Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

A trick to book Virgin Upper Class sale flights for as little as £615 return

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Earlier today we wrote about Virgin Atlantic’s aggressive Black Friday offers, including 50% off redemptions. In this article, we wanted to take a closer look at the sale fares offered.

There are decent deals in all classes, although travel dates are only until the end of June 2021 – if you want a bargain further out, the redemption sale is until October.

Full details are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A350

Upper Class deals from £999

There are some stonking Upper Class deals to be had, with £999 return fares on virtually every route Virgin Atlantic flies. From London, the following are all from £999, with similar pricing from other UK airports:

New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, St Vincent, Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, Havana, Montego, Antigua, Delhi, Mumbai, Lahore, Islamabad, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Cape Town.

Only Atlanta, Shanghai, Lagos and Hong Kong are priced higher, between £1,299 and £1,499.

Clearly, some of these £999 options are better value than others. A flight to Tel Aviv, for example, is around 5 hours long. For the same cost, you could fly to Cape Town which is closer to 12.

Hawaii from £999 with Delta, Air France and KLM!

Although not advertised, you can also fly to Hawaii in Upper Class for £999, return.

This fare is easily available if you are flexible on your dates. The £999 fare is from London via Paris, partly on Air France, and has two connections. For an extra £5 you can narrow it down to just one in in LA:

This is an absurdly good offer and would normally be north of £2,000.

It gets better: Upper Class from £615 from Inverness

Inverness is often a good place to start long haul flights from thanks to its Air Passenger Duty exemption. It looks like you can get some astonishing Upper Class fares to the US West Coast with a bit of searching.

These all book onto Air France or KLM, as Virgin doesn’t operate flights from Inverness and won’t book you onto BA connections. The cheapest fares (such as the one below) come with some lengthy stop overs:

Virgin Inverness fare £615

Overall journey time is over 30 hours with an 18 hour stop in Amsterdam … but for £615 and the opportunity to spend the day in Amsterdam, who’s arguing?

These fares are few and far between, however – I had difficulty finding them, with most of the fares coming in closer to £1000.

For our London based readers, the snag here is that you can’t ‘hop off’ in London on the way back and drop the final leg, because you are connecting to Inverness via the Netherlands.

How should I pay for my tickets?

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

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

You can book all these fares on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

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 (37)

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

  • flightchaser says:

    I think Hawaii has already been pulled. I cannot find the fare any more.

    • flightchaser says:

      I stand corrected: even though it doesn’t show on Expertflyer anymore, it still seems to be bookable.

      • Owen McStravick says:

        You got a booking link?

        • flightchaser says:

          Looks like it is now gone. It was readily available on previously. I hesitated (hoping for a BA match), but I may be disappointed!

  • Lewis Beecham says:

    Hawaii is gone by the looks.

  • SAMO says:

    You wont be able to spend a day in Amsterdam – they require a 14 day quarantine

    • Rhys says:

      Right now they do. Who knows what will change between now and 30th June. A lot, I imagine!

  • BSI1978 says:

    Thought they’d be a few more comments on this thread by now, but think the other thread/chat still has a lot of traction.

    I know no one can predict even the next few days but as much as a couple of these fares appeal, going to sit and wait to see what, if anything BA do. ‘Missed out’ on the 50% Avios discounts but think (hope?!) BA will have some interesting cash prices as the week progresses….

  • Fraser says:

    I did have a look at Hawaii but the only availability was without layovers (multi-city not working) so it was a 25 hour trip. And to be honest, who knows what the lounge/F&B service will be on Delta. Timing wasn’t ideal though as I already have a trip in May.

    Interesting though, with connections from Edinburgh that would have generated >32,000 Virgin Points and 320 TP for a £999 fare.

  • Dan says:

    I’m very tempted by an open-jaw LHR-JNB/CPT-LHR in April which I’ve found Economy for £400 (have priced this up before and due to the open-jaw element is typically £6-700). However, I’m still not satisfied with the flexibility/cancellation terms.

    VS website states:

    “If you book before 31 Dec 2020, for travel all the way up to 31 Aug 2021, we’ll waive the change fees (for up to two changes or one name change) if you choose to amend your booking. You can rebook to travel anytime before 31 December 2022.” but then goes on to state a limit of maximum £60 fare difference applies otherwise will be charged.

    So let’s say that April rolls round and FCO still does not permit travel to SA. I want to postpone until April 2022, and the new price is £700 return. I’ll need to stump up £300 extra, per person, just to postpone?

    Perhaps a redemption booking is safer in the sense that I can cancel the whole thing for £30, right?

    • Harry T says:

      I think your interpretation of the T&Cs is correct. You could wait for the inevitable BA sale that will match or exceed this, and book the whole thing as BA Holiday to limit your cash exposure and benefit from the more valuable Book with Confidence scheme. Adding car hire or one hotel night shouldn’t make the fares much more expensive, if at all.

      • BSI1978 says:

        Evening Harry T 0 have seen you write a few times today about the inevitable BA sale; but does one really think they will reduce prices much below where they were during the fairly recent sale? I’m not convinced in truth.

        • Nick says:

          I think BA will do a sale for BF, but very much doubt they will ‘match’ Virgin. They know VS are in ‘desperate mode’ and won’t want to sink to that level. There’ll be something reasonable for BA, but IMO nothing quite this good. Hopefully I’ll have to eat my words later this week, who knows.

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah, I think they will pull something out of the bag. They did a flash sale recently with prices to the USA and Cape Town that matched the current VS sale prices. So there is precedent.

  • Rupert says:

    I’m curious. Though perhaps missing something. I’m very tempted to book VS to Lax in April for £1000 x 2 in UC. If the FCO doesn’t change their travel advice, I’m not covered with my travel insurance as the booking was made with this advice in place. Virgin, with their book with confidence guarantee, with honour the change fee. So if I don’t fly, I could be thousands out of pocket as the price of the UC fare will shoot up no doubt, even allowing for the 40% discount! Am I being pessimistic?

    • Paul says:

      + 1. Fine if you are booking with miles but to book cash tickets for travel anytime before June seems like a real risk. Normal UC fares mean you could easily be on the hook for extra £2-3k for 2 people to move flight

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      You’ll need the US to be allowing entry too…

      • Andy says:

        Then if they don’t surely VS would have to refund, not allow you to change. They would be on shaky ground trying to defend why they allowed you to book a flight to the US when there is travel restrictions in place.

        • JohnG says:

          They’d be on well established grounds, just like if you don’t have a passport or required authorisation like a VISA. Of the flight runs then anything they do to allow changes/refunds beyond the contract is down to their goodwill.

  • TripRep says:

    Great price, beware of fog at INV.

    Is it accurate to brand it “Upper Class” when that class is unique to Virgin metal?

    Should they brand it business class instead?

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

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