Last Reviewed: 8/20/2010
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program. The lowest level of membership is Flying Club Red, then Silver, and finally, Gold. For those of you who are interested in an analysis of the monetary value of a Flying Club Point, check out GetDebit’s article, How Much Are Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles Worth?.
Earning Miles with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
As a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club member, you earn both miles and tier points on all flights in economy, premium economy, or upper class (the British version of First Class). When you fly premium economy or upper class, you also earn additional bonus miles (per the table below). For example, if you flew 3,000 miles from point A to point B round-trip, and you were a Gold member, you would earn 4,500 miles for that route.
|Tier||Bonus on Base Miles Flown|
Earning Tier Points: The Way to the Top of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
By earning tier points you can advance from lowly Red to Silver to regal Gold within Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. When you fly with Virgin Atlantic or one of their flying club partners, you not only earn miles, but also tier points. The table below illustrates.
|Cabin Type||Tier Points Earned*|
|Upper (First) Class||5|
* You earn double the above tier points when you fly from London to Sydney.
There are also more than 10 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club partners, with their own tier points earning schedule, as outlined below.
|Partner||Under 2,000 Miles Flown||More than 2,000 Miles Flown|
|All Other Partners||0||1||1||1||2||2|
Advancing in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club: From Red to Silver to Gold
If you earn 15 tier points in a rolling 12-13 month time-frame, you move up from Red to Silver. If you earn a total of 40 tier points in any 12-13 month time-frame, you’ll go from Red to Gold.
Tier points are calculated and totaled from the current day of the current month to the first day of the same month in the previous year (thus the rolling 12-13 month time-frame). Props to Sir Richard Branson for giving customers the benefit of rounding to the beginning of the year-ago month-this works in your favor!
When being evaluated for tier upgrades, tier points are considered valid for a full 12-13 months from the date at which they were earned.
Other Benefits From Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Status
Red Level Benefits
- Basically just the opportunity to belong to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program and earn miles. Basically, being red is totally average and you shouldn’t consider yourself special in any way.
Silver Level Benefits
- 25% extra base flown miles on every flight flown with VA.
- Full use of the premium economy check-in area.
- Priority standby: if a flight is already full, you’ll be bumped to near the top of the queue.
For more details, see Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club Silver Benefits
Gold Level Benefits (partial list)
- 50% extra base flown miles on every flight flown with VA.
- Priority boarding (with Upper Class group)
- Fast track through immigration and security at London Heathrow.
- Allowed 1 extra piece of baggage free of charge.
- Access to Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouses on departure.
- Individual access to Virgin Atlantic’s Revivals Lounge when flying into LHR on a VS prefix ticket.
- You automatically can bump a family member over 18 years of age to Silver Status.
- When you renew your Gold Status, you’ll receive a free companion ticket. You just need to travel together with that person in the same class.
- You’re guaranteed an economy seat on any Virgin Atlantic full fare flight that’s booked at least 3 days before departing.
For more details, see Flying Club Gold Benefits.
Renewing Your Flying Club Status
Once you reach Silver Membership status, fortunately you don’t need to earn another full 15 points the next year, but rather only 10 points will do the trick. For Gold status, instead of 40 points, you’ll need 30.
Your renewal year is referred to as your “Fixed Membership Year”, and is defined as starting from the 1st day after you earn your Silver or Gold status, to the end of the same month of the following year. Again, kudos to Virgin Atlantic for rounding forward to the end of the month.
If you want more information on this topic, go to the Virgin Atlantic Tier Points page on their site for more info.
Earning Miles Through Virgin Atlantic’s Various Partners
As mentioned above, you can earn miles simply by flying on Virgin Atlantic, as well as by using the Virgin Atlantic American Express Card. However, you can also earn miles in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club by spending money through one of VA’s partner airlines, or other non-airline partners.
There are roughly 7 classes of parnters through which you can earn Virgin Miles:
- Shopping partners
- Airline partners
- Hotel partners
- Car rental partners
- Virgin Group partners
- Financial partners
- Local partners
While you can conduct a more detailed evaluation of each of these partner channels by visting Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club Partner Section, GetDebit has displayed a graphical list of all the airline partners in their program below.
Redeeming Your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles
Your Flying Club Miles can be redeemed for free flights on Virgin Atlantic or on the majority of its partners. The Virgin Atlantic Spending Calculator shows you the number of required miles for a given round-trip flight. Each partner has its own Partner Redemption Schedule as well.