Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles get a new name, no longer expire
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the double points offer has been extended.
Say goodbye to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles and say hello to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Points.
On Thursday, Virgin Group unveiled Virgin Red, which is the new Virgin-wide rewards club. And as the new currency is being rolled out across businesses in the Virgin Group, Virgin Atlantic is renaming its Flying Club miles to take on the name of Virgin Points. As of Thursday, your Flying Club miles are now known as Virgin Points.
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But the name change isn’t the only thing of note. Here’s what else we know so far about the future of Virgin Points and how yours might soon become more valuable.
Virgin Points no longer expire
Along with the name change, Flying Club is adding a passenger-friendly amendment to its terms and conditions in that Virgin Points will no longer expire. Previously, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles expired after 36 months if the member had no account activity.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the downturn in travel, Virgin extended the expiration date of some members’ Flying Club miles by six months in May 2020. However, that initiative has been extended to now include all Virgin Points going forward.
It’s worth noting that while the currency of Virgin’s loyalty program is changing from Flying Club miles to Virgin Points, the Flying Club program as we know it is sticking around. The value of your miles — now Virgin Points — isn’t changing, and all other details of the program are staying the same, including elite-qualifying credits continuing to be known as Tier Points.
“Virgin Points have exactly the same value as miles and members can continue to earn and redeem these across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and other partners as they do today, as well as collect tier points,” Virgin Atlantic Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Siobhan Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “The change in currency provides greater peace of mind for our members and paves the way for an expanded range of ways to earn and spend Virgin Points.”
So, as of Thursday, the sum of miles — now Virgin Points — in your Flying Club account will no longer expire. Every one Flying Club mile that you had in your account is now one Virgin Point.
The news that Virgin Points will no longer expire is the second passenger-friendly improvement Virgin Atlantic has made to its Flying Club program recently. In August, Virgin Atlantic became the first major airline to announce that members would now earn elite-qualifying credits on award flights. For most other award programs, passengers only earn elite-qualifying credits on cash fares, rather than redemptions.
New promotion: Earn 2x Virgin Points on flights
As part of Thursday’s announcement, the airline is launching a promotion in which flyers can earn double points on flights. For flights booked before Oct. 15, 2020, Flying Club members will earn double points on eligible travel.
According to the terms and conditions, the flight must be booked directly with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays or the airline’s contact center. Additionally, the flights must be operated by Virgin Atlantic and marketed by the airline — codeshare flights are excluded from the promotion.
There’s no need to register for this offer. Ultimately, it’s a nice way to earn additional Virgin Points on flights you were otherwise planning on taking.
What should we make of Virgin Red?
Virgin Red, the new Virgin Group-wide rewards club, is an interesting development. As of Thursday’s announcement, Virgin Atlantic is the only business that’s taken on the new currency, which is “in preparation for the launch of Virgin Red” and “will be revealed soon,” according to Kelly Best, CMO of Virgin Red.
“Because Virgin Points will eventually be the currency used across all of the different Virgin companies, Flying Club miles have been rebranded to Virgin Points today,” Best said in a statement. “This rebrand doesn’t change how existing Flying Club members can collect or spend points around the globe – except that members can relax safe in the knowledge that Virgin Points will never expire.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Red wasn’t able to provide any additional information on the program and its redemption options. However, given the wide scope of Virgin’s brands, it could be possible in the future to earn and redeem Virgin Points on a number of other businesses. The extent of that, however, remains unclear at this time.
That said, new options for earning and redeeming could mean good news for points and miles collectors, potentially making those Virgin Points more valuable.
For now, we’ll have to get used to calling Virgin Atlantic’s currency points rather than miles.
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.
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