Insights > The Best Way to Book Virgin Atlantic Flights With Points

The Best Way to Book Virgin Atlantic Flights With Points

13 minute read 25 June 2024
Virgin Atlantic plane
Written by: Sanjay Sharma

Whether you’re eyeing a dream getaway or planning a business trip, understanding how to book flights with points and miles is key to maximizing your travel potential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best strategies for booking Virgin Atlantic flights with points, including the best ways to redeem your rewards, how to earn points, and tips for finding award space with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Table of contents

How to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points

Flying, shopping, dining, and everyday spending can all help you earn Virgin points.

Flying with Virgin Atlantic 

The most straightforward way to earn Virgin points is by taking flights with Virgin Atlantic or its partner airlines. Keep an eye out for special promotions and bonus-point offers to supercharge your earnings.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members accrue points depending on the route taken, ticket class, and Flying Club tier status, among other factors. Depending on whether you have Red, Silver, or Gold status, Flying Club members earn varying percentages of points:

  • Red member: earns between 25% and 400% of base points flown.
  • Silver member: earns between 25% and 400% of base points flown, plus a 30% bonus.
  • Gold member: earns between 25% and 400% of base points flown, plus a 60% bonus.

Credit cards

Credit cards are a convenient and lucrative way to earn points with everyday purchases. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offers two co-branded credit cards that’ll earn you Virgin points for every dollar you spend. Virgin Atlantic Black Card earns 3x Virgin points per $1 spent on Virgin Atlantic purchases, plus 1.5x Virgin points everywhere else, while the Virgin Atlantic White Card earns 3x Virgin points per $1 spent on Virgin Atlantic and 1x Virgin point elsewhere.

Transfer partners

American Express, Chase, Citi, Capital One, and Bilt all earn rewards that can be transferred to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio. This makes earning Virgin points very easy to do, especially after you earn a sign-up bonus or two.

Online shopping

To boost your balance of Virgin points, check out the Virgin Atlantic shopping portal. It allows you to earn tons of points on your online spending, as long as you use Virgin’s site to click through to your preferred retailer.

The fare types available on Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic offers several fare types tailored to diverse needs and preferences. Here’s a breakdown:

Economy Light

  • Ideal for travelers looking for the lowest fares
  • Seats assigned at check-in
  • Checked baggage may be available for an additional fee

Economy Classic

  • Offers more flexibility than Economy Light
  • Includes one complimentary checked bag (50 lbs)
  • Allows free seat selection at the time of booking

Economy Delight

  • Designed for travelers seeking extra comfort and perks
  • Provides extra legroom seats
  • Includes one complimentary checked bag
  • Priority check-in and boarding

Premium

  • Offers a premium-economy experience with enhanced comfort
  • Features wider seats with additional legroom
  • Includes two complimentary checked bags
  • Priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling
  • Premium dining and beverage options
  • In-flight amenity kit
  • Enhanced entertainment options

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (Business Class)

  • Two pieces of hand luggage included
  • Includes two complimentary checked bags (70lbs)
  • Features fully flat-bed seats for maximum comfort
  • Access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and partner lounges
  • Fast-track security
  • Priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling
  • Premium dining experience with a la carte menu options
  • Access to onboard bar and socializing area
  • In-flight amenity kit featuring luxury products

How to book Virgin Atlantic flights with points

Booking Virgin Atlantic reward flights is a straightforward process that allows travelers to redeem their accumulated Virgin points for flights to their desired destinations. To begin, travelers can visit the Virgin Atlantic website and log in to their Flying Club account. From there, search for available flights using the “Book a Flight” tool and select the option to pay with points.

During the booking process, you’ll need to have the necessary amount of points available in your Flying Club account to cover the cost of the flight. Additionally, travelers should be mindful of any taxes, fees, and surcharges that may apply when redeeming points for flights.

This is especially true on Virgin Atlantic flights to London Heathrow (LHR); the airline passes along carrier-imposed surcharges in addition to fees, so travelers can get hit with fees upwards of $1,000.

How to redeem Virgin points to get the best deal

Redeeming Virgin points for maximum value is an exercise in flexibility. How many points you’ll need for a flight is going to depend on the season you’re traveling, whether you’re flying Virgin Atlantic or a partner, the cabin you’re flying in, and where you’re going. Being open to different travel dates and destinations can unlock more options and potentially lower redemption rates.

One hack? You can manipulate the reward seat finder by typing different airport codes into the URL. Another tip is to explore Virgin Atlantic’s partner airlines within the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program, as this expands the range of available routes and often offers competitive redemption rates.

It’s important to know that Virgin Atlantic uses a distance-based award chart for flights. This is true both for flights operated by Virgin and for partner flights.

While the amount for partner flights will vary based on which airline you’re flying, the Virgin Atlantic award chart for Virgin Atlantic–operated flights is subject only to standard- and peak-season pricing.

Standard season travel dates and rewards

Virgin Atlantic prices flights differently depending on when you’re traveling. The standard-season dates for 2024 are as follows:

Most of the world:

  • January 4 to March 21
  • April 16 to June 15
  • September 3 to October 24
  • November 6 to December 6

Caribbean and Indian Ocean:

  • March 4 to March 21
  • April 16 to May 26
  • June 3 to July 19
  • September 3 to October 24
  • November 6 to December 6

Standard-season rates to/from the U.K.

Economy ClassicPremium Upper Class
Israel18,00032,00056,000
India & Dubai20,00035,00075,000
USA – Northeast20,00035,00095,000
Caribbean20,00035,000115,000
USA – Midwest & South25,00045,00095,000
Nigeria and China25,00045,000115,000
South Africa and Indian Ocean25,00050,000115,000
USA – West30,00055,000135,000

Note that this is pricing for round-trip flights. If you’re only flying one-way, cut these figures in half.

Peak-season travel dates and rewards

As you’d expect, peak-season pricing is more expensive. These are the dates for 2024:

Most of the world:

  • January 1 to January 3
  • March 22 to April 15
  • June 16 to September 2
  • October 25 to November 5
  • December 7 to January 5, 2025

Caribbean and Indian Ocean

  • January 1 to March 3
  • March 22 to April 15
  • May 27 to June 2
  • July 20 to September 2
  • October 25 to November 5
  • December 7 to March 2, 2025

Peak-season rates to/from the U.K.

Economy ClassicPremiumUpper Class
Israel22,00040,00066,000
India & Dubai40,00055,00095,000
USA – Northeast40,00055,000115,000
Caribbean40,00055,000135,000
USA – Midwest & South45,00065,000115,000
Nigeria and China45,00065,000135,000
South Africa and Indian Ocean45,00085,000135,000
USA – West50,00075,000155,000

 This is also for round-trip flights, so keep that in mind when crunching the numbers.

Redeeming Virgin points with airline partners

This might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to redeem your Virgin points isn’t with Virgin Atlantic at all. In fact, thanks to a strong network of airline partners and a generous distance-based award chart, redeeming your Virgin points for max value is incredibly easy.

Before it joined the SkyTeam alliance, Virgin Atlantic was a solo flier, meaning it needed to forge strong links with other airlines to bolster its route network and make flying better for its passengers.

Now, even though it’s been a member of SkyTeam for the past few years, Virgin Atlantic maintains an envious number of airline partners. This is great news for fliers looking for reward flights, especially since the partner network offers globe-spanning reach.

SkyTeam partners

There are 18 members of SkyTeam, including Virgin Atlantic.

  • Aeroflot (temporarily suspended)
  • ITA Airways
  • Aeromexico
  • KLM
  • Air Europa
  • Korean Air
  • Air France
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Saudia Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • Tarom
  • China Eastern
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Xiamen Airlines

Other airline partners

Virgin Atlantic has nine additional partners that are not members of SkyTeam:

  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • IndiGo
  • LATAM Airlines
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Australia

Booking a Virgin Atlantic partner flight

Although getting great value from your Virgin points can be simple with partners, the booking process may not be. That’s because Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s outdated system has a hard time with routes and partner availability.

Finding SkyTeam availability

If you’re wanting to find reward flights with SkyTeam, your best bet is to head over to Flying Blue’s website to search for dates. On Flying Blue’s website, you’ll be able to easily search for reward seats without needing to deal with Virgin’s IT issues.

As a member of SkyTeam, Flying Blue has access to all the same award availability as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This means that if you find a reward seat on their site, you’ll be able to redeem Virgin points for that flight.

Once you’ve found the reward flights you’re looking for, you can try a search on Virgin’s site. If it doesn’t show up, however, you’ll need to call to book.

Finding other partner availability

The rest of Virgin’s partners include Star Alliance members as well as airlines that aren’t in a partnership. You can find out how many points you’ll need for flights by navigating to Virgin’s partner page.

Finding reward flights can be a little more complex with these alternative partners, because most Star Alliance airlines make it difficult to figure out which seats are available to partners at a saver level. Your best bet is to try out SAS Eurobonus, then calling Virgin to see if the flight is also accessible to them.

Save time with point.me

All of this has probably convinced you that searching for reward flights, especially with non-SkyTeam members, is too complicated. It’s true. It is. But there’s a better way.

Rather than relying on Virgin’s notoriously incomplete website to find reward flights or attempting a workaround with other airlines, point.me can do the work for you.

point.me saves time by searching the sites for you, then gathering all of your options and giving you live award availability. You won’t need to wrangle with a foreign airline’s website while trying to search; point.me can provide the answers. And when it comes time to book, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

More ways to redeem Virgin points

Virgin Atlantic flights or partner flights may be the best way to redeem your Virgin points, but you can spend them on other aspects of travel too:

  • Seat upgrades
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Experiences
  • Online shopping
  • Donations
  • Lounge access
  • Points-plus-money bookings

The worst ways to redeem Virgin points

Earning and redeeming Virgin points can be a lengthy process, so you don’t want to waste them. If you’re trying to maximize their value, redeeming your points for reward flights is definitely the way to go.

Other redemptions? Not so much. Aside from redeeming points for seat upgrades, you’ll want to avoid using your points for most of the options above.

Tips for finding Virgin Atlantic award seats

We’ve run through how to find and book seats using your Virgin points, but our strongest tip is this: Don’t waste your time on Virgin’s shoddy website trying to find reward flights. While it’ll work just fine for Virgin Atlantic flights, it struggles with searching for partner awards. It also lacks a dedicated calendar function.

Instead, use a reward-flight search engine such as point.me to save yourself time and headache. While you may still need to call in to book your flights, you can rest easy knowing that point.me’s search process will thoroughly vet seats for you — all you have to do is click.

Frequently asked questions about booking Virgin Atlantic flights with points

Which airlines are Virgin Atlantic partners? 

Virgin Atlantic has 17 SkyTeam partners, including KLM and Delta, and nine non-SkyTeam partners, including ANA and Singapore Airlines.

What are Virgin Atlantic’s transfer partners? 

You can transfer in points from all major flexible points currencies, including American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and Capital One Miles.

What are Virgin’s status levels? 

Virgin has three levels of Flying Club tier status: Red, Silver, and Gold.

How do I earn points with Virgin Atlantic?

Earning points can be done in a variety of ways, including credit-card spending, online shopping, and flying.

How do I redeem points with Virgin Atlantic? 

Redeeming points with Virgin Atlantic is as simple as ticking a box on the site’s homepage.

How much are Virgin points worth? 

The value of a Virgin point varies based on how you redeem it. Generally speaking, you’ll want to get at least 2 cents of value from your points.

Can I use Delta miles to book Virgin Atlantic?

Yes, you can use Delta miles to book Virgin Atlantic flights.

Can I use Amex points on Virgin Atlantic?

Yes, Amex is a transfer partner of Virgin.

How many Virgin points do I need for a free flight?

The number of points you’ll need depends on the flight you’re taking. Delta flights, for example, start at 7,500 points one-way.

Do Virgin points expire?

No, Virgin points do not expire.

Can I transfer or gift my Virgin points to someone else?

Yes, Virgin points can be transferred or gifted.

Can I book a flight for someone else with my Virgin points?

Yes, booking a flight for someone else with your Virgin points is possible. Simply use their name when booking the flight.

Can I book a Virgin Atlantic flight using a combination of points and cash?

Yes, Virgin Atlantic allows points-plus-money bookings.

How much does it cost to buy Virgin points? 

The cost of Virgin points depends on whether or not they’re on sale. Without a sale, they’re 3.05 cents each.

Read more about airline loyalty programs and how to use points

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