Book Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles online! (again)

Book Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles online

In August I was excited to report that Delta awards could be booked online via Virgin Atlantic’s website (see: Wow, Book Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles online!).  Unfortunately, the ability to do so quickly disappeared.  Thankfully, the feature is back.  My bet is that they had been working on the feature for a while and had accidentally released it too early in August.  Hopefully it’s back now for good.

Virgin Atlantic can be a great option for booking Delta awards.  In many cases nonstop award prices are lower than Delta’s own award prices, there often are no fuel surcharges, and Virgin Atlantic charges only $50 for award changes or cancellations prior to 24 hours before departure.

Plus, Virgin Atlantic miles are much easier to collect than Delta miles.  Points can be transferred to Virgin Atlantic from any popular transferable points program: Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or SPG.  Additionally, both Amex and Citi frequently offer transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic.  As I write this, Amex is offering a 30% bonus.  You can always find up to date transfer bonus info here: Current point transfer bonuses, or within any of our pages detailing transfer opportunities:

Two big problems with online bookings

Virgin Atlantic includes huge surcharges when booking awards on their own flights, but usually does not do so for partner flights.  For example, as you can see at the top of this post, they’ll charge only $5.60 in fees for a business class Delta flight from Detroit to Paris.  Unfortunately, a big exception I’m finding right now is with flights booked to or from London Heathrow.  By routing to London rather than Paris, Virgin Atlantic wants to charge $501.60 in fees!

Book Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles online

I suspect this is a bug with the online booking tool rather than a new policy, but I’ll let you know once I find out for certain.  Virgin Atlantic apparently charges these ridiculous fees for all flights to/from London regardless of whether you book online or by calling so there doesn’t appear to be a workaround.

Another big issue with online booking is that many airports aren’t included.  There is a known issue in which typing the name or code for an airport doesn’t return results, but that issue has an easy workaround: click the little map pin icon to search by country or alphabetically.

Unfortunately, even this approach doesn’t make all airports available.  For example, I couldn’t find Incheon International Airport in South Korea (ICN) or Munich Airport in Germany (MUC).  US airports seem to be much better represented.

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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  1. According to Lucky the fees for going to the UK is not a glitch and was a change implemented by Virgin. Calling in will get you the same 500+ fee as well going to the UK on Delta

      • Greg, I just think the Virgin site is very erratic and “flighty.” Yesterday, when I tried CVG (Cincinnati) to CDG (Paris) I was told that there were no Virgin or partner flights flying the route. Not true. CVG is NOT served by Virgin, but there is a Delta nonstop. I was busy and gave up. This evening, CVG showed up as a departure city, but I had to use your map pin icon trick (Yay! Thank you!) to get CDG to show up as the destination. Finishing the booking got weird, but I finally confirmed 2 in business for 100K, mostly transferred in from Amex at +30% to top up my meager Virgin points balance. Yay!

  2. Does anyone else have an issue where the “pay with miles” option gets grayed out after selecting airports? I’m selecting ATL to CDG and that option keeps getting grayed out, even though I know Delta flies that route.

  3. just checked the flight I’m interested in and see Virgin wants 30 k points plus cash while Delta wants 10 k points plus same amount of cash. 3 times more. That doesn’t seem like a good deal.

      • I’m screwed I guess since I don’t live in a hub, all international flights are segmented for me. I’ll keep my Virgin points for the IHG membership. Thanks for the reply.

  4. About the LET bug or non-bug: when you go for a return trip from nyc to cdg, the cost is 60,000+$84, whereas to LHR it is 30,000+$500ish. So is there a bus in that it is not charging the full points value which is causing the fees to be so high?

  5. Wow. I’m seeing 35k miles one way in what’s described as “Upper Class and Delta One/Business” from HNL-TYO plus $5.60. Much cheaper than using Alaska miles or BA avios.

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