Join Virgin Atlantic?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by snufl, Aug 12, 2006.

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  1. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    Just received an offer from AMEX. Transfer points to Virgin Atlantic before September 30 and get 20% bonus. I have 230,000 points in my Qantas FF account and will transfer another 30,000 from Ezy Mastercard before it dies (how sad, but that is another topic).

    My husband has more than 200,000 AMEX pts and so if we transfer these to VA would get 240,000 ff points. Sounds tempting and would give us an alternative to Qantas when trying to book seats.

    Would like your opinions. If you have any reasons NOT to do this please let me know. Many thanks.
     

  2. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    Hi, I just checked my last post and no replies, but then I noticed I put in the "any reasons NOT" phrase. I suppose no reply is positive, however after scanning all sections of the forum I don't see any excitement about the bonus offer either. Is anyone else considering it? Would really like to hear some opinions as we have saved these points for years, so don't want to transfer and regret it later.

    To add some further information. Nearly all our points come from credit cards. We are both bronze Qantas members and that won't change as we don't fly enough. Many thanks.
     
  3. jasonja3

    jasonja3 Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    368
    1
    SYD
    I guess the most obvious down side is the VS network is much smaller than QF. They certainly have cheaper awards, though. Just be sure that VS can get you where you want to go.
     
  4. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    8,606
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    Yes but they do have an extensive partner network, and on some of those partners redemptions are quite generous. In fact with the 20% bonus offer running at the moment for transfers from Amex, you can get from Aus to Europe in J using one of VS's program partners for the same number of Amex points that you could use for a Y class booking Aus to Europe on QF.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    They have some partners ;)
     
  6. blundeni

    blundeni Junior Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    21
    0
    I was just looking at the burn rate on Air NZ - one of VA's partner airlines.

    Business Class awards are 30k, Economy 20k - there is no mention anywhere on the site that I could find to indicate wether these were one way or return.

    Anyone have any ideas - or could point me to the relevant clause on VA's site??
     
  7. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    8,606
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    I had the same question, but go to 4.4.2 of the T&C ...

     
  8. blundeni

    blundeni Junior Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    21
    0
    Assuming that I am reading this correctly thats a very cheap business return...
     
  9. blundeni

    blundeni Junior Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    21
    0
    This looks pretty definitive...

    Code:
    16.1   
    All mileage levels are for a free return ticket excluding passenger taxes, 
    duties, fees, charges and surcharges. 
    
    All reward flights with partner airlines are subject to availability. 
    
    Blackout dates may apply and certain routes may not be available, please 
    check with Flying Club. 
    
    Redemptions for unaccompanied minors are not available on partner airlines.
    Flying AirNZ in Business return for 30k points must surely make this one of the best reward redemptions available...
     
  10. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    I agree blundeni. The more I look at this the better I like it. Seems you can fly with partner airlines on many routes for less than using QF. Add the 20%bonus to that and it looks very good indeed.

    I have sent an email to VA flyer club asking a couple of specific questions, however if what I understand from the website is correct, we will be transferring points.
     
  11. blundeni

    blundeni Junior Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    21
    0
    Let me know what the response to your questions is - I think that we too will be transferring to VA.

    I had previously thought about AA, and indeed have started to use my AA number rather than my QF number on some flights.

    However with the AA costing 35k points return in business, and it costing many more AMEX points than that to even get to 35k AA points this looks to be the go.
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,981
    8,538
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Is this offer only targetted to certain people? I cannot find anything on the Amex website about 20% bonus or maybe I am not looking hard enough.

    I can find Virgin Atlantic as an Amex Program partner - Virgin Atlantic but Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is not included as a frequent flyer program partner and still no mention of the 20% bonus.
     
  13. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
    17,355
    1,624
    Melbourne
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    Membership Rewards Virgin Atlantic mission
     
  14. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    Hi JohnK, try this link.
    Membership Rewards Virgin Atlantic mission
    make sure you click on "mission intructions" for details to transfer points. Looks like it is open to everyone, just need to do before 30th September.
     
  15. neilg

    neilg Newbie

    Aug 16, 2006
    3
    0
    Snufl,
    I have recently joined VA and transferred Amex points. I actually did the transfer before receiving the mailing, so was pleasantly suprised to see the 20% extra points in my VA account.

    Having just used the points to purchase a partner seat in Premium Economy, I think the partner flight / upgrade options are great value when compared to other schemes and I had no problem finding seat availability unlike my experience with QF.

    Partner return to the UK in PE was 60k points (+$380 taxes), and qualifying PE fare needed was $4650, so for return travel to the UK leaving the week before Xmas I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

    Also Virgin are running a "Recommend a Friend" offer, so worth checking out and recommending your husband for some extra VA points if you can swing it.

    All up with the 20% bonus, the recommend a friend, earned miles for the full fare and paying the balance $$ on Amex - we have recouped the 60k points.

    Worth noting also, that in the UK the VA transfer rate from Amex is 1 GBP to 1 point, so here in Oz we get a good earning rate.

    Having said all that, I would still keep a chunk of points on your Amex card to keep your options open in future.

    Hope this helps
     
  16. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    Thanks neilg, great to know it is possible get seats. Unfortunately both my husband and I have just joined VA so will miss out on the recommend a friend:(
    We already have a lot of points with QF ff and all remaining in Ezy Mastercard will be transferred soon. It is nice to have an alternative at 1:1 transfer.

    I thought the partner seat was only available to gold members. I'll have to go back to the VA website and read it again. Thanks again for taking the time to provide so much info.
     
  17. neilg

    neilg Newbie

    Aug 16, 2006
    3
    0
    I also had already joined also but as I had no points or history I just joined again with work address, and hoping that VA systems are not too clever to figure it out.

    My mistake - I think there is some kind of freebie partner fare for gold members, but the one that I actually did is called a companion flight reward.
    Virgin Atlantic - Upgrade/Companion Flights
     
  18. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,981
    8,538
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Thanks snufl and oz_mark for posting the link. Obviously I wasn't looking hard enough.

    The return business class award booking Aus-NZ for 30,000 points (25,000 Amex points before Sep 30) on Air NZ looks good.
     
  19. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    249
    0
    This is the reply I got from VA to my email. Think it is self explanatory, but if you have any questions, let me know.

    Yes you can use your miles to fly fro Sydney to Auckland to Los Angeles,
    the total cost is

    Australia - LA via AKL 80,000 125,000


    Yes this is the return mileage amount,
    This does not include a stop over though
     
  20. FlyFirst

    FlyFirst Junior Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    30
    0
    Australia
    Hi all

    I have been a VS FF member for 6 or 7 years and have been very happy. Never had any problem redeeming miles, and can confirm the levels to NZ are based on return. I booked two Y class tickets in Feb from MEL to AKL (flying NZ) with about three weeks notice.

    Also never had any problems (with reasonable advance booking) flying Upper Class between the UK and the States (talking about two months notice).

    The beauty of VS is that one way rewards on VS are half the return. We have upcoming plans for Hong Kong, and will fly one way VS in Upper Class for 40,000 miles each (with a decent flight arrival time), then select CX return in First back to MEL (95,000 each). Taking QF each way from MEL provides lousy flight times for the return (0700 departure from HKG so you effectively lose a day in HKG).

    Regards

    FlyFirst
     
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