Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Where can you fly with Virgin Points, given the new 30,000 points credit card bonus?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Today I wanted to take a look at a regularly asked question – “Where can you fly using Virgin Points?”

This is especially pertinent as you can – until 6th June – get a substantially higher bonus on the Virgin Atlantic / Virgin Money Reward+ credit card. 

As you can read here, the the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card currently comes with a huge 30,000 Virgin Points bonus.

You can apply for the card here.

Where can you fly with Virgin Points?

Before covid hit, Virgin Atlantic had emerged from a major period of flux.  Delta Air Lines of the US had acquired a 49% stake in the business, and a new transatlantic joint venture was formed with Air France and KLM.

Whilst ‘never say never’, I would hope that the reopening of the US market will now put to rest any concerns about the financial stability of Virgin Atlantic.

As far as mileage earning and redeeming, and status earning, goes, you now have the full Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Air France and KLM networks to choose from.

Where does Virgin Atlantic fly?

Virgin Atlantic has now rebuilt its US network, and will even launch a brand new route – Austin – next month.

This is the current route network as per the Virgin Atlantic website, which was last updated in January 2022:

USA:  Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington

Caribbean:  Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Montego Bay, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Tobago

Africa, India and Middle East:  Cape Town (seasonal), Delhi, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lahore, Mumbai, Tel Aviv

Asia:  Hong Kong, Shanghai

From Manchester, Virgin flies to Atlanta, Las Vegas (still suspended post-covid), Los Angeles (seasonal), New York, Orlando, Islamabad, Barbados and Montego Bay.

From Edinburgh, Virgin flies to Barbados and Orlando (seasonal).

From Belfast, Virgin flies to Orlando (seasonal).

Missing from that list are numerous axed destinations – Sydney, Dubai, Cancun, Vancouver, Tokyo, Varadero, Detroit.  Go back further and you can add Accra, Athens, Mauritius, Nairobi, Nassau, Port Harcourt and Toronto.

Virgin also has a close partnership with Delta Air Lines, its 49% shareholder.  This added – pre-covid – Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia to the ex-Heathrow options.  Delta has also historically run Summer services from the US East Coast to UK cities outside London.

If you’re tempted to redeem on Virgin Atlantic in business class, here is our review of the new Upper Class Suite which is rolling out on the new A350 aircraft.  Our article from the re-opening of the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 is here.

Virgin Atlantic will be revealing its brand new A330 fleet to the world in the next few weeks ….

Where can you fly with Virgin Points,

Redeeming on Virgin Atlantic partners

Virgin has a number of airline partners – ANA, Air New Zealand, Hawaiian Airlines, SAS (earning only), Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Australia, plus of course Delta, Air France and KLM.

Spending your points on these partners is not easy.  I wrote an article on the subject here although the exceptional Air China deal discussed is no longer available.

Redeeming to Japan on ANA is, undoubtedly, the best option available from London.  This costs 95,000 Virgin Points return in Business and 120,000 points return in First Class – and you will get the fantastic new ANA seat which I covered here.  You will struggle to find more than one seat per flight in either class, however.

This HfP articles explains everything you need to know about redeeming Virgin Points on ANA.

I would also flag these ideas:

for New Zealand, using Air New Zealand to book redemptions from Asian capital cities to Auckland, which you could tag on to a Virgin Points or Avios redemption between the UK and Asia (Air New Zealand no longer flies from the UK)

using Singapore Airlines for regional flights in Asia (you will struggle to get redemptions from Europe to Singapore as most long-haul flights are blocked)

There are two issues to bear in mind:

some partners only allow redemptions via Virgin Atlantic on certain routes

availability, in general, is NOT the same as that airline offers to its own frequent flyer members or alliance partners

One improvement in recent years is the ability to book one-way redemptions with most partners.  Virgin Atlantic previously insisted on a return flight.

Redeeming Virgin Points on Air France and KLM

By far, the biggest change to Flying Club has been the recent addition of Air France and KLM as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club earning and spending partners.

Virgin, Delta and Air France / KLM have formed a joint venture to cover their combined transatlantic routes, sharing revenues and profits.

From a points point of view, this has some serious repercussions:

You can redeem Virgin Points on Air France and KLM. This opens up a huge new range of redemption possibilities.  Virgin Atlantic has become very USA-centric in the last few years but this new partnership will open up pretty much the entire world.  Choosing Virgin over BA is more attractive when you have such a wide choice of redemptions.

UK flyers who travel with Air France or KLM (which I know is a lot of HfP readers) can now credit their flights to Virgin Flying Club instead of Flying Blue and they will count towards earning Virgin Atlantic status.

We wrote a very detailed two part feature on how to redeem Virgin Points on Air France and KLM which is here and here.

Conclusion

These are a few of your options if you decide to take advantage of the current special credit card sign-up bonus to diversify away from Avios.

Remember that the Reward+ card offers a huge 30,000 Virgin Points (usually 15,000 points), subject to hitting spending targets.  Full details are on the Virgin Money website here.

The 30,000 bonus points offer will end on 6th June.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (42)

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

  • Mouse says:

    Sorry to hear others have had difficulty. I managed only this week to book upper class reward flights to DC and NYC for the autumn. If you’re flexible and prepared to book well in advance you can make it work.

  • mradey says:

    I’ve got a large pile of VS points (and more potentially from Amex) but when I factor in the taxes and surcharge(s) for an Upper Class flight at around 800GBP I baulk, considering cash tickets to the west coast can be had for less than 2K.

    Not just Virgin of course.

    • Paul says:

      What routes can you get West Coast in upper class for less than £2k these days? (Not trying to justify the surcharges, I do think they’ve gotten ridiculous).

      • mradey says:

        I purchased LHR/LAX/LHR for £1867 in Upper Class (direct Virgin flights). To be fair, travelling November and booked end of Jan.

        • Rob says:

          TAP is offering San Fran from Dublin for €1146 at present (5 days stay required).

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Cash tickets in PE are around £2k at present, Business is nearly £6k, when I need to go anyway.

  • TimM says:

    Yes, but where can I fly with 30,000 Virgin Points and a Credit card voucher?

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      Fair question Tim – asked in the title of the article and, as you are highlighting, not answered! However, there are quite a few options. You will actually have at least 34,500 points if you hit the spend (£3,000) required for the 15,000 spend bonus on top of the 15,000 intro points. Off-peak that will give you an economy return to ANY destination on the current Virgin network:
      https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/flying-club/spend-points/spend-on-flights/reward-flights.html
      It’s also enough for a premium economy return to Israel and near enough to Pakistan/India, all of their north east American destinations (Boston, NY, Washington DC) and the Caribbean, which are all 35,000 points.

  • FREEFLIGHTS says:

    MAN to LAS is not available. Spoke with Virgin UC yesterday and was advised to go to London or Amsterdam. Is this an oversite by HfP or do you know something we don’t?

    • Rob says:

      It can be on the route map but not currently be flown … it just means that it’s not dropped and will return when Virgin get some more aircraft.

      • FREEFLIGHTS says:

        Hi Rob, Thanks for the update, I do hope you are right…..what would be your gut feeling, back available in 2023?

        • Rob says:

          Put it this way, I can’t believe that they can’t make this route work from Manchester. It is just very aircraft heavy in terms of utilisation.

  • captaindave says:

    Potentially going to Thailand in October, and KLM flights came up regularly in my searches, but given the post earlier about difficulties redeeming Virgin points that way, looks like cash is the way.
    also, i dont like the way the seats are laid out in cattle class on the planes they use ( 3-4-3 seating )

  • Chris DB says:

    Can anybody suggest where (if there is one) I can find a good old fashioned timetable online for Virgin Atlantic please? I have a 2-4-1 I want to use for Manchester to Montego Bay but simply cannot find any flight dates, and I am bored of clicking through hypothetical bookings on their website only to be told there is no availability on my chosen dates.

    • Rob says:

      It’s possible this has not yet relaunched, albeit the route is not cancelled and so still appears on the list, to return when they have enough aircraft.

    • RussellH says:

      You want a timetable? Really?

      Surely you know by now that the transport undertaking has a far better understanding of what you want, than you do yourself.
      Anyway, you might learn something from a proper timetable.
      🙂

      • Chris DB says:

        Sorry Guv: doffs cap & retreats back into the corner from whence he came (feeling a bit like Oliver Twist).

    • Matt says:

      Just use google flights and filter by Virgin Atlantic and no stops. When you click on dates, prices will be shown on days where there are flights. In your case though there are no direct flights from MAN to MBJ so Virgin aren’t flying it.

  • Fraser says:

    Can anyone explain why the Havana flights are excluded from points availability?

    • John T says:

      Sanctions against Cuba. Virgin can only sell package holidays.

      • Nick says:

        The sanctions being US, which is where the booking engine is.

      • Jonathan says:

        Even though US based carriers can sell flights to there without any problems…
        Something that just baffles me

  • John T says:

    So… Where can you go for 30,000 Virgin Points??

    • FREEFLIGHTS says:

      Greggs for a few pasties n drinks lol. I am stuck with CC vouchers and 200K miles and live in Manchester so there is no hope for me………….

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.