Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program is offering 25% off many economy and premium economy award tickets. They have a chart with all of the markets that are included, which are a vast majority of the destinations they serve. The good news is that this promotion is valid through the end of the schedule, so this isn’t something just available in the off season.
For example, here’s a small sampling of the markets on sale to/from London in premium economy:
And here’s a sampling of the markets on sale to/from London in economy:
For comparison purposes, here are the normal rates they charge out of select destinations in the US (as you can see, roundtrip economy from the Northeast usually costs 35,000 miles, while roundtrip premium economy from the Northeast usually costs 55,000 miles):
The catch with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program is that they impose fuel surcharges on award travel, and they can be pretty steep. Fortunately they reduced fuel surcharges for economy travel somewhat last year so they’re not nearly as high as for Upper Class, but they’re still worth mentioning.
If traveling between the US and Europe you’re typically looking at taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges of ~£200-250 for economy, and ~£400-450 for premium economy. Generally the cash component will be much lower on flights to London than flights from London, given that you’re only charged the UK APD on departure from the UK.
The promotion works for both one-way and roundtrip travel.
Ultimately this isn’t the best use of miles in the world, but if you’re looking for a cheap way to get between the US and Europe — particularly for one-ways — this is worth being aware of. The promotion is only valid for travel on Virgin Atlantic, so this isn’t something you can book on one of their partners in hopes of dodging any fuel surcharges.
Keep in mind that Virgin Atlantic’s co-branded US credit card has a generous sign-up bonus of up to 90,000 miles right now, so these miles can be pretty easy to come by.
(Tip of the hat to Gary)