The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a great program, but with travel not exactly “easy” for everyone right now, it was time for some change. Virgin did exactly that, and thankfully literally all the changes are really good.

Truly, we ran a fine toothed comb through the changes and there isn’t a singular change which makes the program less appealing than it was before.

From lowered tier thresholds to earn perks to more flexibility around rewards, here’s what you need to know, if you’re trying to earn an upgrade voucher, move to Silver or Gold, or just want to earn more Virgin Points.

Virgin Atlantic’s ‘The Booth’, which will appear on leisure A350-1000 planes.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Changes

Virgin Atlantic has rolled out significant changes to the Flying Club program, which make it easier and more rewarding to earn status. That’s not hyperbole, it’s real. You need fewer “tier points” to earn elite status, and you can gift many of your benefits to others now, if you want.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest changes, which follow on from positive changes earlier in the year, including earning tier points even when you use miles for your flight and being able to choose flexible rewards.

Huge: Gifting Vouchers And Upgrades

This may be a bit niche, but it’s also really cool. Gold & Silver members can now gift their upgrade vouchers or companion vouchers to anyone they choose. Obviously, if you earn one, you probably want to use it — but some people have more than they can spend, or won’t be traveling for a while.

What a lovely way to treat someone as a holiday gift, or to thank colleagues, family or friends. There’s more to learn about how this will work in practicality, but it should be relatively simple. I may never have to actually buy a wedding gift again!

Reduced Silver & Gold Thresholds

Earning elite status with an airline means a better experience. Better check in, more points for flying, all that jazz. In addition to extending status to March 31st 2022, Virgin is reducing the tier thresholds to make it easier for people to hit status, or move up the ranks for the following year.

Going forward until Marc 31st 2023, Virgin Atlantic will require…

  • 300 Tier Points in a rolling 12 months to reach Silver
  • 800 Tier Points in a rolling 12 months to Reach Gold

Upper Class flights (even using points) earn at least 100 tier points each way, which means top tier status is possible with just 4 round trips on discount tickets, or 2 with flexible business class tickets.

Virgin’s Departure Beach in Barbados

New Way To Earn Extra Tier Points

Virgin Holidays can offer some amazing package bargains when flight prices are low in any cabin, and now booking these flight plus hotel, or flight, car and hotel packages can be extra rewarding too.

Virgin Atlantic will now award 20 extra tier points for every £500 spent on a Virgin Holidays booking. So, if you booked a package trip in Premium Economy to New York which cost £2000, you’d earn an extra 80 tier points. Discount premium fares earn 50 tier points each way, so this would nearly double earning, to 180 for the trip.

The offer applies for all cabins, as long as it’s booked with Virgin Holidays.

Household Accounts For Silver Too

Earning Silver status should be in the scopes of many now, and it comes with an enticing new reward: points pooling. Virgin Gold members could always create household accounts, but now Silver can too.

This means if a family is traveling, all the points can be pooled into one account, making it easier to have enough points for a reward, rather than lots of small balances. The value of these points pooling programs can’t be undervalued.

Clubhouse Passes For Silver Members

Virgin Atlantic is also dishing out Clubhouse passes to Silver members, which allow a member and a guest a one time access to the lovely Virgin Clubhouse.

Frankly, this is a pretty awesome incentive for Silver members to book another flight in any cabin, knowing they’ll be able to benefit from an incredible ground experience pre-flight, even on an economy ticket!

Extremely Positive Changes

With the excitement of the US reopening and continually positive news rolling in regarding the pandemic becoming endemic, Virgin Atlantic is seizing the opportunity to encourage increased loyalty.

From being able to gift benefits to easier access to earning them, there’s a lot to love here. You can read up on all the changes in full, here.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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5 Comments

  1. Great summary! Was not aware of the new companion voucher benefit!

    Would love to see a post about the Virgin companion vouchers? I just started getting them thru BoA Virgin cr card spend, but there’s very little literature out there on redemption rules, they don’t exist in paper or electronic form (other than on Virgin’s systems). It’s almost like Virgin is trying to keep details about them hidden!

  2. I have been avidly collecting the points using Virgin Red & VA credit card and i got the required long haul flight for 25,000 points plus £267 total costs!
    I checked around and i can get a discounted flight via most EU capitals for only £100 more and without any points .
    It seems like a big mission just to save £100.

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