Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Virgin Atlantic sale now on: Upper Class flights from £1,149, Premium Economy from £569

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Virgin Atlantic has just launched a winter sale, offering discounted fares in all classes.

Travel is valid until 31st December 2021, so you should be able to find something that suits you.

Full details are on the Virgin website here.

Virgin Upper Class sale

Upper Class from £1,149

The cheapest Upper Class fare is from Manchester to New York, for £1,149.

Good deals are also available from London, including:

  • New York from £1,349
  • Boston from £1,349
  • Washington from £1,349
  • Miami from £1,569
  • Las Vegas from £1,569
  • San Francisco from £1,569
  • Seattle from £1,349
  • St Vincent from £1,349
  • Barbados from £1,349
  • Grenada from £1,349
  • Tobago from £1,349
  • Havana from £1,349
  • Montego from £1,349
  • Antigua from £1,349
  • Delhi from £1,349
  • Mumbai from £1,589
  • Islamabad from £1,699

More sale fares are available on the landing page here.

Virgin Atlantic sale

Premium deals

The cheapest Premium deal is London – New York for £569, but you can also find:

  • Boston from £619
  • Miami from £729
  • Orlando from £729
  • Los Angeles from £619
  • San Francisco from £619
  • Seattle from £729
  • St Vincent from £719
  • Barbados from £719
  • Grenada from £719
  • Tobago from £719
  • Havana from £719
  • Montego from £619
  • Antigua from £719
  • Shanghai from £729
  • Hong Kong from £749
  • Delhi from £639
  • Mumbai from 719
  • Lahore from £719
  • Tel Aviv from £576
  • Johannesburg from £949

Good deals from Virgin Holidays too

There are also some good deals over at Virgin Holidays, assuming you are happy to package a hotel with your flight.

You can often save a substantial amount of money by booking your flight and hotel together.

Here are some examples provided to us:

  • Seven nights in Barbados from £629 per person based on Economy Classic flights with all-inclusive accommodation at the 3* Time Out Hotel, for travel in September 2021
  • Seven nights in Orlando from £1,775 per person based on Upper Class flights and 3* Champions World Resort and basic car hire,for travel in May 2021
  • Four nights in Las Vegas from £1035 per person based on Premium flights and the 3* Luxor Las Vegas hotel for travel in March 2021. 

You can see more on the Virgin Holidays homepage here.

…Plus get £20 off economy bookings to Asia

You can also get £20 off any economy bookings to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Delhi, Mumbai, Islamabad and Lahore by using the code ‘ASIA1’ during the booking process.

The code is valid for bookings made until 21st December. Full terms and conditions are here.

Covid insurance is included until April

For flights until the end of April, Covid insurance cover up to £500,000 is included free of charge. This is NOT full travel insurance but is designed to step in if you existing policy does not cover coronavirus-related claims.

If you decide to defer your trip after booking, change fees are waived until the end of 2022.

You are, kn theory, liable for any fare difference if you change your dates. However, Virgin Atlantic will absorb the fare difference by up to £350 in Upper Class, £120 in Premium and £60 in economy. You only pay any extra if the difference is greater than this.

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

15,000 bonus points 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

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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

You can book all these fares, and find all the details and small print, on this special sale page of the Virgin Atlantic website. The sale ends on 2nd February although the best deals will disappear quickly.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (April 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 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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 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 (52)

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

  • Blenz101 says:

    I wonder if Virgin are kicking themselves about withdrawing from Dubai or have even considered restating the service short term.

    Brits are flooding into Dubai right now and I understand the route does well on cargo as well. Whilst they could never have predicted the pandemic, US closure or Dubai being one of the first places to reopen with Covid safe measures in place Virgin have always seemed pretty nimble.

    They could well have got a winter season out of Dubai which should have been able to turn them a profit rather than have airframes and crew sat idle burning cash.

    • Mart says:

      Dubai is full of Brits at the moment ,alot are enjoying furlough here the bars are full of them many here for months.

      • KBuffett says:

        Cue all the moaners who hate Dubai because it’s fake and want culture on their holidays!!

        • Brian says:

          Not really sure that they’re moaners. People just like different things when it comes to their holidays. I’d rather go to Kandahar on holiday than Dubai but each to their own. If people enjoy Dubai then why should they not go on holiday there?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yeah but the point is why do they feel the need to come on here and question why others are going.

          • Brian says:

            “ Yeah but the point is why do they feel the need to come on here and question why others are going.”

            Did anyone come on here to do that though? Wasn’t it more a case of someone else commenting on something which hadn’t actually happened yet?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Not in this. It does every time the Middle East is mentioned in other threads though.

        • Catalan says:

          In the main, Brits who go to Dubai aren’t looking for Arabic culture. They want sand, sea and bling. For them, Dubai is nothing more than a longhaul Benidorm.

          • blenz101 says:

            Have you ever been? You are so wide of the mark that the nose you are looking down at others casts a shadow.

            Duabi is a city break with world class resorts, beaches and hotels and at this time of the year boasts some of the best weather you will find just about anywhere. People come for the shopping, architecture, resturants, beaches, waterparks, safety etc.

            As for not seeking Arabic culture, it isn’t a requirement when you travel to do so. Do you look down on those going to the Maldives, Mexico or Carribean for failing to seek out the local culture and instead laying around a resort pool, enjoying the sand and sun?

            Given Dubai is $10 + for an alcoholic drink it isn’t able to compete with European shorthaul destinations offering drinks for 1 Euro.

        • Mart says:

          I’m nearly 50yr old done all my backpacking holidays
          Seen poverty/slums and the like just want spoiled now.
          Yes Dubai not for everyone but everyone has there own expectations and are at different stages of life.

      • jamie says:

        If that’s the case then it won’t be covid free for long!!

      • John W says:

        Where is the best location in Dubai to book ? near the bars ?

        • Rob says:

          There are no bars in Dubai outside of hotels, obviously.

          • blenz101 says:

            The Palm is actually licenced if you want a bars outside of a hotel affiliation.

            Places like Ella’s, Riva Beach, the resturants and lounges at both Club Vista Mare and The Pointe all on The Palm are unconnected to any hotel yet serve alcohol legally.

            Tourists can also buy alcohol from any off licence (MMI and A&E) just by showing their passport – residents must apply and be licenced to do the same.

      • ChrisW says:

        Dubai is not a cheap destination, especially for alcohol in bars. I would be interested to know the sort of furloughed jobs that pay enough furlough to live it up in Dubai!

        • aa123 says:

          Furlough is capped, so anyone earning over £37.5k/year would be on £2500/month (gross). I guess that should be enough to live in Dubai

          • Stuart says:

            Some companies make up the remainder of the salary over and above the furlough amount

      • Brian says:

        How do you know a lot of them are on furlough?

      • Rob says:

        There are no bars in Dubai 🙂

        Apart from in hotels.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          There are actually lots of bars in Dubai. They’re just connected to hotels.

          • blenz101 says:

            Palm and DIFC both have bars not connected to hotels.

            DIFC is treated as ‘offshore’ and assume Nakhel struck some kind of similar deal for The Palm.

    • Travel Strong says:

      If they relaunched Dubai, I’d book this morning! Seems like an obvious opportunity, but I guess there are many hoops to jump through to start/restart a route.

      • blenz101 says:

        I was just wondering out loud if Virgin had thought about it and Duabi would be willing to reduce some of those hoops given they are one of the few cities in the world benefiting from tourist spend right now.

        If Emirates can send 4 x A380s and a 777 to LHR alone per day the demand is pretty evident.

        • Catalan says:

          But that demand is not from Dubai stopovers. It’s generated by transfer traffic.

          • blenz101 says:

            In normal times yes, but there isn’t really anywhere east of Dubai accepting tourists from the UK.

            I travel between Dubai and the UK regularly and the plane empties out into arrivals, very few if anybody heads for flight connections right now in DXB.

        • Rob says:

          There are time zone issues with Dubai. A UK day flight down requires you to either a) fly back at 2am which is about as popular as a bag of sick with the leisure market or b) leave a $200m plane sitting on the ground for 8 hours and fly back at 10am. This gives Emirates a clear advantage because the aircraft which lands at midnight can head off somewhere else three hours later even if there is no demand for a UK flight.

          That said … Lufthansa, Swiss, KLM etc only have 2am departures out of Dubai and seem to make it work.

          • Harry T says:

            I did the 2am departure in BA Y once… never again.

          • Sarah says:

            I actually really like the 2am departure, you get to spend the whole day, go out for dinner and then get to the airport. Much better than doing that, paying for a night’s accommodation and getting up early for the morning flight (not sure I’d be a fan in economy though)

          • Jonathan says:

            I’ve never been but that’s a perfect flight time for me if I’d been on a short break (assuming in Business). Full final day. Keeps you awake till 11PM UK then a long enough flight to get a proper sleep & arrive early AM.

          • aa123 says:

            If a flight left LHR around 6.30 am it should land in DXB around 5.30 pm. Then it could take off around 7.30 pm local, and get into LHR around 11.30 pm.
            Would that not work?

          • Rob says:

            Heathrow slots are gold dust around 6.30am and are used almost exclusively for the overnight flights from Asia and US to land. It’s not a popular time for long-haul departures for obvious reasons.

            A two-hour turnaround is too optimistic – 2hr 15m is better.

            Flights are currently blocked at 7h 5m to 7hr 10m out and 7hr 15m to 7hr 20m inbound.

            Heathrow closes (well, the curfew kicks in) at 11.30 – a diversion would be needed if the aircraft was running late.

          • Mark says:

            I agree with Sarah on the 2am flight. We’ve done it a couple of times, albeit in Club. I’d rather do that than spend an extra night in a hotel to leave early the next morning for a 10am flight.

  • Dac1234 says:

    Swiss and lufthansa also offering some cracking companion tickets at the moment. Just picked up Swiss business to Hong Kong for 1k a ticket in October next yr

  • BS says:

    Do remember you get a further £60 off in upper class your bookings if you are (or know) a student.

    • Aston100 says:

      Students in Upper Class? no wonder they are all broke.

      • MattB says:

        On our honeymoon flight with Virgin in upper I couldn’t get a seat at the bar as it was full of a group of American students going home for the summer!

  • GivemeBeirutanyday says:

    Expats might be there, but believe me they are not welcome!

  • Aston100 says:

    “Travel is valid until 31st December 2021”.
    However, the Virgin site tells me “We can only show you flights up to 331 days in advance”.

    Perhaps need some clarification in the opening paragraph of this article?

  • Scott says:

    I still stand by my theory that an Israeli CEO takes over VA and suddenly the flights to DXB were dropped. Funnily enough between two nations that previously did not acknowledge each other existed and had zero diplomatic relations. Spin forward to now and Fly Dubai are starting the first ever link between the two countries as (and this is hard to believe / swallow) relations were helped by Donald Trump. Suddenly Tel Aviv appears on the VA route network. DXB was how I made Au with Virgin Flying Club. It was ALWATS rammed full and at one point considered twice a day. Something stinks, and no matter how many people will repeat the VA marketing line of ….. Emirates were making it impossible to compete. It would be making better money right now other than any US route. BRING IT BLOODY BACK!!!

    • Rob says:

      The one thing I do find odd is that they have the Virgin Holidays infrastructure, and it is very odd for Virgin Holidays not be able to offer Dubai.

      Tel Aviv was already in the works when Shai took over at Virgin – you can’t launch routes that quickly.

      Yield is more important than numbers though and the old Virgin business seat couldn’t cut it compared to Emirates or Etihad. That is where the big money tickets were being bought.

      • Carol says:

        I found some holidays to Dubai offered on the Virgin holidays website earlier today

      • Mark says:

        Virgin Holidays offers flights with other airlines, including Emirates. I seem to recall that was even the case even when we booked to Dubai with Virgin Holidays ten years ago, though we flew on the Virgin Atlantic flight.

    • ChrisW says:

      I doubt an airline with a route network as small as Virgins could drop a route just because of the personal feelings of the CEO. Surely it would be a board decision, with a business case etc?

  • Dave says:

    Don’t forget you flyingclub discount on holidays when you add your number at the booking stage.

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