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Virgin Atlantic cuts redemption prices and scraps change fees at Virgin Flying Club

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Virgin Atlantic has announced a few key changes to Virgin Flying Club redemptions tonight as it attempts to put bums on seats during the coronavirus crisis.

Change 1

First, redemptions made between 18.15 tonight (Friday 6th March) and the end of March will NOT incur change fees.  This allows you to change the date of your redemption, subject to seats being available, for free.

Standard cancellation charges will still apply, as per any usual Flying Club redemption, should you want to cancel your ticket entirely and get all your miles and taxes back.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus changes to reward flights

Change 2

Three routes have seen their mileage requirements cut.  These discounts are already live and are valid for bookings until 20th March.

Heathrow to Washington Dulles

Economy tickets, for travel in April and May, reduced by 5,000 miles

The new price is 15,000 miles on standard dates and 35,000 miles on peak dates

Heathrow to Boston

Premium tickets, for travel in April and May, reduced by 10,000 miles

The new price is 25,000 miles on standard dates and 45,000 miles on peak dates

Heathrow to Boston

Upper Class tickets, for travel in April, reduced by 15,000 miles

The new price is 80,000 miles on standard dates and 100,000 miles on peak dates

This seems a bit half-hearted, but if you were planning to visit these cities anyway then a discount is a discount.  Whether cash prices have gone down by more than the value of the mileage discount is another question …..

Virgin Flying Club redemption changes coronavirus

Change 3

Virgin Atlantic has opened up availability sharply on many key routes.  As it happens, British Airways has done the same this afternoon.

Miami, for example, is wide open with Virgin Atlantic.  Here are dates you can get FOUR Upper Class seats outbound and inbound in July and August:

Virgin Atlantic miles availability to Miami

As an example of improved British Airways availability, Easter is now wide open to California.  Here is a SeatSpy chart for dates with 2 x Club World seats to San Francisco:

British Airways Avios availability to San Francisco

….. and 2 x Club World to Los Angeles:

British Airways Avios availability to Los Angeles

There is a SeatSpy search box to your in the right hand sidebar if you are reading this on desktop, or under under this article on the mobile site.

This availability has not been opened up across the board.  I can’t see much improvement on tourist routes such as Barbados, for example, from either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

However, if you don’t have anything booked for Easter then now is a VERY good time to start looking.  The Virgin Flying Club home page is here.

PS. Here is a tip. Do NOT pay for excess baggage or, on BA, seat reservations.  This money is not refundable if you voluntarily cancel later.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

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):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

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 Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two 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 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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 (80)

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

  • Mikeact says:

    Any news re BA Awards in respect of changes, cancellations etc ?

    • Rob says:

      No

      • Jim says:

        Hi Rob, I’ve noted a few queries such as this; are you making enquires, via your contacts, in this respect? Rgds

        • Rob says:

          I spent all morning working with the Financial Times for a piece on this. BA has no policy and has more to worry about at the moment. If you’re not flying you won’t be needing that status in a hurry anyway.

          • John says:

            I have a Lloyds Upgrade Voucher due to expire in the summer – I would be very interested to learn whether BA will be willing to extend it in the circumstance – and also whether changes/cancellations will be free (not £35 etc) as they suggest cash fares are. Thanks

          • Lady London says:

            @John a comment yesterday that apparently BA is not waiving fees on award changes / refunds.

  • AndyGWP says:

    What’s the quickest (immediate?), cheapest way to get 13k Virgin Flying club miles

    Is it directly from Virgin (for £195)?

    (I have no Membership Rewards to use either)

    • Will says:

      £20.8 of clubcard vouchers?

      Not instant but usually very quick

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Amex MR immediate but maybe dependant if you have set up transfer details prior to redemption.

      • ChrisC says:

        except

        “I have no Membership Rewards to use either”

        The only instant way is to buy them

        If boking by phone the agent will wait whilst you buy them. If on line the last time I looked it allowed you to buy miles during the booking process.

        • Shoestring says:

          well I never knew that! moment

          [Want to treat someone?
          You don’t have to be the one flying to benefit from our Miles Plus Money discounts. You can also use your miles towards somebody else’s flight, or to reduce the cost of a family ticket.]

  • Erico1875 says:

    WTF !!!
    for the last 7 weeks Ive been searching availability to get back from India end if Easter hols, 18/19 April. Econ Cash OWs were around £600pp. Not a reward seat from any city . On Sunday, I ended up booking from Kuwait as that was the only reward availability available ME and Asia and cash tickets from Goa to Kuwait with OMan Air.
    Now as of today, BA have dumped half a plane load of reward flights those dates out of Bengaluru

  • Nige says:

    Eagerly awaiting two upperclass seats to open up for the return of my vegas trip in August. Currently in PE on the way back, chances of that happening??? Slim to none Me thinks.

    • Mark says:

      You don’t state you ideal return date or qty required, but I have just checked and their is availability back from Vegas.

      Hope you get in quick!

  • manoj brahmbhatt says:

    O/T
    Qatar have announced that they will either let you rebook at no cost (other than fare difference) or give a travel voucher for the fare cost, to be used within the next 12 months, for all CL flights booked up until the end of June.

    LST

  • Freddy says:

    Must try harder

  • Richard says:

    OT, but virus refund related. We have a Mediterranean Disney cruise booked in May. They have just emailed to offer full refund in Disney cruise credit to be used up to 15 months from original sail date. And that option remains open until 1 day before original cruise date. I’m impressed with that, but the cynic in me says this will reduce any cash compo if they cancel later (3 ports are in Italy).

    Flights are RFS and pre cruise hotel is points so we have an option until 1 day before to see what changes.

  • Odin says:

    Have a word shoestring! “This is war’: Doctor leading search for coronavirus vaccine says it’s the most frightening disease he’s ever encountered as second British victim is confirmed and number of UK cases rises to 164”

    • Shoestring says:

      yesterday a 75YO woman and now an 88YO man

      why is 2 deaths so far any more frightening than the many thousands who die every year (in UK) from sepsis, influenza, pneumonia etc?

      these weak, old people don’t live forever and something will come along to carry them off, if it’s not one of the common 3 I mentioned it might be coronavirus, infection after falls etc

      • Spursdebs says:

        I’m in a high risk group and I agree with you Harry. I don’t understand the panic especially amongst young, fit and healthy people.

        • Callum says:

          And what panic are you referring to exactly? I’ve not seen a single person panic…

          Unless you’re defining panic as a general preference not to catch a highly contagious virus that has killed 3,500 and counting?

          • Spursdebs says:

            You’ve not met my sister in law then.

          • Shoestring says:

            Or my wife. She’s otherwise brainy but hopeless in the face of health matters, she was terrible about going to Thailand during SARS 🙂

            Now she’s flying home every other weekend to see her mum in hospital and panicking at both the idea of getting Coronavirus at the airport etc or abroad – *AND* panicking at the idea of not flying and not seeing her mum. It’s a right laugh at home.

            Yesterday I sat her down to listen to the UK’s most eminent expert on Coronavirus rationally assessing the (fairly minimal for most of us) risks – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fx1h go to 02:10 – and she did calm down, worth a listen if you are starting to worry unduly

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            You’ve not seen the empty toilet roll shelves in my local Morrison’s then, that’s panic people!

      • Doug M says:

        Indeed. How many deaths will result from the upcoming Hand Sanitizer and Toilet Roll wars.

        • Spursdebs says:

          I suppose if it means more people are washing their hands and not being such dirty sods it will be something I guess!

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            The latest KFC advert on TV is very controversial. 😁 Centres around people licking their fingers with enjoyment, I wonder how many people wash their hands before eating, after handling filthy bank notes, hands on counters etc.

          • Spursdebs says:

            People in general are slobs, my days are spent in disposable gloves cleaning up something unpleasant I’m always washing something my house always smells of bleach or disinfectant. Always amazes me the amount of Drs who don’t wash their hands before touching you.

          • Lady London says:

            +1 on dirty docs. At least in UK.

            So @Shoestring you seem to be saying coronavirus carrying off the old and weak is kind of a “nature’s market correction” ?

          • Shoestring says:

            I’m not saying that – there was a Scottish MP who said that yesterday and was roundly condemned – a Scotch one if I remember correctly

          • Shoestring says:

            Former Scottish government worker claims a coronavirus pandemic ‘would be quite useful’ in killing off NHS bed blockers in the wake of the first UK death
            Professor June Andrews admitted to MSPs that her comments sounded ‘horrific’
            But insisted they were an honest assessment of consequences of a pandemic
            She blamed politicians for not properly funding hospitals with higher tax rates
            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8082899/Doctor-says-pandemic-quite-useful-killing-bed-blockers.html

          • Lady London says:

            Nearly as not-a-good-thing-to-say-although-perfectly-correct as Edwina Currie’s comment about salmonella being endemic in UK chicken farms that got her sacked.

          • Shoestring says:

            yep it’s in that ‘I might think that as it’s the rational response but not good to say it’ area

      • M S says:

        I don’t think you or many others are aware how serious this is. Petals you don’t have friends in Asia, Italy or Iran. Or perhaps you don’t have relatives and friends who are vulnerable. But an epidemic which overwhelms the NHS will affect more than just them.

        • M S says:

          *Perhaps

        • Spursdebs says:

          Just told you I’m high risk, I’m more scared of catching a common cold, but I’m a stoic woman who deals with life’s dramas as they happen, and I’ve got more than my share of those on a daily basis. Some people are scared of their own shadows.

          • M S says:

            I wasn’t referring to you. I just don’t think people should be selfish or complacent about this situation.

          • Spursdebs says:

            You expect to much from people. If you think those that are already selfish and self absorbed are going to be less during a virus outbreak you are going to be disappointed.

        • Lady London says:

          * Exactly.

      • M S says:

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-italy-doctors-intensive-care-deaths-a9384356.html

        Like I said…

        If people can’t be altruistic, perhaps they can be careful for their own sake.

      • Ming the Merciless says:

        Twice as deadly as Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool.

      • Mikeact says:

        Any chance you might know a way of telling me when I’m likely to pop off ? I remember looking at the ‘Death Clock’ app years ago when they were in their infancy……and I’m still here.
        Somebody told me that for every hour you run, adds half hour to your life…but, work that one out.

    • Don says:

      Could you reference the Doctor please? I’d like to read this comments

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

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