Delta Air Lines is, as most readers know, a 49% shareholder in Virgin Atlantic, and you can book reward flights on Delta with Virgin Points.
If you book flights from the US to the UK on Delta with your Virgin Points, you are hit with high surcharges. This appears to be down to the transatlantic joint venture agreement that the two airlines have, which means that surcharges are identical across carriers.
To other parts of Europe, however, you only pay Delta’s standard surcharges – which are effectively nothing.
This means that a one-way flight FROM the US to Europe (excluding the UK) will only come with $6 (yes, $6) of taxes and charges on Delta Air Lines.
The snag is that availability is exceptionally hard to find.
Via US site View From The Wing, which itself quotes US subscription newsletter Thrifty Traveller, a lot of Delta business class reward space has appeared between New York JFK and Zurich in October and November.
The screenshot below shows dates when you can get FOUR seats on the same aircraft. There are far more dates with just one or two seats:
You still need to get back from Zurich, of course, but that won’t be too expensive.
This only leaves you on the hook for the taxes and charges for a one-way British Airways or Virgin Atlantic flight TO New York.
You may also be willing to book a World Traveller Plus (BA) or Premium (Virgin Atlantic) ticket outbound, with lower surcharges, given that it would be a day flight, knowing that you’ve got your dirt cheap Delta flat bed for the return.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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):
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 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.
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.)