I posted a couple of months back about the reasonable taxes that ANA charges when booking awards on Virgin, and I wanted to add another data point. I just called to inquire about an award on Virgin from Orlando to London (Gatwick) in Upper Class, since I’m thinking about a quick weekend trip to London in February. The grand total for such an award comes out to 68,000 miles and $126.60 in taxes! Those taxes are less than what any other US carrier charges for a US to UK award, at least as far as I’ve seen.
Incredible deal, although I’m still trying to decide whether or not to do this. I’m all for maximizing the experience, and I’m not sure that it’s being done in this case. While departing Orlando is incredibly convenient since I can drive 1.5 hours to the airport and hop right on a nonstop flight to Europe, I feel like I’m missing out on part of the “Virgin experience.” A crappy contracted lounge is used in Orlando (instead of the Clubhouse), and they only fly to Gatwick from Orlando, so I wouldn’t get to experience the famous Heathrow Clubhouse.