With 22 airline redemption partners, you might not realize how valuable Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points can be.
TPG values Virgin points at 1.5 cents each, which is fairly average for the value of airline miles. (American AAdvantage miles are higher at 1.77 cents each, while Delta SkyMiles are lower at 1.41 cents each.)
Today, we’ll review Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club partners at a high level.
Virgin Atlantic’s existing award partners
The Flying Club program has traditionally had a quirky mix of airline redemption options, including:
- Virgin Atlantic.
- Air France-KLM (SkyTeam).
- Air New Zealand (Star Alliance).
- ANA (Star Alliance).
- Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam).
- Hawaiian Airlines.
- Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance).
- South African Airways (Star Alliance).
- Virgin Australia.
Of particular value has been the ability to redeem Virgin Points for ANA’s business and first-class products. This remains one of the best sweet spots in the points and miles game, even after a recent devaluation of the first-class pricing.
But did you know that since Virgin Atlantic joined the SkyTeam alliance in March this year, you can now redeem Virgin Points on these SkyTeam airlines, too?
Virgin Atlantic’s new SkyTeam award partners
Here’s a list of the partners Virgin Atlantic added when it joined SkyTeam.
- Aerolineas Argentinas.
- Air Europa.
- China Airlines.
- Czech Airlines.
- Garuda Indonesia.
- Kenya Airways.
- Korean Air.
- Middle East Airlines.
- Vietnam Airlines.
- Xiamen Air.
While China Eastern and ITA Airways are also SkyTeam members, you cannot currently redeem Virgin Points on these two airlines; this is supposed to be coming later this year when the number of redemption partners will grow to 24 airlines.
You can also earn Virgin points — but not redeem them — with partners SAS, IndiGo and LATAM.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic points on SkyTeam partners
Redemptions on SkyTeam airlines are distance-based, and you will need the following Virgin points, each way, per person on all dates (no peak/off-peak pricing):
|Flight distance (miles)||Economy||Premium economy||Business|
Each nonSkyTeam partner has a different award chart. Some are distance-based, while others are zone-based. Each airline can have different terms and conditions. You must call Virgin Atlantic at 1 (800) 365-9500 to book award tickets for carriers that do not appear online.
You can still search for availability on other websites, however. For example, the United Airlines website is excellent for finding available seats on Star Alliance carriers like ANA or South African Airways. Once you find what you want, note the travel dates and flight numbers. Then call Virgin Atlantic and provide that information to the customer service representative.
Likewise, the Air-France KLM website is good for searching for SkyTeam availability.
Remember, Virgin charges per segment, not per journey. So, when redeeming on SkyTeam Airlines, aim for direct flights and minimize connections to save points.
With its impressive list of alliance and nonalliance partners, it’s easy to overlook the value of Virgin Atlantic points.
If you need to top up your Flying Club account for a redemption, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One at a 1:1 ratio.