How Flying Delta One Can Be an Incredible Use of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles
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Virgin Atlantic has a very close joint venture arrangement with Delta Air Lines, with both airlines coordinating to operate numerous routes between Europe and the US. You can redeem Flying Club miles on either airline, but there is an amazing sweet spot in the Flying Club award chart between the USA and Europe you should be aware of to get the best value.
When looking at flying from London (LHR) to Atlanta (ATL) one-way in Upper Class, the cheapest direct flight redemption on either Virgin Atlantic or Delta requires the same number of Flying Club miles. There are substantial fees and taxes payable for either carrier, though they are about £100 cheaper on Delta.
Where an itinerary requires a connection (such as the via Detroit option above) there are more miles required, as Flying Club prices on a per-flight basis.
For the return journey, both carriers require the same number of miles and huge surcharges — even higher than the outbound leg even though the UK APD Tax is not payable. This is because Flying Club chooses to penalise one-way redemptions from the US to the UK on either carrier.
So, that’s not a great value redemption.
But Delta flies to many destinations from the US to Europe outside of the UK, including its big international hub in Amsterdam (AMS), which it operates in connection as part of another joint venture with Air France-KLM. Well, the sweet spot of the Flying Club programme is that one-way flights from the US to Europe (outside of the UK) on Delta have dramatically lower fees and taxes.
How much lower?
Of course, you would have the additional time, expense and hassle of making your own way from, say Paris (CDG) or Amsterdam (AMS) back to the UK, which can be easily done on the Eurostar. However, a $600+ saving is surely more than worth it.
This only works from the US on one-way nonstop flights with Delta to mainland Europe (not UK).
In the other direction, the fees and taxes once again jump up, although not to the level of Heathrow departures, as the APD Tax is not payable from Europe.
Featured photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy.
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