Late last year I wrote about the negative changes that Virgin Atlantic Flying Club made to their program, which primarily impacted those flying Virgin Atlantic. The changes destroyed what little value the program had, perhaps with the exception of the excellent value of redeeming Flying Club miles for premium cabin travel on ANA.
Now Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has announced some changes to their program that impact those who earn and redeem Flying Club miles on Delta. Some of the changes are positive, while others are negative. These changes kick in for bookings ticketed as of September 1, 2017, and are described as intending to “make sure our Flying Club members are rewarded equally, whether you choose to fly Virgin Atlantic or Delta.”
New Flying Club mileage earning rates on Delta
To start, Flying Club is adjusting the number of miles you earn for flying Delta. Here’s the number of miles you currently earn when flying Delta:
And here are the miles you’ll earn as of September 1, 2017:
These changes actually aren’t too bad:
- Mileage earning for select first & business class fares increases from 200% to 400%
- Mileage earning rates have now been announced for travel in Delta’s new Premium Select cabin
- Mileage earning is being increased in some economy fare classes, and decreased in others
So I don’t consider this too bad, and for some it will actually be positive.
New Flying Club mileage redemption rates on Delta
Flying Club is introducing seasonal award pricing for travel on Delta, and is also increasing award costs for travel between the US and Europe.
Here are the current Flying Club redemption rates for travel on Delta between the US and Europe:
And here’s the new seasonal award pricing:
As you can see:
- In some cases the cost of economy awards is decreasing significantly; standard season awards between the East Coast and Europe decrease in cost from 20,000 miles one-way to 10,000 miles one-way
- The cost of business class awards is going up across the board; currently these awards cost 90,000-100,000 miles roundtrip, while soon they’ll cost 95,000-155,000 miles roundtrip
New Flying Club tier points earning on Delta
Flying Club is also adjusting the number of tier points you earn for travel on Delta. The chart is getting considerably more complex. Here are the current number of tier points you earn for travel on Delta, depending on whether you’re in economy or a premium cabin, and depending on whether you’re flying more or less than 3,000 miles:
Meanwhile here’s the new chart, which takes into account fare classes:
While the number of tier points you earn for longhaul premium cabin tickets is increasing significantly, other than that the tier points earning is decreasing.
These are mostly negative changes that align mileage earning and redemption rates on both Delta and Virgin Atlantic for Flying Club members. On the plus side, at least unlike their joint venture partner Delta, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is providing some advance notice of these changes.
As much as I don’t love SkyMiles, I find the Flying Club program to be even less appealing, so hopefully not too many of you are crediting too much Delta flying to Flying Club.
Will you be impacted by these Flying Club changes for Delta flights?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)