Class return ticket in a flexible ticket class, or 2 Premium Economy return tickets in a flexible ticket class

Gold requires the equivalent of 2.5 Upper Class return tickets in a flexible ticket class, or 5 Premium Economy return tickets in a flexible ticket class

On this basis …. I would guess that as long as you can show 1 return Club World cash flight this year to a destination served by Virgin Atlantic then that should be good enough for either a Silver or Gold match.

If you usually travel in Premium Economy, I reckon 1 return cash ticket this year would be good enough for Silver or 2 for Gold.

Virgin Atlantic 787

Is Virgin Atlantic status worth having?

Virgin Atlantic is not in a major airline alliance.  Unless you fly on Virgin or their partner Delta on a regular basis, you won’t get much value from your card.

(Looking at the comments below, Virgin DOES have ‘open doors’ lounge access at Heathrow if they are not full.  This means that a Virgin Gold can access the Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3 if flying British Airways or another T3 carrier.  This may be a reason to take the match, although if you have BA Gold anyway you already have BA and Cathay lounge access with Qantas following.)

The only clear beneficiaries are people with BA Gold status who fly Virgin in Economy or Premium Economy, because a Gold match would get you Clubhouse and Arrivals Lounge access as well as priority check-in etc.

Note that Silver members of Flying Club do not get lounge access if flying Economy or Premium Economy.  There is very little benefit in having this apart from the bonus miles on any upcoming Virgin flights.  To be honest I’m not even sure why Virgin bothers asking for proof of past or future flights before issuing a Silver card.

The full list of Virgin Flying Club Silver benefits is here.

The full list of Virgin Flying Club Gold benefits is here.

So …. this is not a deal to get too excited about although if you are a regular traveller in Economy or Premium Economy on routes where Virgin operates you might want to give it a go.  If you fly Business Class then Virgin status would get you bonus miles when you fly but the other perks – lounge access etc – would be given to you anyway as an Upper Class benefit.

(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.)

Comments (31)

  • RussellH says:

    Sorry, completely OT.

    Re Amex sign-up bonus points.

    Like others here (AIUI) I have received Amex sign-up bonuses within a day or two of hitting the spending target.

    However, It is over two weeks since I hit the £500 target for my Amex Gold Credit Card bonus of 3 000 points. I just rang up to chse them, but the young woman who answered insisted that bonus points were never awarded until the three months period from taking out the card was up, and then it could take another month.

    I assured her that that was not how it had worked in the past – having cancelled an SPG Amex after 6 weeks total, for example. Sadly she just kept on mouthing, somewhat robotically, “it has always been three months…”

    Finally I remembered an e-mail from someone else in Amex CS who had stated 28 days from hitting the target. Following that she promised to put the points on within 24 hours.

    Anyone else ever had anything like this?

  • Ann L says:

    Has anyone else applied for the status match and received a reply? Applied for this when it was first published early June, got an acknowledgement email but nothing since.

    • Alan says:

      I applied a couple of days before it was mentioned on here. Had a reply within a couple of days and status upgraded immediately.