Virgin Atlantic extending elite status by 6 months, offering 2,500 miles to book flights now

Mar 13, 2020

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Virgin Atlantic is introducing flexible policies for Flying Club members who may not be travelling as much during the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, Virgin announced that it’s giving elite members more time to maintain their status, as well as extending the expiration dates on some benefits.

Virgin is extending the status for Gold and Silver members by six months. While the number of Tier Points needed is staying the same — 1,000 for Gold and 400 for Silver — members will get an additional six months added to their membership year to meet the requirements for an additional year of status.

Related: The ultimate Virgin Atlantic Flying Club guide

While Flying Club isn’t sending out new physical membership cards with the new status expiration date (six months from now), Virgin will offer a digital membership card online and via the airline’s app.

Members can log in to their Flying Club account to see how many Tier Points they’ve earned and the new end date for their membership year online or on the app. The airline said in a press release that accounts will be updated with the new information by 20 March.

In addition to extending status and requalification period for elites, Flying Club is also extending the validity for some elite benefits. For Gold members, that means that the following will be extended for an additional six months:

  • Gold member companion reward for Gold status renewal
  • Clubhouse passes for Gold member 1,500 Tier Point reward
  • One cabin upgrade for Gold member 2,000 Tier Point rewards

And for cardholders of eligible Virgin Atlantic cobranded credit cards, that means the following card vouchers will be extended for an additional six months:

  • Companion reward
  • Clubhouse passes
  • Premium upgrades

For both elites and cardholders, in order for the benefit to be extended by six months, it must have been valid as of 13 March. The extended validity should show in your Flying Club account by 20 March.

Virgin is also incentivising passengers to book travel with the carrier now with bonus Flying Club miles. For each Virgin Atlantic flight sector booked and ticketed before 30 April with travel completed by 31 May, the airline is offering 2,500 bonus miles. There appears to be no cap on the number of bonus miles one can earn as part of this offer. Based on TPG U.K.’s most recent valuations, 2,500 Flying Club miles are worth £33.

Additionally, Flying Club members who make a Flight + Hotel booking or booking through Virgin Holidays before 30 April will earn 100 bonus Tier Points. That’s one-quarter of the way to Silver status.

Finally, Virgin has released 900,000 seats available for reward redemptions for travel between August and December 2020. So if you want to look ahead at using your Flying Club miles for travel later this year, now is the time to book. On a quick search between New York and London, I was able to find near wide-open availability in Upper Class on many dates in September.

These initiatives by Virgin show that it’s looking at driving business in a post-coronavirus environment. By rewarding Flying Club members to book travel now and extending elite status, it’s hoping to take advantage of travellers who are currently at home, wishing to getaway.

Virgin already has a travel waiver in place, as well as book with confidence policy that allows travellers to change their plans if needed.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.

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