Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members can now use their points on Italy’s flag carrier.
Although ITA Airways has been a member of SkyTeam (as was its predecessor, Alitalia), previously, ITA Airways flights weren’t bookable using partner airlines. However, Virgin Atlantic now becomes the first SkyTeam carrier to add ITA Airways award flights, as Frequent Miler first reported.
The news comes following ITA Airways’ inaugural flight from Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) earlier this month. ITA Airways also flies from its Rome hub to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Miami International Airport (MIA), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Best of all, there’s some decent award space on ITA Airways’ U.S. flights during the first couple of months of 2024.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic points for ITA Airways flights
Virgin Atlantic has a fixed-rate award chart for ITA Airways flights. When there’s award space, here’s what you can expect to spend for a one-way flight from the U.S. to Rome:
|Distance||Economy class||Business class|
|4,001 to 5,000 miles (BOS, JFK and IAD routes)||25,500 points||75,000 points|
|5,001 to 6,000 miles (MIA route)||31,000 points||85,000 points|
|6,001 to 7,000 miles (SFO and LAX routes)||37,000 points||100,000 points|
On flights departing from the U.S., you only need to spend $5.60 per person in taxes and fees. The return flights will incur between $60 and $80 in these added costs.
To check award space, head to virginatlantic.com. When you enter your city pairs, you must select “Full Airport List” to search for award flights to Rome.
After you submit this search criteria, you’ll see the award space for the week of your desired flight.
Our test searches show more business-class award space than open award seats in economy; however, award space is limited on LAX and SFO routes in both cabins.
While taxes and fees are higher on Air France and KLM flights, award prices are significantly less expensive than ITA Airways flights.
Availability is particularly great on flights from JFK in early 2024. In fact, at the time of writing, almost every date in January and February has at least two seats available in business class.
How to earn more Virgin Atlantic points
There are several ways to earn Virgin Atlantic points, but if you want a sudden boost to your Flying Club account, you can transfer points or miles from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Bilt points and Capital One miles transfer to Virgin Red points, and you can redeem Virgin Red points with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Here’s a look at some of the current top card offers for programs you can use to transfer rewards to Virgin Atlantic:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: 120,000 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first three months of card membership
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership, though you may be able to get a higher bonus through the CardMatch tool (terms apply)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees): 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
You can now redeem Virgin Atlantic points to book award flights on ITA Airways. Although these award rates are more expensive than most saver tickets to Europe, we’re pleased to see another way to use points for travel to Europe.