Virgin Atlantic Announces Exciting Changes to Flying Club Program
Virgin Atlantic has unveiled a number of important changes to its Flying Club loyalty program. The changes include another status extension and more importantly, a new benefit which lets members earn status without having to pay cash for flights. Let’s take a more detailed look at these Virgin Atlantic changes and what they might mean for you.
Having become the first UK airline to automatically extend loyalty status in March 2020, with all Flying Club Gold and Silver members given an extra six months’ tier status, and all voucher validity extended, the airline is now further extending validity by an additional six months.
It means all members will have an extra year in total to maintain tier status and redeem a host of benefits. The automatic extension gives members more time to use their valuable miles, achieve tier points or use rewards such as Companion, Upgrade or Clubhouse vouchers.
Earning Tier Points on Awards
In another first for UK airlines, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members will now be able to earn tier points on Virgin Atlantic redemption flights using miles. This will provide greater opportunities for customers to earn or maintain their tier status, every time they fly with Virgin Atlantic-operated flights.
Up until now, tier points were only awarded for flights paid for with cash or a mix of miles and cash. With this important change, members are now rewarded every single time they choose to fly with Virgin Atlantic.
Any member that books from 1 September 2020 with miles, or flies on a service which was purchased using miles, will receive the same tier points as if they were booking with money.
It means more opportunities to reach the 400 tier points required to progress from Red to Silver status, or the 1,000 tier points needed to become a Gold member. With the Gold tier you get some sweet benefits such as upper class check in and priority boarding, regardless of the cabin you’re flying, Clubhouse Lounge access every time you fly and more.
Earning status through awards is a big deal. Besides credit card signup bonuses, you can also get Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles by transferring points from all major programs such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi Thank You.
How Much You Earn
The tier points that you earn for each flight will be based on the lowest fare in each cabin as shown in the chart below.
That means that if you are booking an Economy seat using miles you would earn 25 tier points each way. Premium bookings would earn 50 tier points each way and Upper Class would earn 100 tier points each way. Round-trips would earn double for each fare class.
Simplification of Companion, Upgrade and Clubhouse vouchers
The terms and conditions for Companion, Upgrade and Clubhouse vouchers have been revised. They now have a single set of rules for each of the three voucher types regardless of whether they’ve been awarded through a Virgin Atlantic credit card or Gold tier status. It’ll now be easier for members to find availability and enjoy their well-earned benefits, with tier and booking class restrictions removed.
- Companion vouchers can now be used in conjunction with a ticket in any booking class and can be used in any cabin of travel regardless of tier status. Gold and Silver can book their companion into any cabin for zero miles and Red members can book their companion into Economy and Premium for zero miles or Upper Class at a 50% miles discount. Taxes and fees apply.
- Upgrade vouchers can now be used in conjunction with a ticket in any booking class, for a one cabin upgrade for a return flight (excludes original bookings made in Economy Light).
- Clubhouse vouchers will be valid for one entry to any Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, when booked on a Virgin Atlantic flight or with Joint Venture partners Delta Air Lines, Air France or KLM (when travelling internationally). Gold members will continue to receive two Clubhouse vouchers.
Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2
From today (August 20, 2020) all Upper Class, Gold Flying Club members and eligible customers of partner carriers, including Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, will be able to use the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2, enjoying complimentary hot and cold food and beverages in relaxed surroundings. Customers of Virgin Atlantic and its partners will also receive a special welcome with an exclusive premium drinks package, which includes champagne.
Located on level 4 in the Terminal 2 departure lounge, Plaza Premium has been awarded the prestigious SKYTRAX award for the World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge for three consecutive years.
This announcement provides some good news from Virgin Atlantic for its Flying Club members. The main change here is that you are now able to earn tier points on awards. They can be booked with miles that you can transfer from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi Thank You. With the Gold tier especially, you get some great benefits.
Let us know if you are excited about these changes.