Are you familiar with Virgin Atlantic's airline loyalty program? This mileage program isn’t as popular as some others you might know about, but its versatility allows you to book Delta Flights domestically, and access Sky Team partners like ITT Airways for flights from the US to Rome.
Earning Virgin Atlantic miles is the easy part: BILT, Capital One, Chase City, and American Express points all transfer over to Virgin Atlantic at a one-to-one ratio. You can apply for some of these cards through my referral links here (link).
The hard part? While you can search month to month, or even week by week, they don’t make it easy to search on their website. Here are five tips to help make the most of your search experience on Virgin Atlantic, so you can maximize your points:
It can be frustrating to search for specific cities you want to fly to on Virgin Atlantic — sometimes they just don’t show up. To remedy this, click on “Full Airport List”, select “Alphabetical,” and you can manually search for where you want to fly to.
Once you’ve selected your route, you’ll see a search option to show flexible dates. This searches three days behind, and three days ahead, from your selected date. By selecting your travel date as Wednesdays, the search will cover three days before and after, which is essentially searching the entire week for availability.
This is a bit of a hidden feature. If you’re looking to search month to month, start with the week to week search in the previous tip. Once finding availability, head to the URL bar and find ‘flexible-dates.’ Replace this with ‘calendar’ and hit enter — your page will refresh to show a secret awards calendar, and allow you to browse availability for the month at once. Click the left and right arrows to view previous and next months, and see award availability for the entire calendar month.
Virgin Atlantic recently introduced the Reward Seat Checker (link) tool, which makes month to month searches even easier. With this tool, you can select whether you will be flying with Virgin Atlantic or Delta, your departure and destination airport, and what month you’ll be flying. Once you search, you’ll get an overview of availability for each month, but this calendar will also tell you how many Upper Class (i.e. business, international business class), Premium, and Economy seats are available. Note that this tool only allows you to see a snapshot view of award availability. You can click ‘Book My Rewards’ to search for these flights on the Virgin Atlantic website!
If you don’t want to fly with Virgin Atlantic, you can search with one of their partners, Delta Airlines. The Reward Seat Checker searches for limited Delta flights — unless you know how to modify the URL.
Using the same Award Seat Checker, change the ‘Flying with’ option to Delta Air Lines. You’ll see limited options for your departure airport, and you can select any of these (LHR, LGW, EDI).
Virgin Atlantic often offers up to 30% transfer bonuses several times a year. Maximize your point redemption by taking advantage of these promotions where your transfer ratio goes from 1:1 to 1:1.3, earning you extra points! Keep an eye out for these promotions to get the most out of your points.
Searching and finding award availability with Virgin Atlantic can get frustrating, but by following these tips and keeping an eye out for transfer bonuses, you can get the most out of your miles and points!