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Virgin Atlantic sours Delta sweet spot mileage redemptions
Update: We have amended this post after learning that Virgin Atlantic has kept their Delta chart to Europe in tact, and the devaluation affects US to Asia flights only.
We know that all good things come to an end, and Virgin Atlantic decided to do their worst with their Delta redemption charts without warning and in the middle of the night. Should we be surprised? Virgin Atlantic did a similar thing to the Air China chart increasing prices by 300%. While I think the prices had to surely come up at some point, some head’s up would go a long way in customer trust and loyalty. Virgin Atlantic has had loads of financial strains over the past year as it faced seemingly an unending amount of existential crises.
Virgin Atlantic is transfer partner of multiple currencies
There are 5 transferrable currencies currently in existence. Capital One is the only one that doesn’t have transfer capabilities to Virgin Atlantic. That means there are numerous ways to accrue massive amounts of Virgin Atlantic miles and their Delta redemptions have always been a great sweet spot
If you’d like more information on earning transferrable points and which cards may be right for you, click those links for more info.
Here is what you used to be able to do with Virgin Atlantic with a Delta Redemption:
50k One way US to Europe in business – Virgin has confirmed that the flights into Europe will stay unaffected.
60k One Way US to Asia in business
Now, let’s take a look at what we can do now
The new levels of redemption are split into 3 different categories: Standard+Peak to/from UK, and then Distance based. Each category is then defined by Main Cabin vs Delta One/Business
Standard Season/Peak Season to/from UK
These rates aren’t that egregious when it comes to miles – they range from 90k to 135k roundtrip, but the taxes and fees are downright ludicrous. These rates are pretty much akin to what Virgin charges on their own metal, so while the taxes and fees are super high, they are commensurate with Virgin Atlantic’s own redemptions.
Here’s a look at the distance based Virgin Atlantic Delta chart for Asia Only
This is where you see an absolute obliteration of currency value. It’s not even funny how much they tore it up on long haul, premium cabin redemptions.
The flight from Minneapolis to Tokyo that I would have run 60k miles would just sneak in under 165k one way since the flight distance is 5982. That means Atlanta to Asia flights will clock in at that top rate.
There was a solid week or so where we thought the redemptions had completely exploded, but…while it’s not ideal that the Asia routes have been devalued, at least the US to Europe routes ( aside from those mentioned in the UK examples ) have stayed in tact. 50k to Europe on Delta Metal is still a helluva deal.
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