upper-class-virgin atlantic
Image Courtesy Virgin Atlantic

We already knew that Virgin Atlantic would be joining SkyTeam – and we actually thought it would have happened in January

It was postponed but now has a set date – March 2nd. 

Keep in mind that Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin’s mobile website are essentially the same. 

Here’s what to keep an eye on:

  • Using Virgin miles to book Delta flights. I predict that Delta will influence Virgin to get rid of some of the Delta sweet spots we are used to, like 50,000 Virgin Point flights from the US to Europe (Excluding the UK) and some really cheap pricing within North America. If they don’t force parity (I sure hope not, I have a ton of Virgin miles from cancelled COVID flights), they definitely could make the prices have significantly less of a gap. I would definitely try to book any of these flights I could right now, keeping in mind that cancelling a flight only costs $50 or your taxes and fees, whichever are less.
  • The ANA partnership. This is an obvious one and would be a killer for anyone who already has miles with Virgin waiting to book ANA First or Business class to or through Japan. If this dies, ANA itself is still an Amex partner and has similar pricing – though you can’t hold award space and a round trip is required (Virgin started allowing one ways on AANA a couple of years ago). All of that said, I do not think this will vanish overnight. My best guess, and it’s only a guess, is that Virgin has a contract with ANA for this redemption and it would be incredibly odd if that contract happened to end next month. That said, it could be a contract that can be terminated by either party so anything is possible.
  • Possibly better rates across other SkyTeam carriers than we get via Delta or Air France Flying Blue? We won’t know until we see it, but it could happen.
  • Keep in mind that Virgin directly competes against BA in the UK, so they do need to be mindful of not decimating their program. UK residents can’t get points the way we can with a million different credit cards, so most members are actually earning miles by flying and I don’t see 375,000 one way business class flights going over well – so I don’t expect that overnight. However, Delta has steadily increased prices, year after year, so Virgin might simply do “award price creep.”
  • Best case? Nothing at all happens, Delta and Virgin pax get their elite SkyTeam benefits, and this is a win-win. Let’s all hope for this last one…

Keep in mind that is you are booking something you may want to wait until February 19th for the Citi –> Virgin 30% transfer bonus.

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