(EXPIRED) 20% off Virgin Atlantic award prices (but pay full taxes)

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Virgin Atlantic is currently offering 20% off of award tickets for travel on Virgin Atlantic, almost systemwide through the end of schedule (Update: Four airports are excluded and Mark in the comments claims that at least one fifth freedom route isn’t discounted). That sounds a bit more exciting than it is when you consider the fact that this is only for travel on Virgin Atlantic and the discount only comes off of the Virgin points necessary — you’re still on the hook for the full (and oftentimes exorbitant) carrier-imposed surcharges and taxes. Still, there are some decent deals here (though they aren’t quite as good as they were at Black Friday).

a screenshot of a computer

The Deal

  • Virgin Atlantic is offering 20% off the points price when you buy a Virgin Atlantic reward seat between January 19, 2024 and January 31, 2024 for travel on any date network wide with four airports excluded (as seen in the key terms below)

Key Terms

  • All destinations excluding Tel Aviv, Lagos, Austin and Delhi
  • Prices shown in search results
  • A reward seat is when you use your Virgin points to cover the full airfare of your Virgin Atlantic flight or upgrade
  • Applicable to bookings made between January 19-31, 2024 for travel January 19 onward

Quick Thoughts

There are potentially some reasonable-enough deals to be had for travel in economy class. For instance, here is a summertime travel date from New York to London.

As you can see, an economy class award costs 16,000 Virgin points and $152.80 with the 20% discount on the points price. Compare that to the $393 that Virgin is charging for the same one-way fare (which matches the other major carriers on this route) and you’re getting a perfectly reasonable 1.5c per point.

Of course, if you flew into London-Gatwick instead, you could take Norse Atlantic airways and pay $197 all-in, but that’s an entirely different experience I imagine.

Even the premium economy award may be appealing given the low points price of 22,000 points. Given cash rates just north of $1,000 for similar nonstop itineraries, the value per point as compared to the cash rate is a bit higher yet.

While business class awards technically yield decent value per point as compared to the cash rate, it is hard for me to consider paying 46,000 and $986 when you could pay a similar number of miles and far less in taxes & fees. For instance, if there were availability on United, you could pay just 45,000 Turkish Miles & Smiles miles and $5.60 for a United Polaris business class ticket from Newark to London. One American Airlines flight that day is available via partners — pay 57,500 Alaska miles and $18.10 or if you want to use a transferable currency then pay 57,000 Qantas miles and ~$232. Either of those options would be far more attractive than Virgin’s outrageous surcharges.

That said, keep in mind that there are some routes where Virgin’s surcharges are less outlandish. For instance, a couple of months ago, I learned from Dan’s Deals that Virgin Atlantic surcharges are lower when departing South Africa. For instance, you could fly from Johannesburg to New York-JFK on Virgin Atlantic for 84,000 points via this sale and about $453 in taxes and fees.

That’s not a terrible deal considering the two long Virgin Atlantic business class flights involved.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that I booked during the Thanksgiving / Black Friday sale that Dan’s Deals reported and I paid just 70,300 points per passenger. For some reason, taxes and fees were also 2,000 ZAR lower — so we paid more like $350 per passenger in taxes & fees. I’m not sure whether South Africa has increased taxes or (more likely) Virgin Atlantic has increased its surcharge.

Still, the key point is that there are routes where the 20% off may be of use. Just be aware that surcharges will likely be a barrier to getting an excellent deal in business class and know that Virgin Atlantic ran an even better sale just a couple of months ago, so this isn’t an unprecedented deal. However, absent a time machine, this beats paying the prices after January 31st.

I haven’t dug into upgrades on Virgin Atlantic, so I can’t comment as to whether or not there are opportunities for value to be had there, though I suspect that the 20% discount on the points copay required likely won’t make enough difference to move the needle much since award seats already cost a reasonable number of points.

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Only 8k economy or 14k Premium Economy some dates Oct – Dec from JFK, IAD, BOS, ATL, MIA to LHR


also low taxes/fees for flights starting in PVG


This is NOT systemwide and is only in select routes. False advertising click bait.


BGI-SVD, and it specifically says selected routes.


I booked my family’s trip for flights in July, now they are 20% less in miles… would Virgin let me rebook/refund me the 18k difference without a huge change fee?


It’s 38 gbp per ticket ($38), vs a saving of 4500 miles… I’ll just leave as is, thanks anyway