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The January 2021 Virgin / Delta Devaluation
On January 1st, Virgin Atlantic surprised us with a no-notice major program devaluation. In doing so, aside from breaking trust with members, they decimated the second biggest sweet spot in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program – using Virgin Points to fly on Delta.
In addition to adding fuel surcharges on Delta awards to the UK of $643 each way (which still use the old award chart pricing which ranges from 44,500 – 77,500 miles each way in Delta One Business Class), Virgin got rid of all other countries on the Delta metal award chart, instead moving to a distance based banded chart.
The old award chart allowed for these redemptions:
US transcon: 22,500 miles
US to Caribbean: 30,000 miles
US to South America: 45,000 miles
US to Europe: 50,000 miles
US to Asia: 60,000 miles
US to Australia: 75,000 miles
And the new distance based award chart for using Virgin Points to fly Delta
This means rates in most cases double and in some cases nearly tripled!
A US Transcon like NY-LA is up from 22,500 miles to 52,500 miles.
That sweet deal from Detroit to Tokyo Narita that was 60,000 miles in Delta One? That is now a mind blowing 165,000 miles!!!!
Virgin Backtracks on the US-Europe Non-Stops
When looking at flights to Europe, we saw absolutely bonkers increases. A relatively short NYC-AMS flight went from 50,000 points to 80,000. Starting on the West Coast? Amsterdam soared to 130,000 miles each way!
I had verified the new pricing was indeed in effect last week, although thankfully no surcharges were added to a EU bound flight on Delta metal.
Well, God Save the Points reports today that the US to / from EU flights have gone back to the old, flat 50,000 point rate. This will only apply to non-stop flights, so connectors won’t be as overjoyed…
And the Virgin site is already updated to reflect this:
In short, great news (for now) but the sting of Virgin doing the devaluation with no notice remains. Can we trust they won’t flip flop again? Probably not. But for now, this is very good news. At least Virgin Points no longer expire.
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.