UPDATE: After more than 1 week, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is back up and running
Update June 2: Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club is back up and running. After more than a week of the site’s functionality being down, members can now log in to their account once again.
As promised by Virgin Atlantic, there appear to be no changes to accounts. Members are seeing their status and miles appear untouched.
Original story, published on 28 May:
Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club website has been down since May 24. For members looking to redeem Flying Club miles on award bookings, it's been impossible.
When attempting to log in to the Flying Club, members are shown a message that the site's functionality is completely down.
Additionally, for those attempting to make Flying Club redemptions over the phone, call center agents haven't been able to process bookings. One FlyerTalk member said that they tried to make an ANA partner booking through Flying Club — a sweet spot in the program — but the call center agent was unable to process the booking.
Given Virgin Atlantic's very public struggling financial position — founder Sir Richard Branson said it would collapse without government support — the loyalty program being down has lead to some speculation. Will Virgin devalue the Flying Club in order to conserve cash? Will the program dissolve members' miles?
In short, no.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson has confirmed to TPG that there are no changes coming to the Flying Club program. The downtime has been purely the result of technical difficulties and is not reflective of any changes or devaluations coming to the program.
"We’re currently experiencing technical issues with some of our systems, and are aware our Flying Club website is currently unavailable", Virgin Atlantic said in a statement. "Our teams are working hard to rectify the issue, so we can get the site back up as soon as possible. We apologise to our members for any inconvenience caused".
According to the Virgin Atlantic spokesperson, Flying Club functionality should be back next week.
Note that you can still search for award bookings on Virgin Atlantic's website, like this example of Delta One Suites from Detroit (DTW) to Seoul (ICN):
However, you'll run into the same technical error notice when you go to ticket the reservation.
Interestingly, non-Flying Club redemptions for travel with Virgin Atlantic are working. TPG Editorial Director Scott Mayerowitz, a Delta Diamond Medallion member, attempted to book a Virgin Atlantic award seat using Delta SkyMiles and was successful. So, if you've got a surplus of Delta SkyMiles or Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles and see a Virgin seat available on tools like ExpertFlyer or SeatSpy, you should be able to use those currencies to redeem for the seat.
While the Flying Club program is down for now, there's no reason to be worried about your miles. Virgin Atlantic has assured us that the program is not changing, and your account will be accessible once it resolves the ongoing technical issues.
Virgin Atlantic is one popular option for the various transferable point currencies, as you can transfer from Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards. Whenever a program is down, you should probably hold off on making transfers until the functionality is restored — and in fact, both Chase and Amex have temporarily disabled transfers to Flying Club for this reason.
Of course, in the future, there's still the possibility that Virgin Atlantic could change its Flying Club award chart. However, that time is apparently not now.
ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG's parent company.