Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to all credit card welcome offers, earning rates and benefits and some credit card benefits will require enrollment. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
Virgin Atlantic has launched a good award sale for travel taken through the end of the year across its entire network. Surcharges on Virgin awards continue to be disappointingly high as they’re not discounted, but some of the options that this sale opens up are still pretty good.
- Book by 3 October 2023
- Travel between 1 October and 31 December 2023
- Save 25% on Reward Seats. All routes. All cabins
Key terms and conditions
- Offer valid for new reward flights and upgrades booked using Virgin Points between 00:01 GMT 28 September 2023 and 23:59 GMT 3 October 2023.
- A 25% reduction will be applied at the time of booking to the standard Virgin Points price of all flights departing between 00:01 GMT 1 October 2023 and 23:59 GMT 31 December 2023.
- 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). 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.
Ok, let’s get one key thing out of the way before we go any further: Virgin Atlantic’s reward flight surcharges can be ridiculously high, so no one is going to be using this sale to fly in relative luxury for just a few dollars.
What some people will be able to do, however, is book cheaper premium cabin trips than they would otherwise have been able to book.
Examples of one-way options that I’ve found so far include the following:
- Business Class – New York (JFK) to London (LHR): 35,600 Points + $976.70
- Business Class – Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR): 50,600 Points + $976.70
- Premium Economy – Boston (BOS) to London (LHR): 13,100 Points + $447
- Premium Economy – Austin (AUS) to London (LHR): 20,600 Points + $447
- Business Class – London (LHR) to Shanghai (PVG): 43,100 Points + £412
- Business Class – London (LHR) to Cape Town (CPT): 43,100 Points + £556
- Premium Economy – London (LHR) to Orlando (MCO): 21,600 Points + £403
- Premium Economy – London (LHR) to Barbados (BGI): 13,100 Points + £349
For travel to/from the West Coast, the cost in points is more than reasonable, but the surcharges are still too high to tempt me into a booking.
From travel to/from the East Coast, however, I could be tempted into a Premium Economy booking if in comparison to a cash fare the numbers made sense.
I value Virgin Atlantic points at approximately 1 cent each, so a one-way Premium Economy award between Boston and London would effectively cost me $578… and that’s not a terrible price to pay.
If you’re starting on the other side of the pond, things look a little better.
If you can find availability that works for you, 86,200 Points + ~£880 in surcharges and taxes is a pretty good deal for a roundtrip Business Class fare between London and Cape Town, and 26,200 Points + ~£530 is a pretty nice deal for a roundtrip Premium Economy Class fare between London and Barbados.
There may not be a glut of great deals on offer but there are a few decent deals available if you’re prepared to do a bit of research and, critically, if you can be flexible with your travel dates.
Three things to remember
Don’t forget that Virgin Atlantic awards elite status tier points on award bookings, so anyone who is still in need of some points to earn/retain elite status may be able to use this sale to earn/retain that status without parting with too much cash.
Also, keep in mind that you can use your Virgin Atlantic upgrade instruments and any 2-4-1 certificates that you may have in conjunction with this award sale – combining those with the deals available here will probably yield the best savings.
Lastly, if you find a deal in this sale that works for you but you find yourself short of Points, don’t forget that Virgin is currently running a sale in which points can be purchased from 89 pence (UK accounts) or 1.48 cents (US Accounts).
Between now and 3 October, members of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club can save 25% on the points element of all award bookings for travel between 1 October the end of the year. The sale covers the entire Virgin Atlantic network, but because surcharges are not being discounted, most savings will probably be modest.