(EXPIRED) Virgin Atlantic: 33% off award flights through September 2024 (but mind the fees)

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Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Red are offering a 33% “Black Friday” discount on award tickets for all flights on Virgin Atlantic metal booked from today through November 27th for travel through September 30th, 2024. The discount covers economy, premium and business class flights.

We often see these Virgin discounts trumpeted around the interwebs as being great deals…and they’re a nice reduction on the points cost of an award. But, keep in mind that taxes and fuel charges on VA flights are quite high on many routes, usually between $1500-2000 roundtrip in business class. Thus, whether or not this is a great deal likely comes down to how badly you’d like to fly Virgin Atlantic.

a seat in a plane
Virgin Atlantic A-350 Business Class

The Deal

  • Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Red are offering a 33% discount on all new bookings made for reward flights and points upgrades on all Virgin-operated flights
  • Valid for bookings made between November 23rd and November 27th, 2023
  • Valid for travel through September 30th, 2024

Direct link to this promotion

Key Terms and Conditions

  • Offer valid for new reward flights booked using Virgin Points between 23 November 2023 and 27 November 2023  
  • A 33% reduction will be applied at the time of booking to the standard Virgin Points price of all flights departing between 24 November 2023 and 30 September 2024. 
  • This offer is for Virgin Atlantic reward flights, upgrades, and companion bookings (including those earned on Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards) for one-way or return flights in Economy, Premium and Upper Class. Bookings in Economy will be for travel in the Economy Classic category.   
  • To be eligible for this offer, members must book a new reward flight through virginatlantic.com or Virgin Atlantic Customer Centre. 
  • Full taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges apply and vary according to the choice of cabin, departure airport, destination, and date(s) of travel. The exact amount will be advised at the time of booking. The discount only applies to Virgin Points, not any cash element (taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges) of the flight price. 
  • Valid on Virgin Atlantic marketed and operated routes only (flight number starts with VS). Partner airline and codeshare flights are not eligible.     
  • Discount is not valid on Gold Reward flights (reward flights booked with double points) or Points Plus Money bookings.   
  • Standard tier points will be awarded. Passengers are not entitled to earn Virgin Points.  
  • Existing bookings changed to dates within the promotional period will be eligible for this offer and any reduction in the points price will be credited back to the member’s account. Changes are subject to the usual change fees and any increase in taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges. 
  • Bookings made within the promotional period which are then subsequently changed to new departure dates, outside of those detailed within this offer, will no longer be eligible for this offer and will be charged the difference in points plus any applicable fees, and additional taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges at the time of making the change. 

Quick Thoughts

Award rates for travel on Virgin Atlantic are already reasonable in terms of the number of points required, so with 33% back, the points rates look very appealing indeed. Between the US and the UK, normal points rates are as follows, depending on season:

  • Economy – 10,000-25,000 each way
  • Premium Economy – 17,500-37,500 each way
  • Business Class (Upper Class) – 47,500-67,500 each way

~32,000 points for a transatlantic business class award sounds very good, and it is. That said, fuel surcharges and taxes will still be $600-1000 on most routes in business…each way. Check out the following offseason pricing between London and NYC on September 15th:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

With the rebate you’re looking at 31,825 points and almost $1000 one-way. That’s not necessarily a bad deal compared to cash rates, particularly for one-way journeys between the US and London, but it’s not a screaming one either.  That’s especially true given that Virgin Atlantic has such a great award chart for partner flights with a fraction of the taxes and fees.

But, if Virgin Atlantic fits your needs, it obviously makes more sense to book while rates are reduced. Virgin Atlantic partners with most major transferable currencies, so it’s very easy to get together enough points for an award. Also keep in mind that you can still use this trick to see Virgin’s monthly award calendar in order to find space.

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