The Loyalty Program Guide to Virgin Atlantic

By Amanda Wowk

October 22, 2019

Travel enough and you start to notice the difference between the haves and the have-nots. That is, those travelers who have elite status (and the perks that come along with it) and those that don’t. If you’re in the latter part of that passenger profile, you might be asking yourself questions like: What are the perks of signing up for a frequent flyer program? How can I receive complimentary upgrades? Is there a secret password for accessing an airline’s lounge? Is it really worth it to pursue the top-tier status?

With these questions in mind, our team set out to better understand not only what it means to have elite status with an international airline, but what we could be missing having say, Gold status versus Platinum. In this multi-part series, we answer these questions—and more—about international carriers’ loyalty programs.

Virgin Atlantic

How to earn miles with Virgin Atlantic

Travelers part of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program are known as Flying Club members. As a member of this loyalty program, you earn miles based on the number of miles you fly, your choice of cabin, ticket type and your Flying Club membership tier. With Virgin Atlantic, you can also earn miles when you shop, dine, rent a car, stay in a hotel, and more. There are so many ways to earn miles, both in the air and on the ground. Flying Club miles expire after 36 months of account inactivity, so be sure to earn or redeem miles on Virgin or a partner at least once every 36 months.

Flying Club miles can be used for award travel and other redemptions. For example, you can fly round-trip in economy from JFK to LHR for just 20,000 miles; from MIA to LHR for 25,000; and from SFO to LHR for 30,000 miles. Want to make the most of your miles? Use this reward guide to help you plan a getaway within your mileage budget.  

How to achieve elite status with Virgin Atlantic 

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members achieve status when they accrue a certain number of points. There are three levels of elite status: Red, or basic membership; Silver, which requires accruing 400 points; or Gold, requiring 1,000 tier points. 

Here’s what it takes to achieve each elite status tier:  

Tier pointsn/a4001,000
Economy flights requiredn/a4 Economy Delight round-trip flights
10 Economy Delight round-trip flights
OR, Premium flights requiredn/a2 flexible Premium round-trip flights5 flexible Premium round-trip flights
OR, Upper Class flights requiredn/a1 flexible Upper Class round-trip flight2 round-trip and a one-way in Upper Class

Elite status with Virgin Atlantic is earned on a rolling year basis. When you achieve Silver or Gold status, your elite benefits begin the day after the date you achieve status and continue for the remainder of that month plus an additional 12 months—a timeframe known as the Upgraded Fixed Membership Period. 

To maintain elite status, Flying Club members must earn the minimum number of tier points for that tier within 12 months. If you don't earn enough tier points to retain your Silver or Gold membership, you'll automatically revert back to a Silver member from Gold and a Red member from Silver.

Here for the benefits

You’ve flown the miles, now it’s time to cash in on the perks. Each tier yields its own benefits—and perks like earning more miles from your flights and lounge access depend on your Flying Club tier. Here’s a sampling of the perks you’re eligible for at each tier:

Red Tier

  • Earn miles on every flight
  • Access to reward flights
  • Access to Miles Plus Money redemption program

Silver Tier

  • Earn miles + 30% bonus miles on every flight
  • Access to reward flights
  • Access to Miles Plus Money redemption program
  • Free seat selection ahead of your flight in Economy Light
  • Premium check-in while flying in any cabin

Gold Tier

  • Earn miles + 60% bonus miles on every flight
  • Access to reward flights
  • Access to Miles Plus Money redemption program
  • Free seat selection ahead of your flight in Economy Light for you and your party
  • Complimentary exit row seats in Economy Classic
  • Upper Class check-in while flying in any cabin
  • Access to London Heathrow Revivals Lounge
  • Additional carry-on and checked baggage allowance
  • Exclusive Clubhouse passes for you and a guest
  • One complimentary Clubhouse spa treatment

For a full list of benefits and their terms, head to the Flying Club membership page.

Partner airlines

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members can earn and redeem miles on 11 partner airlines worldwide.

Partner airlines include: 

DeltaVirgin Australia
Air FranceSouth African Airways
SASAir China
Singapore AirlinesHawaiian Airlines
Air New Zealand

Hubs and lounges

Virgin Atlantic currently serves 33 international destinations, primarily from three hubs in the United Kingdom: London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester (MAN). 

Looking to put your lounge access to use? Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members can visit Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in the following airports: 

Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members can also access 20+ partner lounges around the world. 

Pro tip: Use the TripIt app’s interactive airport maps to locate lounges in the airport(s) you’re traveling through. You’ll have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.

Ready to join? You can sign up for a Flying Club membership here. Flying domestically? We’ve also created loyalty program guides for Delta, Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and American