Virgin Galactic is progressing with its plans to make commercial space flights a reality. As you may have seen in the newspapers over the weekend, another successful test flight has just been completed.
VSS Unity, the oldest vessel in the fleet – if you ignore the one that crashed in 2014 – is the one which is currently undertaking the test flights. VSS Imagine – the second vessel, built to a new more efficient design – was delivered in March 2021 and a third vessel is under construction.
The first passenger flight may take place at the end of this year. There is, apparently, one more test flight to go which will carry Virgin Galactic staff to simulate actual passengers, and the flight after that will carry Sir Richard Branson and the first paying guests.
Those who registered and paid in advance were charged $250,000. Once services are operational, the company states that the fare will be higher.
If you consider $250,000 too much, your miles might help you get closer to a flight. As you can see on this Virgin Atlantic page, you can use your Virgin Points for a ticket.
How many Virgin Points do you need to go into space?
It isn’t that straightforward either.
Only one ticket is available for a Virgin Points redemption. You need to ring Flying Club to register your interest and, once commercial flights are bookable, Flying Club will randomly pick a winner. No miles will be taken from your account until that point.
Importantly, this offer is only available to members who have earned two million miles from Virgin Atlantic flights, not from partner activity. Transferring American Express points won’t cut it.
Two years ago, you could get a discount on a Virgin Galactic flight by using your miles. 200,000 Virgin Points got you a 10% discount, which was exceptionally good value. This offer is no longer available, unfortunately.
If you’re interested, you can learn how to register your interest on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2021)
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 15,000 Points):
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:
Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.
You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 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.)