Virgin has an obscure range of partner airlines – you can see the list on the Flying Club website – and there are some good deals. Unfortunately the Air China deal to Beijing went up massively in price recently and is no longer attractive. We covered that here.
You can also use Flying Club miles to fly on Japanese airline ANA. I reviewed ANA’s business class service here and wrote about how to redeem your Virgin Atlantic miles to fly with them here.
We haven’t looked at Jet Airways before. If you want to fly to India they are a good option, of course, with flights from Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai.
Hands up, though. There was something we didn’t know.
Jet Airways flies a ‘5th Freedom’ flight from Amsterdam to Toronto as a continuation of its Delhi to Amsterdam service.
You can redeem just for the Amsterdam to Toronto leg, and it is a bargain.
The flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. It features eight First Class suites and 30 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 herringbone configuration, so all seats have direct aisle access.
We haven’t reviewed Jet Airways’ First Class yet, but looking at the pictures and from what we’ve read elsewhere, it’s a very good product. They are meant to be removing First Class at some point in the future but you are OK for now.
Here is the Business Class seat on the Boeing 777 which is very similar to the Virgin Atlantic one:
The First Class Suite has closing doors and looks like this – there are worse ways of going to Toronto.
How many Flying Club miles do you need?
Flying between Toronto and Amsterdam, a one-way flight costs 20,500 Virgin miles in Economy, 41,000 Virgin miles in Business and 60,000 Virgin miles in the First Class suites.
A child on your lap costs 1,000 additional miles in economy, 5,000 in business and 7,000 in the first class suites, all one way.
What about taxes?
In theory there are no taxes on Jet Airways awards. However, Virgin Atlantic is sneaking in some surcharges, even though there are no grounds for doing so. Recent reader reports suggest that a one-way flight from Amsterdam in Economy incurs surcharges of £150.
How about availability?
It is reportedly very good, from the reports I have found. As Jet is not in any airline alliance there is no easy way of checking without a call to Virgin Flying Club.
Flights depart daily from Amsterdam at 12.10, arriving in Toronto at 14.15. This means you can get an early flight from the UK without staying overnight.
The return leaves Toronto at 18.30, landing at 07.55 in Amsterdam.
Is there a catch?
Yes. Jet Airways is in serious financial trouble as a quick Google search will show you. I wouldn’t recommend booking a ticket to fly next Summer, although hopefully you will be OK in the short term. It is a risk however.
If you don’t like paying high taxes, this could be the redemption for you. We will add it to our ‘to do’ list and cross our fingers that Jet Airways survives long enough.
You can learn more about Jet Airways on their website here.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (May 2022)
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, one has a bonus of 30,000 points until 6th June 2022):
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:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Virgin Points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)