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It’s probably not a coincidence that just a few days after British Airways made a mess of announcing how it plans to align all BAEC members’ elite status years, that Virgin Atlantic has published one of the more generous status matches that I’ve seen. Unfortunately, however, if you’ve status marched to Virgin Atlantic in the past, you’re not invited to the party.
Virgin’s status match for British Airways flyers
This latest limited-time promotion is running until 14 February (Valentines Day) and in it, Virgin Atlantic is offering to more than just match British Airways Executive club statuses. It’s offering to match them to a higher level (where possible).
This is how that would work:
- British Airways Bronze members get matched to Virgin Atlantic Silver.
- British Airways Silver members get matched to Virgin Atlantic Gold.
- British Airways Gold members get matched to Virgin Atlantic Gold (because Virgin Atlantic Flying Club doesn’t have a higher tier to offer).
To be eligible for one of these status matches, you will need:
- Proof of your British Airways elite status
- A Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account
- A confirmed booking (a revenue or award booking) for a Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy or Business Class flight (one-way booking would appear to count).
Also, you much have never used a Virgin Atlantic status match promotion before if yiu are to participate in this promotion.
Importantly, regardless of when Virgin Atlantic confirms a flyer’s status match, their status will not be boosted until 72 hours before their next Premium Economy or Business Class Virgin Atlantic flight and that status will be then valid for 12 months.
Gold members will need to earn 1000 tier points in their membership period to retain Gold status, while Silver members will need to earn 400 tier points in their membership period to retain Silver status.
What Virgin Atlantic elite status offers
Key Silver tier benefits include:
- 30% bonus Virgin Points on flight bookings.
- 1 extra piece of checked baggage permitted on all flights.
- Access to Premium (Premium Economy) check-in desks.
- Access to advanced seat assignment in Economy cabins 7 days prior to departure (for the elite member only).
- SkyTeam Elite status.
Key Gold tier benefits include:
- 60% bonus Virgin Points on flight bookings.
- Access to Upper Class (Business Class) check-in desks.
- Access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and the London Heathrow Revivals lounge.
- Access to advanced seat assignment in Economy cabins at the time of booking (for the elite member and other passengers traveling on the same booking).
- Access to advanced preferred seat selection at the time of booking (for the elite member only).
- An extra luggage allowance, no matter which cabin has been booked.
- The ability to turn any seat into a Reward Seat for double the usual points price.
- A Companion Voucher when you renew Gold status by earning 1,000 Tier Points in a year.
- SkyTeam Elite Plus status.
SkyTeam elite status benefits
- Access to the priority reservation waitlist (when fares permit).
- Access to preferred seating.
- Priority check-in counters.
- Priority boarding or at leisure.
- Extra baggage allowance.
SkyTeam Elite Plus:
Elite Plus member get all of the benefits of the Elite level and the following:
- Access to Business Class lounges worldwide, whatever the class of travel, for members in possession of a boarding pass, accompanied by a guest.
- Priority baggage handling on arrival, whatever the class of travel.
- Extra baggage allowance.
- Guaranteed full-fare Y-class reservation on sold-out long-haul flights, at least 24 hours prior to departure.
Whichever way you look at it, this is a very nice status match offer if you’re in a position to make the most of it.
Yes, some will argue that Virgin Silver isn’t as good as BA Silver and so it’s only right that BA Silver elites get a higher Virgin match, but (a) that’s not how these matches have worked before so that doesn’t take away from the generosity on offer here, and (b) Virgin Gold benefits are noticeably better than BA Silver benefits so to be matched from Silver to Gold is a genuine step up.
Historically, a Virgin Atlantic status match wasn’t the most useful of things (as I have found out), but now that the airline is part of SkyTeam and now that even BA Silver elites can get matched to the SkyTeam Elite Plus level, Flying Club status is considerably more valuable (and considerably easier to retain) than it has been in the past.
Personally, I’m excluded from this offer as I’ve status matched in the past, but as I really didn’t make the most of that status match, I can’t really complain that I’m excluded from this one. I am, however, a little disappointed to be excluded as even though Flying Club status wouldn’t make very much difference to my travels, SkyTeam Plus status definitely would.
If you have British Airways elite status (even lowly Bronze status) and haven’t used a Virgin Atlantic status match in the past, now may be the time to consider one.
With BA Bronze elites being given Virgin Atlantic Silver status and BA Silver elites being bumped up to Virgin Gold status, this is a pretty generous promotion that Virgin is running, it’s just a shame that it will expire in under a week’s time.
[HT: Head for Points]