new virgin upper class seat airbus a350

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

amex platinum cards

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:

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 China United
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
Singapore Airlines Aeroplan
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Australia Delta

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

Virgin Atlantic Search

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.

One-way Round-trip
1,000 2,000
5,000 10,000
7,000 14,000

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

a bed in a plane

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
US Northeast 10,000 17,500 47,500
US Midwest/South 12,500 22,500 47,500
US West 15,000 27,500 67,500
Africa, China and Hong Kong 12,500 22,500 57,500
Caribbean 10,000 17,500 57,500
India 10,000 17,500 37,500
Tel Aviv 9,000 16,000 28,000

Similarly, here is the peak season award chart:

To/From UK Economy Premium Economy Upper Class
US Northeast 20,000 27,500 57,500
US Midwest And South 22,500 32,500 57,500
US West 25,000 35,000 77,500
Africa, China and Hong Kong 22,500 32,500 67,500
Caribbean 20,000 22,500 67,500
India 20,000 22,500 47,500
Tel Aviv 11,000 20,000 33,000

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.

Air China

Image courtesy of Air China

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

Air New Zealand Business Class 787-9
Image courtesy of 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
Australia 10,000 15,000
Pacific Islands 10,000 15,000
Los Angeles to London 25,000 77,500
Asia 30,000 40,000
Hawaii 30,000 45,000
South Pacific to Los Angeles 30,000 45,000
North & South America 40,000 62,500

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA First Class Seat

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.

To/From Japan Economy Business First
Within Japan 15,000 N/A N/A
South Korea 18,000 35,000 50,000
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


Delta One Suite
Image courtesy of Delta

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
Delta One
Eastern US 10,000 20,000 45,000 57,500
Central US 12,500 22,500 47,500 57,500
Western US 15,000 25,000 67,500 77,500

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.

Route Economy Delta One
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.

Hawaiian Airlines

hawaiian airlines

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.

To/From Hawaii Economy First/Business
Within Hawaii 7,500 15,000
US West Coast 20,000 40,000
South Pacific 22,500 47,500
Asia, Australia, New Zealand, US East Coast 40,000 65,000

Singapore Airlines

Singapore A350-900
Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines

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.

To/From Singapore Economy Business First
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
Guangzhou 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
South Africa 30,000 50,000 70,000
Russia 35,000 55,000 82,500
Europe 35,000 N/A N/A
USA 45,000 N/A N/A
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

south african biz
Image courtesy of 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
Southern Africa 10,000 15,000
Central & Northern Africa 20,000 25,000
Indian Ocean 20,000 25,000
Europe and South America 35,000 55,000
Australia 42,500 55,000
Asia 45,000 65,000
USA 50,000 75,000
USA to Senegal 20,000 25,000
USA to Ghana 35,000 55,000

Virgin Australia

Image courtesy of Virgin Australia

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:

Route Economy Premium Economy Business
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

Final Thoughts

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.

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

Join the Conversation


  1. Re: Delta redemptions. I’ve seen economy, non stop, one way redemptions from JFK -CDG on Delta’s site, but they don’t show up on Virgin’s site. When I called, Virgin said they haven’t got any availability. Are the redemption seats not shared between the two carriers?

    1. Hey Maxine – Delta uses dyanmic award pricing which means Delta will very often have award space for its own members — the rates are just horrendous. Only the lowest level — or maybe levels — will be available to partners. If you want to book a Delta flight and Virgin’s online search won’t let you select the city you want, I’d suggest searching with Air France or KLM for a Delta flight. Either of those two will also show award space that Delta has made available for partner airlines to book. For future reference, you can search for Delta award space on JFK-CDG on Virgin’s site.

  2. Hi, With regard to the reward seat availability. I know BA commit to releasing at least 2 CW and 4 WT seats on each flight. I just wondered if Virgin have a similar policy? Thanks for your help.

  3. I thought there’s an impending devaluation that kills the ANA sweet spot. Can’t seem to find the article about it online any more though.

  4. Hi! I’ve been using United to find Air New Zealand availability, but when I call Virgin Atlantic they show no availability- despite what I see on United’s website. Am I missing something? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

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