On January 1st, fresh off the hangover that was 2020, Virgin Atlantic devalued its Virgin Points program for flights on Delta, only they didn’t exactly.
Virgin Atlantic did indeed make changes to how many Virgin Points you’ll need to book flights on partner Delta, but not for all the areas initially expected, and in some cases, not at all. Here’s what is staying, what’s going, and exactly what happened.
Virgin Atlantic Rolls Back Points Devaluations For Delta Flights
It’s good news today, kinda! First things first, in case you didn’t know, you can use Virgin Points to book flights on their partner Delta. It’s a fab way to use the Flying Club.
No-notice points devaluations are the gut punch in loyalty programs, and mid global pandemic is an odd time to make an airline, or its points, less appealing to travelers. On January 1st, it appeared Virgin Atlantic did exactly that, significantly increasing the number of points required for business class flights on its partner Delta Airlines.
This may be niche for some, but it raised red flags even for those who hadn’t or won’t book one of these specific flights. No one likes to earn and plan for years, only to have goals uprooted overnight.
For reference, these flights have long been one of the best values in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program for travel between the US and Europe in either direction excluding the UK – with rates of just 50,000 points one way for Delta One business class, and as low as $5.60 in taxes.
Overnight, without warning, it appeared via Virgin’s own website that these flights had increased to rates of 80,000 points one way, or more, marking a significant jump. And at the same time, business class flights between the USA and Asia on Delta using your Virgin Points, jumped from 60,000 to over 135,000 one way in some instances. Yikes.
The latter half is still true, but the first half IS NOT.
Virgin’s rates for flights between the US and Europe on its partner Delta ARE NOT CHANGING, for now. That means that once again, or in reality, this entire time, you can book flights on any ‘joint venture’ routes between the US and Europe — for 50,000 Virgin Points one way in business. Sigh of relief – yes.
Again, UK flights were not impacted these changes, and have always been different rates. The changes also brought lower rates for economy flights, which is good.
We know now officially, per communications with Virgin Atlantic that some of the changes which appeared on the Virgin Atlantic website were made in error. Charts which were meant for non-Europe routes indicated Europe, and yada-yada.
Like all things in life, there’s no guarantee that these non-changes will last forever, but the excellent value Virgin Points redemptions between the US and Europe remain in tact, at least for now, and likely for a while.
Redemptions using Virgin Points for Delta flights outside of Europe such as internal USA, or USA to Asia, Pacific and beyond have changed as noted, jumping significantly in price for seats up front, and those charts can be viewed here.
Be sure to read GSTP’s latest advice on the direction of loyalty programs, and how to get the most value going forward, as airlines change the game. It’s kinda good news today though!
If you want service or the product advertised & purchased and some customer service, they’re also status matching BA at present…
The point may be moot. It appears on both VA and Delta’s website that only VA, KLM, and AF flights are pricing at the “saver” level (and not even for the 50k price). No Delta flights to be had. Searched ATL-AMS in Delta’s website which should yield at least some Delta biz class “saver” awards at the 95k SkyMiles price but only VA, KLM, and AF flights were showing on Delta’s website at that price through October.
I searched ATL to AMS, CDG, FCO and FRA, no biz class 50k options for any October or November dates. Either VA hasn’t loaded award seats, all award seats have been scooped up, or something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
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