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Virgin Atlantic improves its British Airways status match

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As we covered a few weeks ago, Virgin Atlantic has decided to take the fight to British Airways for your 2021 bookings by offering a status match to Executive Club members.

You can find full details, and apply, on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

There has now been a change made to how the match works which makes it even better.

Virgin Atlantic will match your British Airways Executive Club status

When the match was launched, your status was upgraded immediately. Virgin was being very efficient and your account was upgraded to Gold or Silver within 48 hours.

The snag was ….. not everyone wanted their account upgraded immediately. If you have a Virgin Atlantic flight in September, you may prefer to wait until 1st September to be upgraded and start your 12 month period of Gold or Silver. If nothing else, it makes requalification easier.

Virgin Atlantic now gives you two choices when you apply. You can either:

  • ask for your status to be upgraded immediately, or
  • ask for it to be upgraded on the 1st of the month of your next Virgin Atlantic flight

How does the Virgin Atlantic status match work?

Here is a reminder of what you need to do:

  • you must have an existing Virgin Atlantic booking, or make one by 28th February
  • your flight can be for any future date
  • cash OR REDEMPTION bookings count

What match will I get?

This is how it works:

  • British Airways Executive Club Bronze members will receive Flying Club Silver status, but only if they make a Premium or Upper Class booking
  • British Airways Executive Club Silver members will receive Flying Club Silver status with any booking
  • British Airways Executive Club Gold members will receive Flying Club Gold status with any booking

Remember that cash OR POINTS bookings are valid for a match.

Virgin Flying Club status cards

Hang on …. Virgin Flying Club Silver status doesn’t include lounge access

This is true. However, Virgin has thought of this.

Everyone who matches to Flying Club Silver will receive a pair of Clubhouse lounge passes once Terminal 3 reopens. (These are also being sent to existing Flying Club Silver members, so no-one loses out.)

This means that, for example, a BA Executive Silver member who books an Economy flight on Virgin Atlantic WILL be able to use the impressive Clubhouse lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

What are the benefits of Virgin Atlantic Silver status?

Look at the Flying Club website here.

The key benefits are:

  • 30% bonus Virgin Points on every flight
  • use of Premium Economy check-in desks where available
  • priority boarding
  • free seat assignments in Economy Light
  • 7% off Virgin Holidays bookings
Virgin Atlantic will match your British Airways Executive Club status

What are the benefits of Virgin Atlantic Gold status?

Look at the Flying Club website here.

The key benefits are:

  • 60% bonus Virgin Points on every flight
  • Clubhouse access when flying Virgin or Delta, with a guest
  • Revivals (arrivals) lounge access at Heathrow
  • use of Upper Class check-in desks
  • priority boarding
  • free seat assignments in Economy Light
  • free exit row seating in Economy Classic
  • additional baggage allowance
  • 10% off Virgin Holidays bookings

Can I use my status on other airlines?

Yes.

You will receive reciprocal benefits on Delta, Air France and KLM flights.

There are also benefits when flying Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia if you are Flying Club Gold.

Virgin Atlantic is not in a major airline alliance, however.

Virgin Atlantic will match your British Airways Executive Club status

How long will my status last?

Virgin Flying Club status runs on a rolling 12-month basis. Your status will last for a year from the date you are upgraded, which is why you might want to take the new option and wait until nearer your flight to be upgraded.

How do I apply for my match?

You need to visit this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

You will need to upload a photo or screenshot of your British Airways Executive Club membership card, as well as details of your upcoming Virgin Atlantic booking.

You need to apply by 28th February.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 (30)

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

  • Andrew says:

    That annoying, as I applied last week and only had the instant upgrade option. I purposely waited until 1 Feb to get at least all of Feb 2022 rather than it expiring at the end of Jan 2022. Worth emailing them to ask if I can change to the 1st of the month I’m flying?

  • Kate says:

    I got the status match to silver last week, but also they denied existence of the lounge pass arrangement in correspondence. This might all resolve when Clubhouse finally reopens I guess. Interestingly they also mentioned that Silver can pay to enter lounge on ongoing basis. Is this the case?

    “There is no one time Lounge pass associated with this British Airways status match promotion, however as a Silver member and subject to availability on the day of travel, you can pay to enter the lounge. This will cost you £85 per person.”

    • Rob says:

      Head of Flying Club told me in person it is happening.

      • Kate says:

        Is the silvers being able to pay for clubhouse access official policy though?

        That’s possibly even more interesting than the one-off voucher as an ongoing arrangement.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Annoyingly, this enhancement doesn’t seem to apply to the status match from schemes other than BA. I think I will hang on a bit longer before I apply, in case it is extended.

  • Richard E says:

    Any idea when clubhouse vouchers are being sent to existing Silvers? Not received one yet, and wondering if I need to chase. Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Er …. possibly when the Clubhouse reopens?

      The April target is no longer looking very promising.

      • Richard E says:

        Thanks Rob. I wasn’t in a rush – just wanted to check that I haven’t missed it in the post!

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Any data points on results of matching from AAdvantage?

  • Isobel Brown says:

    Any thoughts as to the likelihood of BA/Virgin extending status again given the lack of travel opportunities over the last year?

    • Rob says:

      It seems likely, especially as other airlines have already started doing it. The very last thing BA wants is that you restart flying, find you have no status and decide to give Virgin / Star / whatever a try instead as you have nothing to lose.

      • Vicky says:

        Rob, You may have to update the article to only cash booking count. I had a redemption booking in UC for August which I shared with FC status match and i was denied stating redemption bookings don’t count and it should be cash booking only!!

        • babyg says:

          I did a status match with a redemption booking… (this was in January)..

          • Vicky says:

            You may be lucky. I did challenge making reference to HfP article but this is what I was given in response. The word revenue was in bold & underlined.

            You need to have a future revenue flight booked with VAA in any cabin – Please provide a valid Virgin Atlantic booking reference.

        • Andrew says:

          Vicky you were misinformed – Virgin’s website for the status match (link above) states: “ *Eligible flights are Virgin Atlantic revenue flights or Reward Flights”

          • Vicky says:

            You are right Andrew, even their T&Cs has ref to reward ticket but for some strange reason VS agent on the other side is reluctant to accept it. In fact they are now asking for photo of other airlines membership card and no screenshot. May be they have read the comments section from previous article on people might photoshop, not sure if it is really worth the hassle for Silver FC !! I might as well be happy with my KF and BA Silver.

          • Andrew says:

            Sounds like they are referring to the general status match conditions rather than the special conditions for the BA status match they have set up. I also just sent a screenshot of my gold card which was accepted no issue.

        • Baji Nahid says:

          Vicky there is someone who runs the status matching emails at VS who doesn’t have a clue and doesn’t follow the conditions set out so i would email again and push

        • babyg says:

          @vicky, quoting a popular website aka “reference to HfP article” isnt going to help, rather quote virgin…

          https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/flying-club/status-match-offer.html
          Status match offer
          • British Airways Executive Club Bronze member – Flying Club Silver status for 1 year if you have a flight* booked in Premium or Upper Class
          • British Airways Executive Club Silver member – Flying Club Silver status for 1 year if you have a flight* booked in any cabin.
          • British Airways Executive Club Gold member – Flying Club Gold status for 1 year if you have a flight* booked in any cabin
          *Eligible flights are Virgin Atlantic revenue flights or Reward Flights

  • Andrew M says:

    Has anyone managed to have Virgin status matched to a non BA program without supplying their flying history? The Virgin email agent insists they they need details of flights with the airline being match to but that seems a bit unreasonable at the moment with the current pandemic.

    • Rob says:

      That is the standard Virgin match policy. They only want to match people who are spending decent sums (enough to retain status if matched) on routes they fly.

  • BLT says:

    I have BA silver and planning on using up some of my stash of VS points on 4 tickets to MIA in Dec/ Jan. If I status match to silver I can get the full 241 value on 2 companion vouchers I have rather than than 2:1.5 for non status holders. To gain a status match do I need to book a fully refundable flight, book the 241’s then cancel the refundable flight?
    Anyone tried this?

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

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