Confused by the companion voucher
19th September 2023 at 16:42CharlieUK
As a Virgin Silver member, I’m looking to book a couple of Upper Class seats to LAX using points and a companion voucher that I earned with my Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card.
From the Head for Points review, I understand that I only need enough points for one person when using a voucher. But I just looked on the Virgin money website, and it says a Silver, I can only use the voucher for a companion in Economy or Premium. Is this correct?19th September 2023 at 17:30Author of the Seas
@CharlieUK I was going to bring this up in the forum as I’d noticed the same information on the Virgin Money website.
However, the information on https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/flying-club/credit-card.html corresponds to that on the Head for Points website, so I don’t know what to think.
I would be disappointed if it turns out the info on the Virgin Money website is correct. I would also find it strange since I haven’t received an email regarding this and Virgin usually emails me when changes occur (such as the change in when Silver members can select economy seats free of charge).
All I can suggest is that you ring Virgin Atlantic, and mention the flights and cabin you’re interested in (Upper Class) and that you’d like to use your companion voucher, and see what the agent comes back with.19th September 2023 at 21:43Guernsey Globetrotter
Hmmm… this is not how it has worked historically but I just found the page you’re referring to and now I’m wondering if this is an incoming, as yet unannounced, change?
It would tie in with the change just made to seat bookings. Silver no longer gets free seat selection at any time – that is reserved for gold members – and must pay to chose unless waiting until 7 days before flight.
However, it doesn’t agree with the rewards card terms which still state that silver and gold members’ companions ticket are free. These terms are also still live on their site and that are cross referenced in their rewards club T&Cs:
So, if this is an incoming ‘enhancement’ then it is very much a change for the worse – silver status is attainable for many (even earned/kept with two long haul rewards flights a year) but gold is a much higher hurdle. This change would make the voucher significantly inferior to the BA equivalents, assuming that most of us aspire to travelling in J.
I wonder if @Rob has got wind of any developments?19th September 2023 at 21:46RobHfP Staff
Hmmmm … not heard anything. There is a change coming to the qualifying criteria for the Plus card but it is a positive one.19th September 2023 at 22:45Guernsey Globetrotter
Well this quote from the first link above is not something I’d seen anywhere else before:
“There are three types of companion ticket, and the one you earn depends on your Flying Club membership tier. If you’re a Red tier member you’ll be rewarded with an Economy companion ticket. If you’ve worked your way up to Silver you can use your companion ticket in Economy or Premium, and if you’re flying high as a Gold member, you can take your companion in any cabin, including Upper Class.”
Either this was a plan they had but never implemented, and somehow an old bit of blurb has got posted, or it’s something in the pipeline that’s accidentally seen the light of day early…?
It will be a very disappointing change if so – sad face as @Froggee would say20th September 2023 at 04:54NorthernLass
That would be a deal breaker for me as we probably won’t do enough cash trips to get beyond red status. Also definitely not worth paying £160 pa for the Virgin credit card! I wonder would it also apply to upgrades? This is often a better use of the voucher anyway.
*It baffles me a bit that Virgin seems to have a much better reputation than BA but their loyalty scheme is actually a bit rubbish from what I’ve seen so far! (E.g. 50% extra points required for UC 241 bookings, eye-watering surcharges)20th September 2023 at 10:58AL
The page at https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/spending-points/ references the LGW Clubhouse, which has long since gone by now. Sadly, the Wayback Machine hasn’t got any historic snapshots of that page (although I’ve just triggered the first one, so we can see what changes going forward).
My usual view is that, whilst the route to issuance, is Virgin Money, the route to spending is Virgin Atlantic. The latter’s terms, therefore, matter more than the former’s when spending, and the opposite for earning.20th September 2023 at 12:56CharlieUK
That’s a good spot, @AL about the Gatwick Clubhouse. I thinks it’s an old page that hasn’t been updated. I tried looking through the source code to see when it was last updated, but can’t find anything.20th September 2023 at 13:06Guernsey Globetrotter
@NorthernLass It is a bit weird isn’t it but I have to admit that, in spite of the downsides you list, Virgin gives me a much warmer and fuzzier feeling than BA do. Probably a part of it is subluminal because of the bashing BA receive on here!
However, it’s also because having flown VS J a few times in the last couple of years they just seem to ‘get it right’ more than BA do… At LHR the UC wing experience is like the First wing at T5, rather than the hit and miss fast track that you get with BA J. The Virgin Club lounge is waaay better than the Galleries (including First). On the plane we’ve always found the staff overall more attentive and engaged. I even like their TV advert!
As to the reward flight drawbacks, I agree the TFCs are getting steeper but getting Silver is not too hard – 2x long haul rewards per annum is all that’s needed as they do earn TPs, unlike BA redemptions. Also, as a Red member you can use vouchers to upgrade from PE and that can be better value than the 2 fer 1.5 option. The VS network is expanding to places like MLE and DXB and it’s good to have a choice at least 🙂20th September 2023 at 14:13NorthernLass
Good points @GG, I need to get my head around the idea of reward flights earning TPs! And of course, for us northerners, direct flights to long haul destinations are priceless.
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