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Virgin Atlantic announces a codeshare flight deal with WestJet

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Virgin Atlantic has launched a codeshare deal with Canadian airline WestJet.

From today, you can book WestJet flights from London Gatwick via the Virgin Atlantic website.

WestJet flies year-round from Gatwick to Calgary and Toronto.  During the Summer it also flies to Halifax and Vancouver.  The Virgin Atlantic codeshare also covers 28 connecting destinations such as Montreal, Quebec, Edmonton and Deer Lake.

WestJet Virgin Atlantic codeshare

The press release I was sent made absolutely no mention of frequent flyer benefits.  I don’t know:

whether you earn Virgin Flying Club miles when flying WestJet under a Virgin Atlantic flight number

whether you earn Virgin Flying Club tier points when flying WestJet under a Virgin Atlantic flight number

whether it will be possible to redeem Virgin Flying Club miles for seats on WestJet

The latter would be a very welcome option, as WestJet is not in any major airline alliance.  However, you can credit flights to Delta SkyMiles, Flying Blue (Air France / KLM) and Qantas, as well as WestJet Rewards.  I have asked Flying Club for clarification and will let you know when they respond.

WestJet Boeing 787 flat bed business class London Gatwick Calgary

WestJet is surprisingly impressive to fly.  Earlier this year it launched a new fully flat Business Class service on its London Gatwick to Calgary and Toronto routes.  This uses new Boeing 787-9 aircraft which WestJet is currently receiving.

If the seat looks familiar, it is because it is the same one that Qatar Airways uses on its Boeing 787 and A380 fleets in Business Class.  It certainly isn’t the sort of seat you’d expect a budget airline to be using.  See the photos above.

The one thing that differentiates WestJet from a legacy airline is the size of the Business Class cabin.  There will be just 16 seats on each aircraft.

British Airways has stopped flying to Calgary in the Winter so this new WestJet deal offers a good incentive to try them instead of Air Canada on your next trip.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (April 2023)

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 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (184)

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

  • Shoestring says:

    AIRBUS is imitating geese to cut airliners’ fuel consumption and reduce pollution by flying them in formations. The aerospace company has unveiled plans for jets to fly closely behind each other on long-haul flights – with the lead aircraft creating a wake in which followers can ride, slashing the amount of fuel they have to burn. The idea is copied from the “V” formations geese take on longer flights, with the birds behind riding the vortices from those ahead of them.
    Airbus said tests it conducted three years ago with aircraft flying about 1.8 miles apart found those following could use less power, cutting fuel con- sumption by between 5pc and 10pc per flight without passenger comfort being affected.
    However, technology at the time was not good enough to keep the aircraft flying precisely in formation safely. Airbus says developments such as real-time flight tracking mean that it can now start developing autopilot systems which keep aircraft in position under a programme it is calling “fello’fly”.

    • Peter K says:

      So flying about 15 seconds behind the leader… let’s hope the technology is properly tested!

      • BJ says:

        Thank your lucky tears it isn’t Boring trying this.

        • Shoestring says:

          they could let off red blue & white flares as they go over London

        • Cat says:

          I’d laugh in response to this, but I’m flying Ethiopian next Easter (back to the Seychelles again – I didn’t go there even once in 2018, and they had £500 fares in the school hols, seriously, anyone reading this that hasn’t been, you badly need to go, you just don’t know it yet…), but I’m worried all 4 flights may be on the by-then-ungrounded 737 Max.

    • Lady London says:

      Wondering what Air Traffic Control thanks about that?

    • Sundar says:

      1.8 miles apart – Flying at those speeds, that’s nothing and a potential chain event waiting to happen ! 🙄

  • Cat says:

    For any fellow Saaaaaf Londoners – the Walworth Road Morrisons doesn’t appear to have got (or bothered to read) the memo. Gift cards aplenty…

  • Moff says:

    OT: Could do with some help here from anybody who has used Pointshound recently through the BA shopping portal. I’m staying in London in a few weeks’ time and ideally want to book my hotel through PH as I can earn c20k Avios from the stay. On the booking page however, it states “we will collect your avios membership number after you submit your booking”. I don’t have an “avios” membership number, only a BAEC one, so to be honest I’m very confused by what this all means and clearly don’t want to sign up to £500+ of spend for nothing (as in that case I’d just book one of the Marriott properties and earn Bonvoy points instead).

    Any advice would be much appreciated as I’ve got no idea what I’m signing up to at the moment.

  • Dave Barron says:

    After much procrastination on my part I finally called Amex to advise I no longer could justify retaining the card given my short term lack of travel plans. I did however wish to keep my membership rewards alive (if possible) and am pleased to report that my request to downgrade back to PRGC (the charge card) was immediately agreed and a prorata refund of almost £200 will soon credit to my account. All existing offers have carried forward too.

    In my case keeping the Platinum Card for approx 7 months has cost me around £250 in fees but I have managed 3 referrals earning 42k MR points (1 at the old rate of 18k MR points and 2 at 12k MR points). In addition I got the 20k points when I upgraded and a further 5k points adding a supplementary card holder. The card was great when I travelled to the USA and Canada last Easter providing travel insurance, car hire cover and also lounge access for a family of 4. I’ve had a few quid back on saved offers too. In seven months I’ve banked around 130k points in total for minimal outlay. The Amex advisor was absolutely fabulous when I cancelled and even suggested I could upgrade back to Platinum in future if I wished. Another family holiday to the US next Easter may well make me to do so – particularly if I can secure 20k points again when I upgrade! No regrets so far from me – you’ve just got to have a strategy and stick to it (personally I could have cancelled a couple of months earlier but I can’t complain!). Thanks to Rob and others who have helped me accrue points and utilise offers!

    • Harry T says:

      Good work! Sounds like you’ve made solid financial and points related decisions, and chosen the right card for you at the right time 🙂

      Out of interest, are you paying a fee on the PRGC for the first year of having it/being downgraded to it? I assume they downgraded you to the Gold charge card.

    • Harry T says:

      I should add I’ve done almost exactly the same thing this year (upgrading and maximising referrals) but will be keeping for a bit longer as plenty of travelling next year for me and my partner. Will likely follow in your footsteps and downgrade later, so it’s good to know they are supportive of that.

      • Dave Barron says:

        Downgrading back to Gold Charge has the benefit of a fee free first year and I get the 2 free lounge passes again. Given I’d had the Gold card almost a full year before I upgraded to Platinum I see this as another £140 saved!

        I must stress I specifically requested the downgrade back to Gold charge at the beginning of my call and the Amex advisor said he would “check if I was eligible for this” and upon checking verified I was eligible. My assumption would be this option would only be open to anyone who had previously had the Gold Charge (given discontinued to new customers) and once he verified this was what I had it was approved immediately.

        • Dave Barron says:

          Would be interesting to know from the experience of others how many times you could upgrade then downgrade! If I upgrade back to Platinum again in the spring would I once again trigger 20k points?, could I once again downgrade again a month or two later resetting the clock yet again on another fee free year of Gold Charge?!?

          The only other thing I’m not yet certain of is my Hilton tier. Before getting Platinum I had Hilton Gold from stays until end of March 2020. Based on stays this year I expect to revert to Silver. But if I do once again upgrade back to Amex Platinum March/April coinciding with future travel plans then I assume my anticipated Silver status would put me back to Gold for another year until end of March 2021 even if downgraded again or cancelled after a couple of months?

  • Nick_C says:


    Would require precision timing for all the aircraft to rendezvous and form up. I suppose it might work on busy flightpaths like transatlantic.

  • Jack says:

    OT: anyone know what happens if you apply for (and receive) any AmEx card, but then don’t activate it/add it to you online account? Do you still owe AmEx an annual fee if you never activate the card? Do you need to cancel the card if you don’t intend to use it anymore?

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Not sure anyone’s been in this position, but if you no longer want the card, then ring up to cancel.

      You have a 14 day cooling off period to withdraw from your contract without any fees. Call them up and exercise this right.

      Better to cancel than just assume it’ll be ok by not activating it. If you leave it, you’ll probably get a pro rata refund from when you eventually call up to cancel.

    • Rob says:

      Activation is only a security measure. Card is live when issued.

  • Jack says:

    I got onto Amex about the offer on the Chat and she told me it had to be in one transaction, not cumulative. May be worth updating the post. The Offer T&Cs do also state ‘a’ transaction of £100+.

    • Rob says:

      That is bull. The reason it is bull is that BA breaks down charges on your Amex statement. On Monday I spent £200 ‘in one transaction’ but Amex shows it as four tickets / transactions at £50 each.

  • Dave R says:

    OT: Topcasback are running a 25% bonus for Avios payouts to BAEC. I havent seen it advertised but it’s showing on the payout options screen.

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

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