Update: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club now prices most Delta awards based on flight distance, not by region. Only flights to and from the UK and mainland Europe follow a region based chart now. You can read more here about the Flying Club changes.
I’ve written in the past about how redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles on Delta can be a spectacular value.
The idea is that Delta SkyMiles has dynamic award pricing, and in many cases the award rates for travel on Delta can be outrageous, even when the cheapest possible award is available.
This is where booking through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club comes in handy:
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has significantly better award redemption rates for travel on Delta
- They don’t impose carrier imposed surcharges, unless you’re flying to/from the UK, or from Europe
- There are more options for getting Virgin Atlantic miles, as you can transfer them from Amex, Chase, and Citi, and on top of that there are often transfer bonuses
- American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Business Gold Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Citi Premier® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
- 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3x points on dining
- 2x points on travel purchases
- 3x points on Travel after the $300 Annual Travel Credit
- 3x points on Dining
- $300 Travel Credit
- Earn 3x Points on Airfare
- Earn 3x Points on Hotels
- Earn 3x Points at Restaurants
- Earn 6x points at Marriott
- Free Night Award Annually
- 15 Elite Nights Towards Status Annually
Generally speaking you’ll find that if there’s a seat available at the “lowest” cost through Delta, then it’s also possible through Virgin Atlantic. At times it can be tough to figure out what the “lowest” cost is, though, given how the pricing is dynamic.
For example, with Delta’s New York to Mumbai flight, Delta seems to be charging a minimum of 135,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket.
Meanwhile the same ticket is bookable in business class through Virgin Atlantic for just 60,000 miles.
While this won’t be the case across the board, I do think it’s worth noting that increasingly redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta is becoming an even better value.
Delta is getting totally out of hand when it comes to their award pricing. In many markets the only redemption rates for business class seem to be 300,000+ miles one-way in business class.
But what I’ve been increasingly finding lately is that even in situations where Delta is charging 300,000+ miles one-way, Virgin Atlantic has access to those seats.
See the above flight from Lagos to New York that’s 350,000 miles one-way in business class? That’s bookable through Virgin Atlantic for just 60,000 miles.
This won’t be the case across the board, though situations like the above also aren’t isolated incidents, and I’m finding this fairly often.
To give another example, take this flight from Atlanta to Shanghai, where Delta is charging 285,000 miles…
While Virgin Atlantic is charging 60,000 miles…
This is a pretty incredible opportunity, if you ask me.
It used to be that my strategy was to search through Delta’s website, look for the lowest level award pricing (or what I perceive to be the lowest level award pricing), and then go to Virgin Atlantic’s website to verify and book.
However, nowadays it might make sense to just search directly through Virgin Atlantic’s website, because I would have never otherwise guessed that these awards pricing at 300,000+ miles one-way would be bookable through Virgin Atlantic.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles on Delta can be a great deal thanks to the lower redemption rates and access to transfer bonuses. That was the case even when Virgin Atlantic only had access to the “cheapest” Delta award rates.
However, with Delta seemingly charging 300,000+ miles in many markets as the cheapest cost, being able to redeem Virgin Atlantic miles for at least some of those flights is pretty awesome, if you ask me.