The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club frequent flyer program doesn’t receive much attention in Australia. But, using Flying Club miles to fly on Virgin Atlantic’s partner airlines, there are some surprisingly good value redemptions available on flights to and from Australia.
Flying Club is the frequent flyer program of UK-based Virgin Atlantic (not to be confused with Virgin Australia). You may not have any Flying Club miles, but you can transfer points across from American Express credit cards. In Australia, the Flying Club program is a transfer partner for Amex Membership Rewards. 1 Amex Membership Rewards Ascent point is equal to 1 Flying Club mile.
Virgin Atlantic is not in an alliance, but it does have an eclectic mix of partner airlines. As well as Virgin Atlantic’s own flights to/from the UK, you can redeem Flying Club miles to fly with:
- Virgin Australia
- Singapore Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- South African Airways
- All Nippon Airways
- Jet Airways
- Air China
- Hawaiian Airlines
The number of miles needed for an award fight depends on the route and the airline you’re flying. While some awards offer mediocre value, others are quite valuable. You can see the full list of award charts on the Virgin Atlantic website.
To get you started, we’ve found 5 great value Virgin Atlantic Flying Club awards of interest to Australians.
1. Perth to Johannesburg in South African Airways Business Class
South Africa can be a difficult destination to reach using frequent flyer points (especially in Business class). But award availability on South African Airways’ Perth-Johannesburg service is generally pretty good. And at just 55,000 miles one-way in Business class, the cheapest way to book a seat is with Flying Club miles. By comparison, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines both charge 78,000 points/miles for the same seat.
2. Sydney to Tokyo in All Nippon Airways Business Class
Flying Club charges just 45,000 miles one-way for Business class on All Nippon Airways from Sydney to Tokyo! This is certainly better than the 83,000 KrisFlyer miles that Singapore Airlines charges for the same redemption, and All Nippon Airways is a superb airline.
3. Sydney to Honolulu in Hawaiian Airlines Business Class
If you’ve ever tried to redeem Qantas points for a Business class ticket to Hawaii, you’ve probably found that there are no seats available. But one airline that does have award availability between Australia and Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines. You can use Virgin Australia Velocity points or American AAdvantage miles to book a seat, but Virgin Atlantic is another option. For Sydney-Honolulu awards, Flying Club charges fewer miles than Velocity. Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines all charge 65,000 points/miles on the Brisbane-Honolulu route.
4. Beijing to London in Air China First Class
Air China might not be on your radar, but this redemption oozes value. A one-way First class ticket between Beijing and London costs just 37,500 Flying Club miles! No, that’s not a typo. Unfortunately this is the only Air China route available for redemption with Flying Club miles.
Note: As of 1 May 2018, a First class ticket on this route will increase to 100,000 miles. Oh well, this one was good while it lasted!
5. Australia to Bali with Virgin Australia
Most Flying Club awards for travel on Virgin Australia are priced higher than an equivalent Velocity Frequent Flyer redemption. But there are a few exceptions. Virgin Atlantic charges fewer miles for reward seats between Sydney or Brisbane and Denpasar. A one-way Virgin Atlantic Economy ticket costs just 20,000 Flying Club miles and Business costs 40,000 miles. Redeeming through Flying Club is also better value than Velocity on Virgin Australia’s flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Apia, as well as Melbourne-Nadi. However, Etihad Guest redemptions are even cheaper on these routes.
As with any frequent flyer program, there are a few Flying Club award routing rules to be aware of. A key rule is that each flight sector is charged separately. For example, Perth-Johannesburg-Durban would be charged as the sum of the Perth-Johannesburg and Johannesburg-Durban sectors.
You’ll need to call Virgin Atlantic to book most partner airline award tickets. But you can research award availability using other airlines’ websites prior to calling.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.
Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
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