Guide To Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Miles On Delta

Guide To Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Miles On Delta

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Often you’ll find that the best options for redeeming miles on a particular airline are through the frequent flyer program of a partner airline. Actually, I’d argue that’s the case more often than not, and it’s where we see many of the best award chart sweet spots.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a program with a few great partner redemption opportunities. While my favorite use of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is for travel on All Nippon Airways, my second favorite use has historically been for travel on Delta.

Well, unfortunately Virgin Atlantic Flying Club kicked off 2021 by devaluing Delta award redemptions, so in this post I wanted to take a closer look at the current state of these awards. Are there still cases where Flying Club redemptions on Delta are a good deal, or…?

Redeeming Flying Club miles for travel on Delta

In many cases Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has lower redemption rates than Delta SkyMiles for travel on Delta. Unfortunately this isn’t the case across the board anymore after the recent devaluation, but there are still some real sweet spots.

On top of that, there are some other benefits to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club:

  • Virgin Atlantic miles are easier to come by, since the program partners with Amex, Chase, and Citi, while Delta SkyMiles only partners with Amex
  • Virgin Atlantic miles can often be acquired with a transfer bonus, while we almost never see a transfer bonus from Amex to Delta

With that out of the way, let’s look at the current state of redemption rates.

Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta can be a good deal

How many Virgin Atlantic miles do you need for travel on Delta?

When redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for travel on Delta, awards fall into one of two categories:

  • There’s region based award pricing between the US and Europe
  • There’s distance based award pricing for travel within and between all other regions

Here are Virgin Atlantic Flying Club one-way redemption rates for travel on Delta between the US and UK:

Here are Virgin Atlantic Flying Club one-way redemption rates for travel on Delta between the US and Europe (with the exception of the UK):

  • 30,000 Flying Club miles in Main Cabin (economy class)
  • 50,000 Flying Club miles in Delta One (business class)

All Virgin Atlantic Flying Club awards on Delta that aren’t between the US and Europe are charged based on the following one-way distance based award chart:

Does Flying Club have surcharges when redeeming on Delta?

Flying Club has steep carrier imposed surcharges (often referred to as fuel surcharges) when redeeming on Virgin Atlantic, but what about when redeeming on Delta?

  • There are fuel surcharges for travel on Delta between the US and UK
  • There are fuel surcharges for travel on Delta between Europe and the US when originating in Europe
  • There aren’t fuel surcharges for travel on Delta between the US and Europe (with the exception of the UK) when originating in the US
  • There aren’t fuel surcharges for travel on Delta between or within any other regions

So you don’t have to worry about surcharges for all non-European travel, and also don’t have to worry about them for US to Europe travel, with the exception of the UK.

Some Delta redemptions have surcharges, others don’t

How to book Delta awards through Flying Club

You can search and book Delta awards directly on Virgin Atlantic’s website. Virgin Atlantic’s website interface works pretty similarly to Delta’s, so it will be a familiar experience if you’re used to searching SkyMiles award space.

When you go to Virgin Atlantic’s website, just search award availability on Delta the same way you would search availability on Virgin Atlantic, and if something is available it will automatically show up.

Let’s use an Atlanta to Seoul Incheon ticket as an example (even though it’s a bad value nowadays). Just select the date, the number of passengers, then the “Points” option, and then “Upper Class” for the fare option.

The next page will return a calendar view, and you can view either a week or an entire month of availability at a time.

Once you select the date you’ll see the flight option.

Note that not all cities will automatically show up when you enter the airport code or name. In those situations, click on the box with the code that isn’t coming up, and then select the “Full Airport List” option.

On the next page you’ll be able to select your destination by country, or alphabetically if you prefer.

Is it worth redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta?

Unfortunately redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta isn’t the value that it once was. However, there are still some circumstances where it could make sense.

The way I view it, the best use of Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta is for travel in business class to Europe (with the exception of the UK). You’ll pay just 50,000 miles for business class one-way, and there are no fuel surcharges.

Delta business class redemptions to Europe can still make sense

Arguably the next best value nowadays is for short haul travel based on the new distance-based award chart.

For example, for 7,500 miles you could book a one-way economy award for a flight of under 500 miles, like Tampa to Atlanta.

Or for 8,500 miles you could book a one-way economy award for a flight of 501-1,000 miles, like Los Angeles to Seattle.

Redeeming 15,000 miles for a one-way economy award for flights of 2,001-3,000 miles could be a good deal as well, like Los Angeles to Kona.

Of course you’ll always want to compare these to revenue tickets, since in some cases these flights might not cost all that much when paying cash.

Short haul redemptions could be a good value as well

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy, so there are quite a few ways to earn these points.

Historically we’ve also seen transfer bonuses from Amex and Citi to Virgin Atlantic with some frequency, which is an even better way to make your points go further.

Bottom line

Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles for travel on Delta can be a good value. This is especially true for business class between the US and Europe (with the exception of the UK), where you can fly for 50,000 miles one-way without fuel surcharges. On top of that, short haul redemptions on Delta in economy can be a very good deal.

Unfortunately with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s devaluation in early 2021, all the other sweet spots are dead, so it’s no longer a good deal to redeem Virgin Atlantic miles for Delta business class to Africa, Asia, South America, etc.

Do you still see value in redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for travel on Delta, or did all the value disappear with the devaluation?

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  1. Michelle Guest

    Hi! Your post in using Virgin points for Delta flights was very helpful! I have Chase points and want to transfer them to Virgin so I can get a Delta non stop to Paris. Here is my question, if I have points in the Virgin travel plan will they automatically show up as available in my skymiles account? Thanks!

  2. Robert Dale Porter Guest

    Hi Ben,
    If I book an award ticket through Virgin Atlantic and fly Delta will I receive Delta MQM'S with Delta's temporary MQM boost specials? I read the Q&A on the Delta site and it was unclear. I think it said if the flight was marketed and operated by Delta the boost would apply.

  3. Robert Guest

    WELL THANK YOU.

    I followed your https://onemileatatime.com/redeeming-virgin-atlantic-miles-ana/ And just got two business class tickets from Washington to Tokyo for 95,000 Virgin Atlantic points each with $194 taxes. What an astounding value!!! Got them for next year. Hopefully things will be better by then. But I can cancel, so I feel protected.

    And I used American Express points that I had previously transferred with a 30% bonus. So each business class round trip ticked...

    WELL THANK YOU.

    I followed your https://onemileatatime.com/redeeming-virgin-atlantic-miles-ana/ And just got two business class tickets from Washington to Tokyo for 95,000 Virgin Atlantic points each with $194 taxes. What an astounding value!!! Got them for next year. Hopefully things will be better by then. But I can cancel, so I feel protected.

    And I used American Express points that I had previously transferred with a 30% bonus. So each business class round trip ticked just cost me 73,000 points.

    Incredible. I couldn’t have done it without onemileatatime.

    Cant wait.

    One satisfied reader.

  4. Benjamin New Member

    Thanks Nano. I finally realized my problem was operator error - I wasn't selecting points and was searching in dollars!

  5. Nano Guest

    Benjamin,

    I get that message when VA website isn’t working properly. Keep trying. I looked for your Nov 2 flight one- way-a direct a Delta flight is showing for 165,000 points in Upper Class, Economy for 45,000.

  6. Benjamin New Member

    Ben or anyone, can you help with my above problem?

  7. Benjamin New Member

    Boy am I confused, please help! I have tried to search the Virgin site for flights in the past and I can never get any results. After reading this article I went and searched for the exact flights and dates in your examples (ATL-ICN, Nov 2 (flexible dates); LAX-KOA, Mar 16; LAX-SEA Mar 16, etc - and I continue to get absolutely nothing! Every time it says "Sorry, there are no flights available for that...

    Boy am I confused, please help! I have tried to search the Virgin site for flights in the past and I can never get any results. After reading this article I went and searched for the exact flights and dates in your examples (ATL-ICN, Nov 2 (flexible dates); LAX-KOA, Mar 16; LAX-SEA Mar 16, etc - and I continue to get absolutely nothing! Every time it says "Sorry, there are no flights available for that search. Please try again.#101766R" Any idea what I can do? Thanks!

  8. Ian Macdougald New Member

    Ben, I appreciate the article. I normally fly economy comfort or premium to The U.K. and Europe. I like VS but the fuel charges on high. I have joined flying blue and they have very cheap rewards and no fuel charges on flights to London.
    Ben, in your opinion which is a better frequent flyer programme, VS or KL.

  9. LP Guest

    Ditto to what others above have said - finding Delta biz award availability on Virgin is next to impossible.

  10. lumma Guest

    @HHinBW My last overseas trip was ANA using Virgin points last Feb. Frankfurt to Haneda (annoyingly I managed to book the flight with the old hard product in both directions).

    I think it was 8 months in the future where the availability opened up, so not great for last minute trips but they had a seat on pretty much every flight from Feb until the end of the booking window. LHR had far less availability however and I haven't looked at it from the USA

  11. HHinBW Guest

    @lumma In theory, yes, but just looking at availability for the next year, there really isn't much. Did you book anything succesfully on ANA using VS points?

  12. Paul Guest

    Virgin miles used to be a really useful way of getting round the constant devaluations of delta sky miles. Now delta owns 49% of Virgin I can see where the pressure came from to close the loop.

    Not sure what I’m going to do my 90,000 orphan VS miles now. Certainly is NOT worth earning them anymore

  13. Andrew R. New Member

    It appears there is VERY little availability on Delta One to Europe at 50k. Basically, VA kept the price the same but slashed the availability to almost zero so it’s effectively an increase to 65k in most instances.

  14. Euro Member

    Theoretically yes it is still possible to book Delta awards with Flying Club miles but they used to be a lot easier since they had access to the same award pool. Now, only a portion of the Delta availability is bookable with Flying Club. A big problem when I was trying to book tickets to Rome last year.

  15. Nan Guest

    Are there really still Delta US-Europe awards available On Virgin for 50,000 points? I don’t see any. I had tickets booked at this exchange rate in April 2020 but obviously cancelled.

  16. ATLflyer12 Guest

    Having spent the last month looking for this on the Virgin Atlantic search engine, business class availability on DL from the US to Europe (non-UK) is super hard to find. I saw one day for availability from ATL to AMS (for the whole summer of 2021).

    Much easier to find short-haul economy redemptions on DL.

    Curious if others had any luck on business class availability to Europe?

  17. Geoff Guest

    Virgin miles are great ............if you can use for Upper Class TATL(except the UK, as you mentioned.).
    But direct UC TATL seats are becoming very hard to find these days. They were once relatively plentiful but not so much anymore.
    Much like Skymiles I fear their best use going forward is for domestic(US) coach on Delta metal.

  18. Michael Member

    "Delta business class redemptions to Europe can still make sense"
    Picture shows approach into SeaTac (SEA) LOL.
    https://onemileatatime.com/delta-one-business-class-a330-900neo-review/

    Not hating I just remembered that photo looked familiar from somewhere... and as a Seattleite it's hard to ignore the cloudy and grey skies.

  19. ZC Guest

    @Kevin M
    Then you are less likely to see all the adds/referral links and thus Lucky would make less money.

  20. Kevin M Guest

    Random feedback, but: Often if I’m short on time I find myself scrolling down to the “Bottom Line” to get the gist of an article in an instant. Wonder if you’d consider moving that part up to the top like in a box or something for the hurried reader? Especially since it’s not really a “conclusion” as such but more of a summary.

    1. Tiffany OMAAT

      @ Kevin M -- That's a great thought, and something we actually have on the roadmap for future (at least for certain kinds of posts).

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Michelle Guest

Hi! Your post in using Virgin points for Delta flights was very helpful! I have Chase points and want to transfer them to Virgin so I can get a Delta non stop to Paris. Here is my question, if I have points in the Virgin travel plan will they automatically show up as available in my skymiles account? Thanks!

0
Robert Dale Porter Guest

Hi Ben, If I book an award ticket through Virgin Atlantic and fly Delta will I receive Delta MQM'S with Delta's temporary MQM boost specials? I read the Q&A on the Delta site and it was unclear. I think it said if the flight was marketed and operated by Delta the boost would apply.

0
Robert Guest

WELL THANK YOU. I followed your https://onemileatatime.com/redeeming-virgin-atlantic-miles-ana/ And just got two business class tickets from Washington to Tokyo for 95,000 Virgin Atlantic points each with $194 taxes. What an astounding value!!! Got them for next year. Hopefully things will be better by then. But I can cancel, so I feel protected. And I used American Express points that I had previously transferred with a 30% bonus. So each business class round trip ticked just cost me 73,000 points. Incredible. I couldn’t have done it without onemileatatime. Cant wait. One satisfied reader.

0
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