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!…
- 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: