Skip to content

A devaluation, softened: Virgin Atlantic confirms Delta US to Europe flights will be honored at previous rate

Jan. 11, 2021
4 min read
A devaluation, softened: Virgin Atlantic confirms Delta US to Europe flights will be honored at previous rate
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor's Note

/strong> This story has been updated with new information.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.

On New Year's Day, Virgin Atlantic stunned the points and miles world with a sudden and drastic devaluation. At a moment's notice, the carrier replaced its award chart for Delta partner awards with a distance-based version. With it, it increased the number of Virgin Points you would need for some flights by as much as 175%.

But now, Virgin Atlantic is clawing back some of those changes.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more points and miles news!

As a refresher on Jan. 1, Virgin Atlantic introduced a distance-based award chart for Delta flights. And, unsurprisingly, it completely wiped out some of the great sweet spots that were previously available.

Here's the new award chart, based on one-way flights.

(Image courtesy of Virgin Atlantic)

Under the new chart, rewards from the U.S. to Europe increased from 50,000 Virgin Points to 130,000 Virgin Points. However, Virgin Atlantic says that is no longer the case.

Flights between the U.S. and Europe and U.K. will be honored at the previous, lower rates.

This chart now applies to one-way direct U.S. to U.K. flights:

Standard seasonStandard seasonPeak seasonPeak season
Route (U.S. to U.K.)Delta Main CabinDelta OneDelta Main CabinDelta One
East Coast (Boston, New York) to U.K.10,000 Virgin Points + $262 tax47,500 Virgin Points + $643.50 tax20,000 Virgin Points + $262 tax57,500 Virgin Points + $643.50
Central U.S. (Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis) to U.K.12,500 Virgin Points + 262 tax47,500 Virgin Points + $643.50 tax22,500 Virgin Points + $262 tax57,500 Virgin Points + $643.50 tax
West Coast U.S. (Salt Lake City) to U.K.15,000 Virgin Points + $262 tax67,000 Virgin Points + $643 tax25,000 Virgin Points + $262 tax77,500 Virgin Points + $643 tax

For travel from U.S. to Europe (non-U.K.), award flights will continue to be honored at the following rates one-way:

Route (U.S. to Europe)Delta Main CabinDelta One
Eg. Boston to Amsterdam, Atlanta to Paris30,000 Virgin Points50,000 Virgin Points

This is good news for travelers who look forward to redeeming Virgin Points for travel between the U.S. and Europe. The airline will continue to honor one of the best ways to book Delta One flights with miles. Though note that this only applies for flights across the Atlantic.

All other Delta-operated routes — including transpacific and domestic U.S. flights — will be honored at the new, increased rate detailed in the distance-based award chart above.

For example, a one-way flight from the U.S. to Asia previously cost 60,000 Virgin Points in Delta One. Now, however, those rates have increased. For example, a one-way flight in Delta One from Atlanta (ATL) to Tokyo (HND) will cost 165,000 Virgin Points.

For that return ticket, you're now looking at 330,000 Virgin Points to fly in Delta One. This, as opposed to 120,000 Virgin Points at the old rates. That's a 175% increase.

This is still a huge devaluation. However, the blow has been slightly softened by the fact that U.S. to Europe awards are no longer included in it.

Using Virgin Points — formerly Flying Club miles — has long been one of the best ways to book Delta flights, especially in Delta One. Because Delta got rid of its award chart years ago, booking through the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club allowed travelers to redeem points for Delta flights at fixed — and often much lower — rates than booking through Delta itself.

Related: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles get a new name, no longer expire

"We recognize how much our members value the extensive range of redemption partner options available through Flying Club, including flights with our joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines," a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said in a statement. "The recent changes contribute to some considerable savings on reward seats, meaning members can go further for fewer Virgin Points. Across all classes, the redemption pricing remains competitive.”

Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic. And while Flying Club has kept this sweet spot in its program, it looks as though Delta has finally aligned its close partner in Virgin Atlantic with the likes of its own redemption values.

If anything, this revelation is a great reminder in the value of building points balances that are in a transferable currency, such as American Express Membership Rewards.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases