5 amazing ways to use 50,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles
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Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club miles are an underrated mileage currency with plenty of great uses. During the past few months, if you’ve been earning miles with every purchase, waiting for that one redemption, there’s a chance your Flying Club mileage balance has gone up.
Keep in mind that Virgin has altered its flying schedule, given the coronavirus pandemic. While some routes have been suspended, it’s probably that they’ll come back at some point down the line.
If you’ve been building up your Flying Club balance, here is how to use them.
How to earn Flying Club miles
You can earn Flying Club miles by crediting flights from the following airlines:
- Virgin Atlantic
- Air China
- Air France/KLM
- Air New Zealand
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Virgin Australia
There are two Flying Club cobranded credit cards available in the U.K., which both come with good earning rates:
- Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard — No current sign-up bonus
- Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard — Earn 15,000 miles after you make your first purchase within the first 90 days of account opening.
Flying Club also offers a fantastic miles booster where you can purchase miles at a cheap price based on the miles you would fly, on award or revenue tickets, in the future or in the past six months. Virgin also offers bonuses on this booster deal, making the miles even cheaper to acquire.
You can also convert Tesco Clubcard points to Flying Club. You can also transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards at a rate of 1:1. As you might expect, you can earn Flying Club miles with Virgin Hotels and Virgin Holidays as well.
There is also the ability to earn Flying Club miles directly with the following hotels:
- Hilton Worldwide
- Marriott Group
- IHG Group
- the EDITION hotel
- Virgin Hotels
Finally, you can earn Flying Club miles with miscellaneous partners like Virgin Money, Virgin Trains, Hertz and Heathrow Rewards.
Virgin Atlantic’s A350 Upper Class Suite one-way between the U.K. and New York
If you want to use your miles to fly Virgin Atlantic, you may as well fly its very best seat on its very best aircraft. TPG U.K.’s Nicky Kelvin describes the new Upper Class Suite as “A product I would highly recommend trying, and is a welcome improvement to the existing product and great newcomer to the skies”.
Right now Virgin Atlantic is operating its A350 on various daily frequencies between London (LHR) and New York (JFK), which is great because you’ll need just 47,500 Flying Club miles one way, per person on standard, non-peak dates.
Note that there will, unfortunately, be fees, taxes and surcharges of several hundred pounds applied to this redemption, regardless of the direction you travel.
Delta One Suite one-way between mainland Europe and U.S.A
This is possibly my favourite use of Flying Club miles. Delta flies many routes between the U.K. and the U.S., but redemption rates using Flying Club miles can run as high as 77,500 one-way. However, there’s a great Flying Club quirk — all Delta flights between mainland Europe and the U.S. are only 50,000 Flying Club miles in Delta One Suite each way for nonstop flights.
This means you can fly from the likes of Paris (CDG) and Amsterdam (AMS) all the way to Los Angeles (LAX) for this low price when flying Delta. You’ll need to make your own way to or from mainland Europe to start or end your journey, but this can totally be worth it, given the great value this redemption is.
Oh, and the best part? You won’t be hit with hundreds of pounds of fees and taxes. I used my Flying Club miles to book Delta One Suite from Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG) and the one-way flight only incurred $5.60 (£4.28) in total fees and taxes.
Air France/KLM business class from the U.K. to the Caribbean
With the new Air France and KLM partnership, there are all sorts of new destinations you can use your Flying Club miles to get to. While Virgin itself flies to several well-known destinations in the Caribbean, Air France and KLM fly to several you might not be familiar with, like Aruba (AUA), the Dominican Republic (PUJ) and Saint Maarten (SXM), home of one of the world’s most famous AvGeek planespotters paradises.
You can fly one-way in business class on either airline for 48,500 Flying Club miles from the U.K. Keep in mind, however, you’ll have to pay cash in the added taxes, fees and surcharges.
- C’est (almost) chic: A review of Air France’s 777-300ER in business from Paris to New York
- Great seat, so-so service: A review of KLM’s business class on the 787-9 from Amsterdam to Toronto
Premium economy return to almost anywhere Virgin Atlantic flies
I hear what you’re saying: “What’s the good in a one-way redemption?” While we think you’ll get great value from a business-class redemption — even if it’s one-way — if you want a return flight somewhere, look at Virgin Premium (premium economy). With the exception of the U.S. West Coast and Brazil, you can book a return standard season redemption for 50,000 Flying Club miles or less.
Think the U.K. return to the likes of:
- New York (JFK);
- Boston (BOS);
- Mumbai (BOM);
- Barbados (BGI);
- Miami (MIA);
- Cape Town (CPT);
- Hong Kong (HKG), and more.
Air France return in premium economy to the Middle East and Central Africa
KLM doesn’t have a premium economy product, but Air France does. You can book a return in Air France premium economy to all sorts of destinations Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to in the Middle East and Central Africa for 48,000 Flying Club miles return.
In the Middle East, there are destinations like Dubai (DXB) and Muscat (MCT), while in Africa, consider Air France’s huge route network like Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal.
50,000 Flying Club miles is a good amount to be using if you have your eye on a premium product or an exotic destination. Virgin’s Flying Club programme is now even more useful and valuable with all of the Air France and KLM options and is not a programme you should overlook if you think it’s difficult to use Flying Club miles.
Featured image by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy
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