If you’re hoping to find out clever ways to redeem your miles using the fewest points, you’re in the wrong place. Fear not, we have that article too. It’s right here. This article will be equally useful to you though, as it spells out in gritty detail exactly how to book flights Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles, including who to call and what to tell the friendly phone agents!
How To Earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles
While many of you probably have easy access to Virgin Atlantic miles, even those who don’t will find earning them quite simple. Through partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points, you can quickly and easily transfer points to Virgin Atlantic.
Each of these programs transfers to Virgin at a 1:1 ratio and offer several credit cards that can help you rack up points quickly. Some of our favorites include:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
- American Express Gold Card (Learn More)
- American Express Business Gold Card (Learn More)
- Citi Prestige (Learn More)
- Citi Premier (Learn More)
Bank of America also issues a co-branded Virgin Atlantic card that earns Flying Club miles directly and you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points in a pinch.
Those in the UK can transfer Membership Rewards points (the UK version) and earn miles directly with Virgin Money’s co-branded Virgin Atlantic cards.
How To Find Award Space With Virgin Atlantic
You can quickly and easily find award space on Virgin Atlantic’s own flights with its online search function. It’s even pretty easy to find flights on Delta. However, if you want to book one of its other partners, you’ll need to know where to look.
|Partner Airline||Where To Search|
|Air New Zealand||United|
|All Nippon Airways (ANA)||United|
|Delta||Virgin Atlantic, Air France or KLM|
|Hawaiian Airlines||American (intra-island flights) or call Virgin Atlantic*|
|South African Airways||United|
|Virgin Atlantic||Virgin Atlantic|
You might notice when searching for Delta flights on Virgin’s site that the online search is unable to search to/from some cities. If you run into this, you can search with Air France or KLM.
How to Book Award Tickets With Virgin Atlantic Miles
If you want to book a flight on Virgin Atlantic or Delta with miles, you can do so online quite easily. If you are unable to search for a specific Delta route online, you’ll need to search with Air France or KLM then call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book — 1-800-365-9500 in the US or +44 (0)344 412 2414 in the UK.
In fact, you’ll need to call to book all other partners regardless of the route. Before you call, though, make sure you search for award space using the appropriate site (as listed above) so you can provide the exact dates and flights to a Flying Club phone agent. Fortunately, Virgin Atlantic has some of the best phone agents in the industry so the call should be pretty much painless.
Hold Award Space
One aspect of the Flying Club program that’s really useful is that you can hold award tickets for up to 48 hours. All you have to do is ring up the Flying Club call center, ask an agent to search for award space and then ask them to put it on hold while you transfer some points to your account.
This is a great way to lock in award space so you don’t have to worry about someone else booking it while you wait for points to transfer.
Don’t Forget Surcharges
Virgin Atlantic will pass on surcharges if a partner airline includes them on tickets. This means you can expect surcharges on Air China, ANA, Delta — in some cases — and South African Airways. Of course, the worst surcharges can be found when booking award tickets on Virgin Atlantic’s own flights.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Routing Rules
While Virgin has different award charts for each partner airline — we’ll go through those below, it does have one routing rule that applies to all of them. It’s quite simple, really. You will be charged additional miles for each additional segment on an award ticket. For this reason, it sometimes makes sense to book a separate positioning flight with other points/miles or cash to get to the airport where you’ll start your award ticket.
Change And Cancellation Fees
The change and cancellation fees are actually quite reasonable and very simple. If you’re flying out of the UK, the fee is £30 to change or cancel and redeposit the miles into your account. For flights starting in the US and other regions, the fee is $50 to change or cancel/redeposit miles.
Infant Award Tickets
Virgin Atlantic has one of the best policies for those who are traveling on an award ticket with an infant — a child under 2 years old. Rather than charging 10% of the cash ticket as some airlines do, Virgin requires a very reasonable number of miles for the infant.
Virgin Atlantic Award Rates
Similar to Etihad Guest, Virgin Atlantic is not part of a major airline alliance and has different award rates for each partner as well as its own flights. While this makes it a touch more difficult to know how many miles you need for an award ticket, it’s more than worth the effort when you realize the deals to be had.
Virgin Atlantic Award Rates
Virgin Atlantic actually has two award charts for its own flights: Standard season and peak season. It’s important to keep your travel dates in mind as that will determine which chart will govern your award ticket. Before we get into that, let’s have a look at the charts. Let’s take a look at the one-way award rates for Virgin Atlantic flights during the standard season.
|To/From UK||Economy||Premium Economy||Upper Class|
|Africa, China and Hong Kong||12,500||22,500||57,500|
Similarly, here is the peak season award chart:
|To/From UK||Economy||Premium Economy||Upper Class|
|US Midwest And South||22,500||32,500||57,500|
|Africa, China and Hong Kong||22,500||32,500||67,500|
Regardless of whether your flights are during standard or peak season, just keep in mind the surcharges on Virgin Atlantic flights are steep. For example, on Upper Class flights between the US and the UK, you can expect to pay over $1,200 in total taxes/fees in addition to the miles used to book.
The award chart for Air China flights is quite simple. That’s because you can only use Virgin Atlantic miles on one route and that’s London Heathrow (LHR) to Beijing (PEK). The miles required for one-way award tickets are as follows:
- First class: 100,000 miles
- Business class: 67,500 miles
- Economy class: 28,000 miles
Air New Zealand
For those in the US, Virgin Atlantic provides an excellent way to book Air New Zealand flights to/from Auckland. If you find yourself in New Zealand, Virgin miles are also a great way to book domestic flights or even flights to Australia. The toughest part with Air New Zealand is that they’re so stingy with releasing business class award space.
|To/From New Zealand||Economy||Business|
|Within New Zealand||7,500||N/A|
|Los Angeles to London||25,000||77,500|
|South Pacific to Los Angeles||30,000||45,000|
|North & South America||40,000||62,500|
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Booking ANA first class is probably the most talked about option for using Virgin miles and for good reason — it’s amazing. Even better, it works for those in the US and Europe who want to book round-trip to Tokyo. UK readers can rejoice that Amex UK also allows points transfers to Virgin Atlantic.
|China, Guam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan||23,000||45,000||60,000|
|Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam||40,000||65,000||80,000|
|Hawaii, India, Indonesia||45,000||70,000||90,000|
|Australia, Canada, Western US||60,000||90,000||110,000|
|Europe, Central/Eastern US, Mexico||65,000||95,000||120,000|
Like the award chart for Virgin’s own flights, the number of Flying Club miles you need for a Delta flight to/from the UK is also determined by standard and peak season dates.
|To/From UK||Standard Economy||Peak Economy||Standard Delta One||Peak
Virgin takes a simpler approach in designating standard and peak seasons for Delta flights. Basically, travel during the summer and winter holiday will be classified as peak while the rest of the calendar is standard.
Now, if you want to book a Delta flight to other parts of Europe or anywhere else in the world, there’s another chart you’ll need to reference. Yes, it’s a bit tedious, but you’ll find a bunch of great ways to book Delta flights in this chart.
|Within the US and Canada||12,500||22,500|
|US to Caribbean, Central America & Mexico||17,500||30,000|
|US to Hawaii||20,000||37,500|
|US to South America||22,500||45,000|
|US to Africa, Middle East & Asia||40,000||60,000|
|US to Southwest Pacific (Australia)||50,000||75,000|
|US to Europe||30,000||50,000|
|Within Asia & Northern Asia||12,500||22,500|
|Hawaii to Northern Asia||20,000||35,000|
|Northern Asia to Southeast Asia||22,500||35,000|
Unlike when booking Delta flights to/from the UK, you won’t get slapped with expensive surcharges if you fly from the US to Europe.
Business class award space on Hawaiian Airlines can be particularly difficult to find. Let’s be honest, business class award space to Hawaii on just about any airline can be difficult to find. Virgin miles do provide a solid way to book flights within Hawaii if cash fares are steep when you need them.
|US West Coast||20,000||40,000|
|Asia, Australia, New Zealand, US East Coast||40,000||65,000|
You’ll notice in Virgin’s award chart for Singapore Airlines that it doesn’t even list business and first class rates from the US and Europe. As with all its partners, Singapore Airlines restricts partners to booking economy class award tickets with very few exceptions.
In fact, Virgin Atlantic explicitly states in the fine print that business and first class award tickets are not eligible on flights operated by an A380-800, 777-300ER or A350-900. The terms don’t exclude the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner though.
Below you’ll find the number of Virgin miles needed for a one-way flight on Singapore Airlines.
|Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia||7,500||17,500||25,000|
|Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam||12,500||20,000||30,000|
|Hong Kong and Taiwan||17,500||30,000||45,000|
|Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka||20,000||32,500||47,500|
|Japan and South Korea||22,500||35,000||50,000|
|Beijing and Shanghai||22,500||35,000||50,000|
|Turkey and United Arab Emirates||25,000||40,000||60,000|
|Australia and New Zealand||27,500||42,500||75,000|
|New York (JFK) to Frankfurt||25,000||N/A||N/A|
|USA to UK||30,000||N/A||N/A|
|USA to Hong Kong and Japan||30,000||N/A||N/A|
South African Airways
You won’t be able to avoid carrier-imposed surcharges when booking award tickets on South African Airways with Virgin miles, but you can find some interesting sweet spots, especially if you fly out of Washington Dulles (IAD) to Ghana or Senegal. Below is a chart of how many Virgin miles you’ll need for a one-way flight.
|To/From South Africa||Economy||Business|
|Within South Africa||10,000||15,000|
|Central & Northern Africa||20,000||25,000|
|Europe and South America||35,000||55,000|
|USA to Senegal||20,000||25,000|
|USA to Ghana||35,000||55,000|
Virgin Atlantic has a small award chart for the few long-haul Virgin Australia flights. Keep in mind that business class space is often very tough to find. The one-way award rates are as follows:
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||40,000||N/A||80,000|
|Sydney to Hong Kong||40,000||N/A||80,000|
|Los Angeles to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney||94,000||70,500||94,000|
Alternatively, if you need a shorter flight, the number of miles you’ll need to book an award ticket is determined by the total flight miles per segment. You can find how many miles you’ll need for a one-way ticket below.
|Total Flight Miles Per Segment||Economy||Business|
|Less than 400 miles||8,000||16,000|
|400 – 599 miles||12,500||25,000|
|600 – 1,199 miles||15,000||30,000|
|1,200 – 2,999 miles||20,000||40,000|
|3,000 – 3,999 miles||35,000||70,000|
|4,000 – 4,999 miles||40,000||80,000|
|More than 4,999 miles||47,000||94,000|
While Virgin Atlantic has a limited number of partners, there are some great sweet spots to be found in their various award charts. With the ability to hold award space while transferring points from American Express, Chase or Citi to your Flying Club account, earning the miles will be easy. It’s really just a matter of figuring out where you want to go.
Make sure you check out our favorite ways to use Virgin Atlantic miles.