Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Excellent, but convoluted, Virgin Atlantic / Delta business class deals to the US from £939

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Virgin Atlantic is currently selling some exceptionally cheap – no argument there – Business Class flights to the United States.

It is unfortunately a niche deal on connecting flights only.  If you can make it work for you then, of course, you clearly are not beating this price anywhere else.

So …. this is how it works:

Virgin Atlantic 747 Pretty Woman G-VROY

You can ONLY fly to places where Virgin Atlantic does NOT fly directly (so forget about New York, Boston, LA, San Francisco, Atlanta etc)

Since all of the trips involve a connection, part or all of your journey will be on Delta.  There are no ‘100% Virgin Atlantic’ services.   However, if your transatlantic leg is on Delta you CAN still use Virgin Clubhouse lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 and your flight will earn miles and tier points in Virgin Flying Club.

It seems that you can ONLY fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday

You must book six months ahead according to the fare rules, but in reality the window seems to be from mid-December 2018 to March-ish 2019 depending on route

Virgin Atlantic US deals

Here are some of the places that you CAN fly to:

  • Austin £979
  • Charlotte £939
  • Dallas £979
  • Denver £979
  • Fort Lauderdale £939
  • Nashville £939
  • New Orleans £939
  • Phoenix £939
  • San Diego £979
  • San Jose £979

You can find out more about Virgin Upper Class on their site here although some routings may be entirely on Delta – take care when booking.  You will often get a variety of options.

How to book

The Virgin Atlantic booking page is here 

Select one pair of dates which are roughly OK for when you want to travel, preferably in early 2019 but December 2018 may also work

Before you click, select ‘5 week view’

On the results page, switch to ‘Upper Class’ (top left) which will bring up lots of date pairs where the ‘Upper Class / Business’ fare (toggle the class in the top left) is £900+ 

Click on the price / date combo you want and you can pick your exact flights

Is this a good deal?

Undoubtedly.  You will have to change planes on your trip, but it is very rare that you get a price like this which starts in the UK as opposed to some odd EU capital.

The only question is whether you actually know now that you want to travel to a 2nd tier US city next January, February or March …..!   To help you decide, here are the average January maximum temperatures:

  • Austin – 15 degrees c
  • Charlotte – 10 degrees c
  • Dallas – 12 degrees c
  • Denver – 6 degrees c
  • Fort Lauderdale – 24 degrees c
  • Nashville – 8 degrees c
  • New Orleans – 16 degrees c
  • Phoenix – 19 degrees c
  • San Diego – 19 degrees c
  • San Jose – 19 degrees c

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is one of the two Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards.  These earn double miles (3 per £1 on the paid card or 1.5 per £1 on the free card) when you book at or via Virgin Holidays.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 18,000 Virgin Points and the free card has a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  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 (64)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Martin says:

    Mardi Gras is on the 5th of March, which is a very good reason to want to go to MSY…

    • Polly says:

      Agree, fab state. Another place we drove to from Dallas.

    • Paul says:

      Mardi Gras, here we come. VS to ATL, then Delta to MSY. Delta all the way back, but no real issue with that as we enjoyed the Delta One offering at New Year.

      • xcalx says:

        You may want to get some hotels booked with points MSY hotels are sky high prices during MG. We were there for a cruise during a music festival that sent the hotel prices through the roof luckily found a Marriott with reward availability.

        • Paul says:

          Thanks. We are onto that now.

        • Paul says:

          Our plan is New Orleans for a few nights, and then a road trip to Nashville – the last (and only) time we went we had #1 daughter with us who was at college in TN and there was no way we were getting into any of the bars with music. Then back to New Orleans for Mardi Gras itself. It’s going to cost, but it’s a real one off and something we never thought we’d do. Thanks to HFP for bringing this to our attention.

  • pointsarb says:

    Have seen fares as low as £793 LHR-FLL from OTA’s 🙂

  • Gavin says:

    Looks like spoiling moves against BA as all but Charlotte are BA destinations. If any of the Delta domestic flights are on wide bodies it may be interesting I suppose

  • where2travel says:

    I booked on the DL website with no problems, prices up in £ as well so no worries about the FX fee. Seat selection free at the time of booking.

    That’s SAN over New Year sorted.

  • Zoe says:

    Do these make much impact on getting status on Virgin?

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    Let me correct an inaccuracy. Virgin does not fly to Chicago, so that’s one first their city that should be available.

  • Phil Gollings says:

    Just booked for Xmas in Phoenix – £979 each in Delta One & FC internal flights.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    BA Gold but not a delta or virgin club member – where should I credit the miles to ?

    • Rob says:

      It is generally easier to top up Virgin rather than Delta, although both are UK Amex partners. Delta has more redemption options (all of SkyTeam) although Virgin gains KLM and Air France later this year.

  • Ali says:

    are stopovers allowed?

    • Ali says:

      It appears not. but it seems that open jaw is permitted – e.g. out to Dallas, return from New Orleans. My US geography is terrible but someone might be able to make a nice little road trip out of it or multi-city break with a cheap/redemption connecting flight.

      • Lady London says:

        If renting a car for a road trip beware of one way charges. Best to find out what they are before booking. It seems taking a one way car rental starting and ending in the same State if often fine and no extra charge or minimal. However renting in one State and leaving in another does seem to cost and not even be possible at all.

        Exception might be the seasonal one way rentals when the hire companies are actually looking for renters to drive the vehicles from and to specifed places which do run across State borders.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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