(EXPIRED) Virgin Atlantic: 50% off award flights between the UK and US (but mind the fees)

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Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Red are offering a 50% discount on award tickets for all flights on Virgin Atlantic metal booked from today through March 20th for travel through June 30th, 2024. The discount covers economy, premium and business class flights between the UK and the US.

Virgin runs regaular award discounts that are trumpeted around the interwebs as being great deals…and they’re a nice reduction on the points cost of an award. Particularly this one. We haven’t seen a 50% discount in several years, and recent sales have hung out in the 20-33% range, making this one notable for size of the points discount that you’re getting. Transatlantic economy tickets can be had for as little as 5,000 points each way, with business class flights starting at 23,750.

Keep in mind that taxes and fuel charges on VA flights are quite high on these routes, usually between $1300-2000 roundtrip in business class. Economy class awards usually end up with fees around 1/4-1/3 of that, with premium economy awards in between at ~$500-700 roundtrip. Also note that the travel and booking periods are quite a bit shorter than usual on this sale and the discounted pricing doesn’t include the prime Summer months.

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

The Deal

  • Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Red are offering a 50% discount on reward flights and points upgrades on all Virgin-operated flights between the UK and the US
  • Valid for bookings made between March 14th and March 20th, 2024
  • Valid for travel through June 30th, 2024

Direct link to this promotion

Key Terms and Conditions

  • Offer valid for new reward flights booked using Virgin Points between 14 March 2024 and 20 March 2024  
  • A 50% reduction will be applied at the time of booking to the standard Virgin Points price of all flights departing between 14 March 2024 and 30 June 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). Routes included are: LHR-JFK, MAN-JFK, LHR-LAX, LHR-BOS, LHR-SFO, LHR-MIA, LHR-MCO, MAN-MCO, EDI-MCO, LHR-IAD, LHR-TPA, LHR-ATL, MAN-ATL, LHR-LAS, MAN-LAS, LHR-SEA. Promotion is valid for listed routes for both directions of travel.   
  • 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 50% back, the points rates look very appealing indeed. Between the US and the UK, normal pricing is 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

~24,000 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. That’s a good deal when compared to cash rates, particularly for one-way journeys between the US and London, but it’s not necessarily 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.

Economy flights are also a decent deal (and perhaps better for many folks):

It’s worth double-checking the cash fares for your itinerary so you can compare them with the award sale. For the London to JFK flight shown above, both American and BA had flights for ~$450 roundtrip for the exact dates, as compared to 10,000 points + ~$360 on Virgin. You’re effectively shaving off $90 for those 10,000 Virgin points, which isn’t necessarily a great redemption, but it still could be well worth it for if the itinerary is more to your liking.

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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Jim Lovejoy

Also remember that booking as 2 one ways gives lower surcharges than as a round trip.
If starting in the UK the opposite is true.


It is what it is, but the only way to look at these flights is discounted cash business class. It could be 99% off and you’d still be paying $3,000-4000 roundtrip for two people.


Have a trip on VA booked a month ago for travel within these dates already. Involves 2 economy OW (2*15k + surcharges). What is the best way to trigger this offer? (Reprice / cancel and rebook / upgrade / make a seat selection)? How long does it take for points to credit back to account once a ticket is cancelled?

Considering I’d only get back 15k, if it’s too much hassle then I’d let it go.

Adventure NML

I believe Virgin charges a $50 cancel/change fee as well (at least they do with partner tickets), so keep that in mind. Still, for 15,000 points each, probably worth it. I’d start by checking if the website shows space at the reduced rate; then you can always give them a ring to see if they can reprice it at the lower rate or if you’ll have to cancel…I’ve found they’re pretty friendly and hold times aren’t crazy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adventure NML

It’s also worth noting that this can be stacked with the current 30% transfer bonus from Citi thru 3/16