With sweet spot redemptions like 10,000-mile economy awards between the East Coast and London, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles are incredibly valuable. Thanks to transfer partnerships with AmEx, Chase and Citi, these miles are also easy to earn. But how do you actually redeem Virgin Atlantic miles, step-by-step? It’s pretty simple, and we’ll show you how.
» Learn more: 5 of the best airline award sweet spots
Redeeming miles for Virgin Atlantic flights
It’s important to note that only Virgin Atlantic awards can be booked online. We’ll cover how partner flights can be booked later. The award booking process is straightforward, and Virgin Atlantic makes it easy with five simple steps:
1. Log in to your account
Once you’ve saved up or transferred points over to your Flying Club account, it’s time to get booking! Simply log in to your account by clicking on the “Log in” button on the upper right side of the Virgin Atlantic homepage.
Enter your credentials to log in. You’ll be redirected to the homepage, where you can start your award search.
2. Search for award space
To search for a Virgin Atlantic award, type in the departure, destination, date and number of travelers. You can find out which airports Virgin Atlantic services by clicking on either departure or destination and selecting “Full Airport List.”
Be sure to click on “Advanced search” and select “Miles” or “Miles plus money” if you’re short on miles and want to pay partly with cash.
If you have flexibility, check the “Show flexible dates” box. This will enable you to view award availability for three days before and after your specified date.
You can even switch to “Calendar view” to see award availability for an entire month.
3. Pick a date
Once you see a flight that works for you, simply select and then hit “Continue” at the bottom of the page. You’ll see the total price, including taxes and fees, displayed in red.
4. Pick a flight
On the following page, you can choose your specific flight and even view the cash fare. This is helpful because if Virgin Atlantic is running a particularly generous sale, it might make more sense to pay cash rather than redeem miles.
5. Pay and book
Select your flight, and you’ll be redirected to a checkout page where you can enter your credit card information and finalize your booking.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles for partner awards
Virgin Atlantic has 11 airline partners, each with a dedicated award chart. Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles for partner awards requires calling the Flying Club customer service number, which differs by region.
Before you call, it’s always helpful to have a few things worked out in advance:
1. Have your award number ready
You’ll need to provide it so the agent can access your account and finalize the booking.
2. Know how many miles you need
Each of the Virgin Atlantic partners has a unique award chart, which means redemption rates to the same destinations may vary across partners. It’s important to research your options ahead of time so you’re aware of the cheapest option available. Be sure to let the phone agent know which specific airline you want to redeem miles with so there are no surprises at checkout.
3. Know your travel dates and flexibility
When you’re booking awards online, you’ll often have to conduct multiple searches with differing travel dates and even airports. When you’re handing this task over to a phone rep, it’s important to be prepared with backup options in case your preferred travel dates and destinations don’t work out.
Let them know how flexible you are, provide alternate dates if necessary and also let them know if you’re willing to change your cabin class or airline to make the itinerary work. Thinking through your options in advance and being prepared to give this information to the phone rep at a moment’s notice will save you time and frustration.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
7 reasons to get a Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
Compare the best frequent flyer programs
9 best airline credit cards of February 2020