Europe Awards on Sale for Just 12,250 Miles Each Way (and 30% Off Premium Economy)

This doesn’t appear to be advertised on the Virgin Atlantic website yet but they appear to have their award semi-regular award sale pricing for economy and premium economy redemptions loaded. (HT: Head for Points)

In fact, the pricing seems to be up to 30% off, which is better than their usual sales (back in the fall they offered 20% off).

That makes East Coast – London economy awards just 24,500 miles round trip but taxes and fees can be as much as ~ $500.

At the beginning of last year they offered 25% off something they also offered at this time last year. (Three years ago they even offered 50% off via a 2-for-1 sale.)

So 30% isn’t the best they’ve ever offered, but it’s a good sale.

It’s pricing one-way or round trip, and I think premium economy is a pretty good deal especially.

For the economy passenger that has a lot of Virgin miles, considering there aren’t a ton of Great Uses of Virgin Atlantic miles, there is some value (offset by taxes and fees).

Although fees total a bit less on roundtrips originating in the UK (228 GBP = ~ US$331).

Virgin Atlantic is a points transfer partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. However even with this discount I wouldn’t consider trading those points currencies for economy redemptions given the taxes and fees on the award, but premium economy may make more sense in my opinion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why are premium economy taxes higher than regular taxes. That makes no sense to me, and is a reason to steer clear of Virgin Atlantic miles and hence Virgin Atlantic.

  2. This is good news (for me), planning a Europe trip and only use Virgin Atlantic miles to go from the states to England, EWR-LHR. Thank you Virgin once again, for coincidentally working with my vacation schedule, ha!

  3. I’m looking to book a business or first class flight home from London later this year, but fuel surcharges are between $250 and $500 per ticket.

    What are the best options for a one way back from London to avoid such hefty fees?

    PS: I’m not looking to add a connection to save money, only considering direct

  4. JP, problem is LHR adds a bunch of taxes. I am sure others know the exact taxes. So even if you’re flying on United, who passes on fuel surcharges, is still almost 200. (I think like 170 something). So flying from London to the States, is always going to be 150 plus in taxes. So your best bet is to fly an airline who doesn’t charge you for fuel, like a United and understand that you’re going to pay those taxes regardless.

  5. I remain amazed that the British airlines can get away with this nonsense. It’s kind of like being offered a free soda, with a mandatory $5 “cup charge.”

  6. Nick: you should steer away from the UK then, taxes for anything over Y are higher. But VS might add some extra fuel charge upon that too.

  7. @iahphx US Airways used to charge for water.. most airlines aroudn the world add fuel surcharges to awards (Qantas adds them to awards when they don’t exist on paid tickets even!)

  8. “I remain amazed that the British airlines can get away with this nonsense.”
    Especially when fuel costs have gone down. They need to rebrand that charge.

  9. @Gary Leff — well, “ancillary revenue” (aka “charging for stuff that used to be free”) can certainly be annoying, but having to pay for your “free award ticket” is on another level. And when that fee is something like $500 for a coach ticket, the “award” starts seeming pretty pointless.

    I can’t vouch for the idiosyncrasies of other cultures, but in the USA, it’s pretty obvious that we collectively think this kind of fee is wrong. The only major airline that ever tried to go down that path, US Airways — which was charging a modest mandatory award ticketing fee — abandoned this strategy after the American merger. God only knows what other ancillary revenue the USA airlines will come up with, but I’ll be very surprised if we see a British-like “fuel surcharge” on award tickets (except as reciprocity for when the Brits charge them in their programs). Even businesses can have a conscience.

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