ITA Airways is the national airline of Italy — the successor to Alitalia. ITA has been a member of SkyTeam for quite some time, but until recently (perhaps just the past day or two), ITA flights were not bookable with partner miles. I noticed a post last night in the Miles Talk Facebook group indicating that has changed and you can now book ITA Airways flights with Virgin Atlantic miles — and there is excellent availability during the first several months of 2024.
- ITA Airways flights are now bookable through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and tickets are widely available between January and March of 2024. Virgin Atlantic uses a distance-based award chart for ITA Airways (which is pictured below) — the following are the prices for the distance bands that would apply to US routes:
- 4,000 to 5,000 miles flown (Boston, New York, or Washington DC to Rome)
- 30K points each way in economy class
- 75K points each way in business class
- 5,001 to 6,000 miles flown (Miami to Rome)
- 31K points each way in economy class
- 85K points each way in business class
- 6,001 to 7,000 miles flown (Los Angeles or San Francisco to Rome)
- 37K points each way in economy class
- 100K points each way in business class
- Search for availability at VirginAtlantic.com
While Virgin Atlantic’s pricing on ITA Airways isn’t the most competitive for business class between the US and Europe, availability is excellent over the first several months of 2024. For instance, business class for at least two passengers is available in business class on most days from New York to Rome in January 2024.
While 75K points each way isn’t an outstanding price for business class to Europe, it is around par for the course — and it could become far more competitive when credit card programs offer a 30% transfer bonus. If you catch a 30% transfer bonus from a transferable currency, you would be able to book business class with 58K transferred points, which certainly could make ITA an attractive option (particularly if we continue to see good availability).
I get less excited about 30K points each way for economy class, though once again with a decent transfer bonus it becomes more interesting.
Note that I would have expected economy class to price at 25.5K points one way based on the distance-based award chart that Virgin Atlantic publishes for ITA.
The good news is that there are no surcharges — taxes from New York to Italy are just $5.60 and the way back from Italy to New York rings in at 56 Euro.
Availability from the west coast is not nearly as wide open, though I did find a few dates from San Francisco to Rome. Of course, at 100K each way, the pricing isn’t terribly exciting.
I do not see these flights available via other SkyTeam programs yet. Hopefully, we will see ITA flights become available with other miles, though I can’t imagine that Delta would price these better.
Keep in mind that this development is not only useful for flights between the US and Europe, but it could also be helpful for those looking to travel between Italy and other parts of Europe.
Overall, I’m glad to see ITA flights finally becoming bookable as it adds another option to add to your award searches.