HomeAirline LoyaltyVirgin Flying ClubVirgin Atlantic expands status match criteria (more airline programs now qualify)

Virgin Atlantic expands status match criteria (more airline programs now qualify)

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Virgin Atlantic ran an excellent status match promotion in the first two months of this year but, unfortunately for most readers, it was a match that was aimed solely at British Airways Executive Club members. Now a new status match offer appears to have been launched which is considerably more inclusive.

Qualifying loyalty programs and status tiers

  • American AAdvantage – Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members
  • British Airways Executive Club – Gold and Silver members
  • Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club – Diamond and Gold members
  • Emirates Skywards – Platinum and Gold members
  • Etihad Guest – Platinum and Gold members
  • South African Airways Voyager – Platinum and Gold members
  • United Airlines MileagePlus – Premier 1K and Premier Platinum members

At the time of the excellent status match offer available to British Airways Executive Club members earlier this year, a different match offer was available for members of some other airline loyalty programs but if memory serves me right, I don’t think American Airlines AAdvantage members or United Airlines MileagePlus members were included in that offer.

The terms of the status match

To earn instant Flying Club Gold status

A flyer needs to be able to prove that they have top-tier elite status in one of the frequent flyer programs listed above and must also have a future revenue flight booked with Virgin Atlantic in either Premium Economy or Upper Class.

To earn instant Flying Club Silver status

A flyer needs to be able to prove that they have second-tier elite status in one of the frequent flyer programs listed above and must also have a future revenue flight booked with Virgin Atlantic in any cabin class.

  • Proof of your other airline status must be given. Once received, the customer admin team will review and advise the details of what status they are eligible for.
  • To qualify for this offer, you must be an existing member of Flying Club or enrol in the Flying Club programme online or via our Customer Centre.
  • Your Flying Club Gold or Silver membership will be valid from 12 months from the date the account is upgraded.
  • Gold members will need to earn 1,000 tier points in the membership period to retain Gold status.
  • Silver members will need to earn 400 tier points in the membership period to retain Silver status.

Note: As far as I can see, there’s nothing to stop a top-tier member from earning Silver status by booking an Economy Class revenue fare but this may require a call to Virgin Atlantic.

Link to the application page

Quick thoughts

This status match offer isn’t quite as good as the offer published for BAEC members earlier this year for three reasons:

  1. That offer didn’t require a top-tier elite to book a premium cabin fare to qualify for Flying Club Gold status while this offer does.
  2. Award bookings, as well as revenue bookings, qualified for the promotion back in January/February while only revenue bookings qualify for this promotion.
  3. The offer earlier this year allowed British Airways Bronze members to status match to Flying Club Silver status while this offer is only open to BAEC Silver card holders and higher.

Overall, this promotion is probably only really going to generate interest amongst flyers based in the UK as Virgin Atlantic’s route map isn’t big enough to command significant interest from anywhere else, and even though Delta is a very close Virgin Atlantic partner, US flyers probably won’t be overly excited about this because Flying Club elite status doesn’t get you very much when you fly with Delta.

Still, even if you’re not UK-based but happen to be planning a trip with Virgin Atlantic or have a Virgin Atlantic booking already made, this isn’t a promotion to ignore.

Flying Club elite status may not be immediately useful to you if you’re not based in the UK (although you’ll earn more points on your booking if you hold status) but it may come in useful at a later date by helping you to status match to another program.

Fans of Oneworld may be able to use their Virgin Flying Club status to match across to British Airways or American Airlines and Delta flyers may even get a chance to match their Flying Club status to Medallion status, so this offer may have a broader appeal than an initial glance suggests.

Personally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to use this status match opportunity if I didn’t already have plans with Virgin Atlantic but I’d jump on it if I did.

Bottom line

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is now offering status matches to elite flyers of 6 frequent flyer programs as well as to select British Airways Executive Club elites. The new promotion isn’t as generous as the promotion we saw earlier this year but if you have plans to fly with Virgin Atlantic, this is still a promotion worth considering.


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