Virgin Atlantic miles are super easy to obtain. The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard earns 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend, plus it offers bonus miles when you reach certain thresholds. In a previous post I detailed how it is possible to average 2.1 miles per dollar with this card. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic partners with almost all transferable points programs: Amex, Chase, Citi, and Marriott. Capital One is the only major holdout.
We often write about using Virgin Atlantic miles to book awards on Delta flights. One recent example is Nick’s post about wide open business class awards to Hawaii and Europe.
Using Virgin Atlantic miles to book nonstop Delta flights is great, but what if you want to fly Virgin Atlantic operated flights? Virgin Atlantic publishes an award chart (here), but it leaves a lot to be desired. The official award chart only shows round-trip award prices and estimated taxes & fees, but the taxes & fees are often cheaper when booking the same trip as two one-way awards. Plus, the award chart is completely UK-centric (which makes sense since they are headquartered there). It doesn’t show, for example, the cost to fly from the US to Israel through the UK. Our chart does.
Our chart shows only one-way award prices. Plus, we’ve taken a snapshot of the taxes and fees for each route possible from or to the US. Here you go!…
The above charts are also available via Google Sheet. Click here for a read-only copy.
- When booking an award with two legs, the number of miles required is the same as when booking each leg separately. However, the taxes and fees are not additive. In fact, the taxes and fees on such a route are sometimes less than on a single leg. For example, if you fly one-way from the US to London in business class, you’ll pay almost $600 in fees for that one-way flight. However, if you fly one-way from the US to Hong Kong, via London, you’ll pay only $420 in fees!
- Premium Economy award prices are often quite reasonable and the fees are usually far less than in Upper Class (business class). For details about Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy, see this recent review via God Save the Points.
- In some cases the fees for Premium Economy are less than regular Economy! I have no idea why. The image below shows that the fees from JFK to Hong Kong are $80 less in Premium Economy vs Economy Classic:
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Virgin SFO-London in Upper Class is my favorite trip ever, first flight with them 20 years ago I didn’t want to get off the plane. The airline is quirky but overall a terrific experience … except for seats that don’t recline properly on some planes. I usually book one award and pay cash for the other tix. Thanks so much for this award chart … not sure I would have thought of booking two o/w tix.
Thank you for posting this! Any info on non-UK companion rates? I am trying to ascertain whether I should use the miles I have accrued for an award ticket (buying the first one outright), for upgrading an upgradeable paid ticket, or for a companion ticket. Most likely looking at premium economy. I guess based on your chart, I would probably pick Tel Aviv given the favorable rates and long distance.
I haven’t looked into upgrades or companion fares. You can find them listed here: https://www.virginatlantic.com/us/en/flying-club/miles/spend-miles/reward-flights.html
[…] today, Greg published a US-centric award chart for Virgin Atlantic flights (See: Virgin Atlantic award chart (U.S.-centric). In that post, he noted his previously-published post about how to average 2.1 miles per dollar on […]
Is it a good deal to transfer 30k UR points to Virgin Atlantic to fly AUS-MAN in premium economy plus the $249 taxes or is there a better way to use my UR points? I need 4 tickets. Will be flying back using AA miles for business class
I think that’s a decent deal. You could alternatively transfer 30K to United for a regular economy Star Alliance award, but that’s very different from premium economy.
Or 27500 to Singapore 🙂 There’s no quality premium cabin to book on Star Alliance to secondary UK cities, may as well go cheap.
btw to fly to tlv rather use dl pessos, no YQ
Good point! I should do a second version that shows Delta SkyMiles prices and fees side by side with VS
wow thanks for this super helpful chart!! maybe put it in a google dock so i can save one for myself ?
Since you asked: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nzZSolGN6dI6b6dedezizVs2Mqkv3HkLJm2yIqZNYEQ/edit?usp=sharing
Awww thanks Greg the man !!