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Virgin Atlantic has launched a new promotion in which it is discounting the points cost of most award bookings by 20%. The cost of surcharges is not being discounted and the sale is only applicable to flights taken on Virgin Atlantic (partner bookings are not included) but there may still be a few good deals to be found here.
- Offer valid for new reward flights and upgrades booked using Virgin Points between 00:01 GMT 19 January 2024 and 23:59 GMT 31 January 2024
- A 20% reduction will be applied at the time of booking to the standard Virgin Points price of all flights departing between 19 January 2024 – 31 December 2024.
- This offer is for Virgin Atlantic reward flights, upgrades, and companion bookings (including those earned on Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards) for one-way or return flights in Economy, Premium and Upper Class. Bookings in Economy will be for travel in the Economy Classic category.
- To be eligible for this offer, members must book a new reward flight or upgrade through virginatlantic.com or Virgin Atlantic Customer Centre.
- Full taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges apply and vary according to the choice of cabin, departure airport, destination, and date(s) of travel. The exact amount will be advised at the time of booking.
- The discount only applies to Virgin Points, not any cash element (taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges) of the flight price.
- Valid on Virgin Atlantic marketed and operated routes only (flight number starts with VS) excluding routes departing or arriving at TLV, LOS, GRU, AUS and DEL.
- Partner airline and codeshare flights are not eligible.
- Discount is not valid on Gold Reward flights (reward flights booked with double points) or Points Plus Money bookings.
- Standard tier points will be awarded.
- Passengers are not entitled to earn Virgin Points.
- Existing bookings changed to dates within the promotional period will be eligible for this offer and any reduction in the points price will be credited back to the member’s account.
- Changes are subject to the usual change fees and any increase in taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges.
- Bookings made within the promotional period which are then subsequently changed to new departure dates, outside of those detailed within this offer, will no longer be eligible for this offer and will be charged the difference in points plus any applicable fees, and additional taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges at the time of making the change.
Full terms and conditions can be found on the sale page.
You can’t escape from the fact that Virgin Atlantic loves to add high surcharges to its award bookings so before you jump in to make an award booking, make sure you’ve checked the cost of a cash fare to your chosen destination.
That key point aside, there are a few other things to note a few things about this sale:
Firstly, although one of the earlier terms and conditions of the sale says that to be eligible for this offer, members must book a new reward flight or upgrade, one of the later terms says that existing bookings changed to dates within the promotional period will be eligible for this offer and that any reduction in the points price will be credited back to the member’s account.
Of course, any change to an existing booking will incur a fee of £30 or $50, and will involve the taxes, fees and surcharges being recalculated, so while changing an existing booking to get a 20% points rebate can be a good idea, make sure you check what costs you’ll be incurring before you enact any changes.
Secondly, a nice aspect of this offer is that it’s discount promotion and not a rebate promotion, and while that may sound like I’m splitting hairs, it actually makes a big difference.
In discount promotions, the cost of the booking is discounted before you pay, while in a rebate promotion, you have to have enough points in your account to make a normal priced booking and you then get some points back after you’ve booked.
Discount promotions are therefore better because you don’t have to have as many points in your account to participate.
Thirdly, keep in mind that it’s not only the cost of standard award bookings that’s currently reduced by 20% – cost of upgrades have been discounted too – so even if you don’t have enough points for a discounted premium cabin award, you may be able to book a well-priced Economy or Premium Economy fare and upgrade to a better seat for less than usual.
Finally, make sure you note that some Virgin Atlantic routes are excluded from this sale. Award bookings for travel to São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Austin (a route that Virgin is pulling), Lagos and New Delhi are excluded.
Virgin Atlantic award charts
To save you from having to find dates with award availability before you know how many points a booking will cost you, here are the cost of award flights before the discount is applied (so just take 20% off).
Virgin Atlantic has launched a new promotion in which its offering 20% off the points cost of award bookings and upgrades made by the end of January for travel before the end of the year.
For some, this may be a worthwhile promotion, but with the discount not applying to Virgin Atlantic’s notoriously high surcharges, no one should be making any impulse bookings before pricing up the cost fully.