Virgin Atlantic Makes Positive Changes for Flying Club Members
Virgin Atlantic has unveiled today a number of exciting changes to its Flying Club loyalty program, including another status extension and a new benefit which lets members earn tier points on reward flights. “We recognise our loyalty programme is extremely important to our Flying Club members and we want to ensure our most loyal customers don’t lose out on their benefits while they’ve had less opportunity to fly with Virgin Atlantic,” said Oli Byers, Senior Vice President, Data and Customer Loyalty at Virgin Atlantic.
Let jump into the list of changes that were announced today in the press release. There are four changes and more details can be found below.
- From 1 September Flying Club members will be able to earn tier points on redemption flights using miles – providing greater opportunities for customers to progress or maintain their tier status.
- Companion, Upgrade and Clubhouse vouchers have been simplified and improved to make them more generous and easier to use.
- To support loyal customers, Flying Club Silver and Gold tier status and voucher validity is further extended by six months, giving members an extra year in total to maintain tier status and redeem a host of benefits.
- From today (20 August) Upper Class, Gold Flying Club members and eligible customers of partners can use the Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2.
Earning Tier Points on Reward Flights
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members will now be able to earn tier points on Virgin Atlantic redemption flights using miles – providing greater opportunities for customers to progress or maintain their tier status, every time they fly with Virgin Atlantic.
Up until now, tier points were only awarded for flights paid for with cash or Miles Plus Money, but in a shake-up of reward bookings to support customers, they will now also be awarded when purchased using miles only, ensuring members are rewarded every single time they choose to fly with Virgin Atlantic.
Earning tier points on awards is not an option just yet. It goes live on September 1, 2020. This will apply to flights on Virgin Atlantic only, and will not work if you use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to book with partner airlines.
Miles bookings will receive the same tier points as if they were booking with money, based on the lowest fare in each cabin. It means more opportunities to reach the 400 tier points required to progress from Red to Silver status, or the 1,000 tier points needed to become a Gold member and unlock a host of incredible benefits.
Flying Club miles can be earned through credit card signup bonuses, credit card spend or transfers from major programs such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi Thank You.
Tier Points You Earn in Each Cabin (One Way)
As mentioned above, the amount of tier points that you earn on rewards flights is based on the lowest fare in each cabin that you book. An Economy booking using miles would earn you 25 tier points one way. Premium bookings would earn 50 tier points one way and Upper Class would earn 100 tier points one way. You will earn double the tier points for round trip bookings.
After automatically extending loyalty status in March 2020, with all Flying Club Gold and Silver members given an extra six months’ tier status, and all voucher validity extended, the airline is now further extending validity by an additional six months. It means all members will have an extra year in total to maintain tier status and redeem a host of benefits. The automatic extension gives members more time to use their valuable miles, achieve tier points or use rewards such as Companion, Upgrade or Clubhouse vouchers.
“This additional six-month extension – making an extra year in total – gives our members peace of mind that they have even more time to enjoy and renew their hard-earned tier status or redeem their vouchers,” Oli Byers said.
Gold and Silver members need to earn 1000 tier points and 400 tier points, respectively, to maintain their status for another year. Following the latest extension, these members will have an extra year in total added to their membership, providing them with extra time to reach their goal. A new membership card will not be sent but a digital membership card can be viewed online and downloaded via the Virgin Atlantic app. Flying Club accounts will be updated soon so that members can login online and see how many tier points they have and the new end date of their membership year.
Flying Club members can earn a host of rewards throughout the year and for those that were valid as of 13 March 2020, Virgin Atlantic is extending validity by a further six months to twelve months in total for customers to redeem them, effective immediately. These rewards include:
Gold member vouchers
- Gold member Companion reward for Gold status renewal
- One cabin upgrade for Gold member 2000 tier point reward
- Clubhouse passes for Gold member 1500 tier point reward
Credit card vouchers
- Companion reward
- Premium upgrades
- Clubhouse passes
Simplification of Companion, Upgrade and Clubhouse Vouchers
The terms and conditions for Companion, Upgrade and Clubhouse vouchers have been revised to make them simpler and more rewarding, with a single set of rules for each of the three voucher types regardless of whether they’ve been awarded through a Virgin Atlantic credit card or Gold tier status. It’ll now be easier for members to find availability and enjoy their well-earned benefits, with tier and booking class restrictions removed.
- Companion vouchers can now be used in conjunction with a ticket in any booking class and can be used in any cabin of travel regardless of tier status. Gold and Silver can book their companion into any cabin for zero miles and Red members can book their companion into Economy and Premium for zero miles or Upper Class at a 50% miles discount. Taxes and fees apply.
- Upgrade vouchers can now be used in conjunction with a ticket in any booking class, for a one cabin upgrade for a return flight (excludes original bookings made in Economy Light).
- Clubhouse vouchers will be valid for one entry to any Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, when booked on a Virgin Atlantic flight or with Joint Venture partners Delta Air Lines, Air France or KLM (when travelling internationally). Gold members will continue to receive two Clubhouse vouchers.
As part of the simplification of our vouchers, described above, all existing vouchers will now enjoy the more flexible and generous usage conditions being introduced, effective immediately.
Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2
From today (20 August) all Upper Class, Gold Flying Club members and eligible customers of partner carriers, including Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, will be able to use the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2, enjoying complimentary hot and cold food and beverages in relaxed surroundings. Customers of Virgin Atlantic and its partners will also receive a special welcome with an exclusive premium drinks package, which includes champagne.
Located on level 4 in the Terminal 2 departure lounge, Plaza Premium has been awarded the prestigious SKYTRAX award for the World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge for three consecutive years.
You can read the full press release here.