Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is such a quirky frequent flyer program. The program has some amazing sweet spot award redemptions, including for travel on All Nippon Airways and Delta Air Lines. I just redeemed Virgin Atlantic points on another airline for the first time, and wanted to share my experience.
In this post:
Virgin Atlantic redemption rates on Air New Zealand
Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand have a partnership, and as part of that it’s possible to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for travel on Air New Zealand. You can find the award chart below, with prices listed being for a roundtrip (one-ways are available for half the cost of a roundtrip).
Just to summarize the key one-way business class redemption rates:
- New Zealand to Australia costs 15,000 points
- New Zealand to Asia costs 40,000 points
- New Zealand to Hawaii costs 45,000 points
- New Zealand to mainland North America costs 62,500 points
I know it’s odd that New Zealand to mainland North America costs 62,500 points, because that’s not listed on the award chart. Rather it lists South Pacific to Los Angeles, but that refers to Air New Zealand’s (suspended) Rarotonga to Los Angeles flight. But I can assure you that’s the pricing, and that will be quoted by any Flying Club agent.
There are no fuel surcharges when redeeming Virgin Atlantic points on Air New Zealand, so you’ll pay just minimal taxes & fees when redeeming.
My amazing Air New Zealand award redemption
If you’ve ever looked at Air New Zealand award space, you probably know the catch — award availability on Air New Zealand is extremely hard to come by. Finding Air New Zealand transpacific business class award space is nearly impossible, and there are many periods where you won’t find a single transpacific business class award space on Air New Zealand for the entire schedule.
Well, while perusing award space a couple of days ago, I noticed an Air New Zealand business class award seat from Auckland to Los Angeles (while searching on Aeroplan’s website)… so I booked it!
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points are super easy to earn, given that the program is transfer partners with all major transferable points currencies, including Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.
Best of all, at the moment there’s a 30% transfer bonus from Amex to Virgin Atlantic. So I transfered 49,000 Amex points to Virgin Atlantic, which got me 63,700 Flying Club points. I phoned up Virgin Atlantic, and 10 minutes later I had the business class award seat booked, with just ~$41 in taxes & fees.
Stay tuned for the details of my upcoming review trip, as it’s one I’m really looking forward to.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points on Air New Zealand is a spectacular value… assuming you can find award availability. Award space can be really tough to come by, but when it’s available, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is the way to book, especially when there’s a transfer bonus.
It’s pretty funny to me how Flying Club has three of the world’s best award sweet spot redemptions, yet in each case award availability can be really tough to come by.
Has anyone else ever redeemed Virgin Atlantic points on Air New Zealand?