Like Fleetwood Mac, Virgin Atlantic has made a career out of going their own way. They never joined an alliance, they created their own funky color scheme, and most attractively, they’ve maintained a virtually static award chart for using your miles, for years. In a very surprising turn, the airline has gone with the rough grain, raising rates on upgrades using, miles up to 100%…

Changes are effective March 1st, giving less than a weeks notice to book and upgrade, or forever pay more miles. Virgin are spinning this change as a positive, with these new upgrade rates allowing for almost all discount fares to upgrade, a major change. More fares being able to upgrade in all cabins is good, but it means that far more people will be competing for the same few seats on each flight, now requiring double the miles. It’s never fun when an airline changes the mileage game, but when an airline pulls a fast one, leaving less than a weeks notice before introducing changes that forever impact travelers, it’s a low blow. How low? See below…

New Upgrade RATES For Round Trip Between New York and London

Economy to Premium Economy: 30,000 miles

Premium Economy to Upper Class: 40,000 miles

Economy to Upper Class: 70,000 miles

From the 1st on, thats  5,000 miles more than you currently do to upgrade from economy to premium, 10,000 more to go from premium to upper class, and a whopping 15,000 more to bump yourself from economy up to upper class. That’s a 100%, double increase for most. 

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