Good news! Virgin Atlantic has confirmed today that there will be no price increases on Delta Air Lines redemptions from the US to Europe.
This means that the great value 50,000 points redemptions in Business Class remain. On a one-way flight from the US to mainland Europe (not UK), the tax will only be $6.
One of the best frequent flyer sweet spots – for UK residents at least – will continue.
Let’s go back a few steps.
On New Year’s Eve, Virgin Atlantic published a new redemption chart for Delta flights on its website. This is it:
The website said that this would apply to all Delta redemptions EXCEPT flights between the UK and USA.
Business Class redemptions from the UK to US on Delta were to remain at 95,000 to 135,000 points off-peak and 115,000 to 155,000 points peak, return.
Why was this a problem?
Delta flies, in normal times, many routes between the United States and Europe, excluding the UK.
Historically, one-way redemptions from the United States to Europe (excluding the UK) on Delta cost just 50,000 Virgin Flying Club points and $6 of tax. This is for Business Class.
Economy flights were 30,000 points each way, plus tax. This is poor value compared to using 50,000 points for Business Class.
Using the new chart, we appeared to be seeing some HUGE increases.
Boston to Amsterdam, for example, would have cost 80,000 Virgin Points + $6 one way. This was an increase of 30,000 Points, based on 3,500 miles flown.
Los Angeles to Paris, one way, which was 50,000 Virgin Points plus $6 looked like it would jump to a crazy 130,000 Virgin Points plus $6 – and this is just one way, remember.
Virgin Atlantic has now confirmed that this will not happen
It is now confirmed that these price rises will not happen.
The original pricing of 50,000 miles + $6 for a one-way US to EU flight in Delta business class will remain.
For clarity, it will obviously also remain at 50,000 points for a one-way EU to US redemption in Delta business class. The tax will be a lot higher than $6, however, depending on where you depart.
There is one exception
If you try to book a redemption with a connecting flight, eg Salt Lake City to LA to Paris, then it will NOT price at 50,000 points.
The price will be the total of 50,000 points, for the transatlantic leg, plus the cost of Salt Lake City to LA based on the new pricing chart above.
The other price rises for Delta redemptions WILL still happen
The new Delta redemption chart above IS in place for other Delta flights. This means, mainly, Virgin Points redemptions for:
- domestic Delta flights in the USA and
- international Delta flights from the USA to anywhere outside Europe
There are some big jumps in Business Class pricing here, especially for international flights. Some Economy pricing actually improves, especially for domestic US flights.
It is good to see that these Virgin Points changes are not as painful, for UK residents, as we first thought.
You will still hear groans from US residents, who have lost some excellent deals from the US to Asia, but we come out OK.
One positive side of all this is to raise awareness of Delta’s excellent value redemptions using Virgin Points.
Next time you are planning a Business Class redemption to the US, you may want to investigate coming back on Delta into an EU city. You will cut your taxes and charges for that leg to just $6.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (February 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 Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
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 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.
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.)