Wow, Book Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles online!

UPDATE 10/11/17: The feature is working again!  See this post for details.

UPDATE 8/3/17: The feature described in this post has disappeared!  See this post for details.

Thanks to One Mile at a Time I just learned that Virgin Atlantic is now allowing users to book awards on Delta flights online.  This is huge because Virgin Atlantic award prices are excellent on many routes and Virgin Atlantic miles are incredibly easy to get.  Previously it was difficult to figure out if Delta saver awards were available to partners (since they no longer publish an award chart) and it was difficult to figure out exactly how much Virgin Atlantic would charge, especially on flights with layovers.  Now, with online booking and a 5 week availability calendar it’s super easy.

Here are just a couple of compelling examples of easily found good values:

Detroit to Shanghai, round trip, business class

Flights listed at 120,000 miles round trip are non-stop.  Higher priced trips include one or more stops.  Keep in mind that if you can find availability on Delta’s new Delta One Suites (via the trick I laid out here, perhaps), you should be able to book those suites for just 60,000 miles one-way or 120,000 miles round trip!

Detroit to London, One Way, Business Class

Delta now charges 70,000 miles for this same flight.  Virgin Atantic charges only 50,000 miles for non-stop, or 62,500 for one-stop itineraries.  Note that return flights cost the same number of miles, but have much higher fees.

Getting Virgin Atlantic Miles

Virgin Atlantic is one of the most promiscuous airlines in that they partner with all transferable currencies: Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, SPG, and even Diner’s Club.  So, if you have points in any of those programs, you can transfer to Virgin Atlantic to book awards like those shown above.  And both Amex and Citi are known to offer transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic about once per year.  That way you get even more miles with your transfer.

Additionally, the Virgin Atlantic credit card often has a great signup bonus for those who can spend a lot.  See: Virgin Atlantic “90K” offer returns (but it’s really 75K).  And the card is not too bad for spend as well.  It offers 1.5 miles per dollar as well as a total of 15,000 bonus points with $25K annual spend.  If you spend exactly $25K per year on the card, the card averages just over 2 miles per dollar for spend.

A little buggy, but worth the effort

Lucky points out that the Virgin Atlantic interface won’t let you enter in all airports directly, but you can click the little map pin icon and select airports by country or alphabetically.

Additionally, when I first tried to search for Detroit to London, the interface wouldn’t let me choose to show the results in miles.  I had to run a different search first and then refine the search to the airports I wanted.

Despite the bugs, I’m excited about this enhancement.  Even though the same awards were available before by calling in, personally I’m about 10 times more likely to find and book awards online.  And now we can!

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Pingbacks

  1. […] When it looked as if Virgin Atlantic miles could be used to book Delta awards online, I decided that it was time to take a closer look at the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard issued by BankAmericard.  At the time of this writing, BOA is offering a “90K” signup bonus which is really a 75K signup bonus.  But this post is not about that.  If you’re interested in my take on the signup bonus, please see: An analysis of the Virgin Atlantic 90K offer.  In this post, I’ll take a look at the card itself.  The card offers excellent earnings on spend, and even makes it possible to earn elite status through spend alone. […]

Comments

  1. Havent tried the pin thingy yet but it will only allow you to select Virgin city pairs for departure and destination.

  2. Fantastic option for us frequent Delta flyers! Nice to have a new points options and a quick way to view saver availability. This is a keeper – thanks!

  3. For anyone having problems entering different airports and/or selecting pay with miles, the app is less glitchy but seemingly has no flexible dates search.

  4. GREG:
    It seems using bonus miles of one airline to fly its partner is different from one airline to the others.
    Do you have a chart/table that shows how to do that for each airline bonus miles?
    What are the general steps/rules to book one airline using its partners’ bonus miles?

    Thank you..

  5. Greg:

    AMEX is offering 40% bonus when transferring MR points to British Airline’ Avios miles.
    It is great but I cannot find the flights I need thru BA’s booking website.
    If I find a flight in its airline partners, how to book it?

    Thank you.

  6. “We’re sorry. There are no scheduled Virgin Atlantic or Partner flights between Detroit – Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and London Area Airports – London Metropolitan Area (LON).”

    Clearly, I’m missing something here. I first tried MSP and then DTW just to reproduce your results.

      • I can get JFK to London to work. Changing it to MSP or DTW to London yields the error message. What I *want* is to look for MSP to *other* places than London, but I can’t get those to work either.

        • I see what you mean. Did you try the app? On the website, I can get the “pay with miles” selection to stick as follows:
          1. Search JFK-LHR, select “pay with miles”
          2. When you find a valid flight, select it
          3. Refine search to put in MSP to wherever.

          The problem I’m having is that the system isn’t finding any award space from MSP to anywhere at anytime that I’ve looked at. That has to be a bug.

        • I swear I’m doing everything you’re outlining. I search JFK to LON. There are award flights. I even shift my search to a specific date or 5 week period of dates where there are award flights. I then change JFK to MSP. And I get the error message every time. I tried the app, as well, but all it does it give me the Sorry message, there are no results for my search.

  7. UPDATE: At the moment it looks like Virgin Atlantic has revoked the ability to book Delta awards. I can’t reproduce the searches I did yesterday. Even JFK to LHR shows only Virgin Atlantic flights. Hopefully this is a temporary glitch!

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