Continental Ending Relationship With Virgin Atlantic February 13

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Continental announced it is ending its partnership with Virgin Atlantic on February 13, 2012, which is a huge blow to the new United program, in my opinion. Virgin Atlantic has always had great award availability, which made transatlantic (and beyond) travel much more easy to book with Continental miles than almost any other mileage currency.

Per (soon to be

Effective February 13, 2012 we will discontinue our OnePass partnership with Virgin Atlantic. Mileage accrual benefits are valid for travel through February 13, 2012. Please refer to the Mileage Credit Request Form for information regarding obtaining missing mileage credit.

For redeeming awards: OnePass reward reservations for travel on Virgin Atlantic must be confirmed and ticketed by February 13, 2012, and they are valid one year from the date ticketed. So if you were thinking of using your OnePass miles to book a flight on Virgin Atlantic, you’ve got to do it by February 13 for travel within a year or you’re out of luck.

I’ve never flown Virgin Atlantic, so I’m going to use my OnePass miles to book an award on the airline before then for travel within the next few months. One of the things I like about Continental/United is that they let you route via Europe to Asia. So you can fly Virgin Atlantic Chicago to London (stop for a couple days/weeks) and then London to Hong Kong, for example for only 65,000 miles in economy or 120,000 in business class. Continental/United is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold cards, both of which have current 50,000 limited time sign-up bonuses.

New York- London- Hong Kong on Virgin Atlantic for only 65,000 miles and $180 in fees.

Once this partnership ends, you can still book Virgin Atlantic awards with other partners, such as:

1. Using ANA miles, which will still be possible thanks to the airlines’ continuing partnership, though you’ll still have to pay steep fuel surcharges ($400+).

2. Transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic and using those to book travel, though again, you’ll still have those fuel charges levied on the ticket. They often run transfer bonuses, which can make this worthwhile.

Not great, but still, these are better than no options at all.

There’s nothing worse than a breakup that comes the day before Valentine’s Day, and this is one that will be hurting well into 2012.

Hat tip: Lucky.

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Apply Now
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A 15.49%-19.49% Variable $95 See Terms Excellent Credit