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Virgin Atlantic has taken a look at the travel landscape and decided that the time is right to offer frequent flyers another helping hand. Following on from the two 6-month elite status extensions that Virgin Atlantic offered Flying Club members in 2020, the airline is now extending elite statuses for the third time.
Virgin Atlantic Status Extensions
With some Virgin Flying Club elite statuses set to expire in April (statuses whose original expiration date was April 2020), Virgin Atlantic has announced that all Silver and Gold Flying Club members will now have the expiry date of their membership year extended by a further 3 months with immediate effect.
So, if for example, a Flying Club member’s original membership year expiry date was 30 June 2021, their new membership year expiry date will now read 30 September 2021.
New membership cards will not be sent out in the post but the extended membership is will be viewable online in members’ accounts by 12 March, and a digital membership card (complete with extended membership year) will be printable from the Virgin Atlantic website or downloadable to the Virgin Atlantic app.
Virgin Atlantic Voucher Extensions
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members who have earned companion vouchers, upgrade vouchers, or Clubhouse access vouchers that were still valid as of 13 March 2020, will have the expiration day of those vouchers extended by a further 3 months.
To be clear, this refers to vouchers offered through the Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ credit cards (issued in the UK) and the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard (issued in the US) as well as companion vouchers, Clubhouse passes, and upgrades issued to Flying Club Gold members as part of their benefits package or for hitting select tier point targets.
Replacement vouchers will not be issued but the vouchers in Flying Club members’ account will be valid through the new expiration date.
Although this is the shortest extension period we’ve seen so far, I think this is what we should probably come to expect from the various airline loyalty programs as they try to gauge when people will be able (and will be happy to) return to the skies.
3 months may not sound like a long extension (because it isn’t), but with the vaccine rollout in the UK going surprisingly well it’s not surprising to see Virgin Atlantic being a little reluctant to offer extensions that are any longer. To put it frankly, the airline needs its customers to come back as soon as possible (so that it can get back on the road to profitability), and offering long status extensions is not the way to do that.
There’s a fine line between keeping elite flyers happy and giving them too much leeway (so they don’t feel the need to take to the skies) and this is a line that Virgin is clearly doing its best not to cross right now. There’s nothing to stop Virgin from issuing further status extensions in a few months time if things are still looking bleak but, for now, the airline is doing just enough to prevent a batch of its flyers from losing their status while giving notice that generous-length elite status extensions are no longer part of its plans…and understandably so.
Virgin Atlantic has just announced that it will be extending Flying Club elite statuses, companion vouchers, upgrade vouchers, and Clubhouse access vouchers for a further 3 months. All extensions will appear in members’ Flying Club accounts by 12 March 2021.