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Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic gave its Flying Club members an early Christmas present when it announced a series of positive changes to its loyalty program. Between awarding elite credits on award bookings to making its vouchers considerably more useable, Virgin Atlantic has already used 2020 to improve the Flying Club’s offering significantly. Now it may be about to improve it again.
While loyalty programs like Hilton Honors and, more pertinently, the British Airways Executive Club make it easy for groups of friends or members of a family to pool their points as they build their balances towards the next reward, Virgin’s Flying Club does not…at least not if you don’t have top-tier status.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members can pool their points with up to nine other people in a single household account but as most Flying Club members don’t have top-tier status, this isn’t a benefit that’s enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of Virgin’s flyers. However, a recent survey that Virgin sent out to the early adopters of its Virgin Red loyalty app would appear to suggest this may be something that changes in the coming months. On the face of things, it looks like the airline is considering offering all of its flyers the option to pool points with others.
A TFM reader (who would prefer to remain anonymous) has sent through the following screenshots from a survey that he was asked to respond to earlier this week:
Clearly a question (or set of questions) in a survey doesn’t mean that Virgin Atlantic is going to introduce the featured that’s being discussed in those questions, but it does at least give an indication of the direction in which Virgin is considering taking its loyalty program.
Based on the screenshots above, it looks as if Virgin may be considering offering a similar points pooling option as the British Airways Executive Club already offers, an option for a short-term pool or the option to gift/transfer miles to other accounts.
The most logical one of those options for Virgin to introduce would be the one that matches British Airways (the airline’s closest competitor), but I can see how some people may be more comfortable with a short-term pooling option too. The worst option of the three is likely to be the option to gift/transfer miles between accounts as I suspect that Virgin would go down the same road as a lot of other airlines that allow their currencies to be gifted and/or transferred and would introduce a fee for such a transaction.
Right now it looks like Virgin is just testing the water, but the survey it recently sent out to Virgin Red app users would suggest that the airline is at least considering introducing household accounts for all Flying Club/Virgin Red users. Considering how many people make great use of their ability to bool British Airways Avios, the option to be able to pool Flying Club miles would be seen as another big program enhancement by a lot of people so let’s hope something positive comes out of this survey.