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

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.)

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  1. David says:

    Quick Q: Does Virgin Atlantic status deliver any benefits when flying Virgin Australia?

  2. Mikee says:

    Ref the lounge policy, Virgin Gold card holders can access the Clubhouse if they are flying on non-Virgin or Delta flights. This was confirmed by the lounge staff and I have used the Clubhouse on a couple of occasions this year when flying AA. Boarding pass was scanned at reception and I was waved through with no questions asked. Didn’t even need to show my Gold card. If the lounge gets too busy they they will prioritise their own customers first.

    Might sway some people to try the status match.

    • Apologies – this is news to me and I had Gold once for a year!

      • Sam Goss says:

        Me too!

        Bit sickening actually as I switched to BA/AA to NYC and was flying AA outbound to get Main Cabin Extra (Y out – PE back policy) but did a few flights with no BA status or Silver – could have been in the Clubhouse!

        I imagine this will quickly change or be “subject to capacity” now that there are a lot more Delta passengers using the Clubhouse – used to be pretty quiet at times back in the olden days

        • Yes, need to cover the new changes to Delta rules.

        • Billy says:

          The Clubhouse is still pretty quiet. I was there a few Sundays ago, and after about 3 pm there were about 10 of us. That also happened on a few earlier flights.

          When it was busy, there were still seats for everyone.

        • Oh! Matron! says:

          Its quiet now they’ve kicked all the delta riffraff out 🙂

        • They are returning. The rules have just been relaxed.

  3. Cheshire Pete says:

    It’s incorrect regarding your open doors statement(unofficially anyhow!). We have flown from T3 on a BA flight and holding their Gold card they were more than welcoming. We dropped to Silver since then, however.

  4. Joshua Fisher says:

    Would the codeshare route still count? (Eg Singapore) ?

  5. Alex W says:

    Dammit. My BA Gold card expired on 31 May! Might still go for a match to silver though.

    Any ideas when the status match will be available until?

  6. Waribai says:

    Slightly OT. About to use the Lloyds upgrade voucher. I know if I can cancel the flight, the voucher is lost. However, does this also apply to any amendments i.e. change of date etc? Also, does it depend on the customer adviser you are dealing with? Thanks for any advice.

    • I haven’t done it myself, but I’m sure you’re fine for dates changes (just a change fee).

    • the_real_a says:

      You can make changes to the date or destination (provided its in the same AVIOS zone) subject to the usual amendment fee.

    • Waribai says:

      Ok, excellent news. Thanks.

  7. Slightly OT again – has anyone used the BA AMEX £100 voucher previously? Wondering as to how long it takes for the money to be added to the account?

    • Genghis says:

      I’m sure this was discussed yesterday…

    • Waribai says:

      Usually you get the ‘congratulations’ email immediately then it usually takes a few days for the credit to be added to your account

    • See my posts for last day or so – got immediate email confirmation, but took longer to post than usual, I’d allow 7-10 days from transaction then chase them up.

  8. I applied for this on Thursday night when I first heard about it and received an email this morning confirming my upgrade to Gold, with card due to be posted out after my next flight. I sent screenshots of my BAEC activity – mainly Tallinn TP run and some redemptions and my upcoming Upper Class flight is the return leg of the Virgin redemption I’m currently on (applied prior to outbound leg). Thought no harm in having as may have some Delta trips in the future and there’s usually a birthday bonus with Flying Club. Status showing as valid to end June 2018. Nothing to lose and can sometimes be handy for status matching to have another Gold option…

    • I have an UC redemption on Friday …. I suppose I could chance it given my run of Dubai Avios redemptions too!

      Also worth noting that you now need status if you want to redeem 1.2m VS miles for Necker Island 🙂

      • Worth a shot, as I say it worked for me and we don’t know how long the offer will be around for. I must say I was impressed with both ground and in-flight experience with Virgin!

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

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