London Award Sale From 5,000 Points Each Way (!) – Or Under 24,000 Points In Business Class

Virgin Atlantic is offering 50% off awards booked by March 20 for travel through June 30, 2024.

Chase, Capital One, Citibank, American Express and Bilt points all transfer to Virgin so it’s easy to access these points if you don’t already have them.

How Good A Deal?

Virgin Atlantic’s miles are usually best used on partner redemptions that do not incur fuel surcharges which can be $1700 roundtrip on a Virgin Atlantic business class award.

Since you’re paying surcharges, and those can be a substantial portion of the paid fare when fares are lowest (which tends to coincide with when award space is available), the value of miles tends not to be outsized even when redeeming points at a discount.

This gets you economy from 5,000 points one way and business class from 23,750 points one way across the Atlantic. It’s definitely a nice offer for Virgin Atlantic credit card customers with upgrade and 2-for-1 vouchers as well.

Virgin Atlantic awards do count towards elite status. And this 50% discount is a lot better than paying full price for Virgin Atlantic award travel, of course!

Which Aircraft You Fly Matters

Pay attention to the aircraft you’re flying, for instance Airbus A350s have the 2019 seat and there’s a new seat for A330s while you’ll want to avoid 787s.

Retreat Suite, Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Reprice Any Awards Already Booked

This is a great time to reprice any awards you have booked, as well. However you’ll want award space to still be available on the flights you’d rebook, since there’s no guarantee that cancelling an award will return that space into inventory for rebooking.

I transferred Bilt points to Virgin at a 150% bonus, and booked their London Heathrow – Austin flight for 3 passengers in business class. Then about a week later Virgin announced they were pulling out of the Austin market. They were great with rebooking, though! I was planning to fly their worst, old business class Boeing 787 product since it would be a non-stop home. Instead I asked to be rebooked on London – Atlanta (new Airbus A330neo business class) and to have them connect me onto Delta in first class for Atlanta – Austin. They gave me this with no pushback at all. Of course that flight has since been changed to an A350. Sigh.

Honestly I’m just looking forward to returning to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow. While it is a busy business lounge, it is also one of my two favorite lounges architecturally.

This Is A Frequent Offer From Virgin

This winter they offered 20% off. Last fall they offered a 50% rebate which meant you needed to have all the points in your account up front but gave you travel at a lower cost. That was better, and still not always worth it because of the surcharges. They made a similar offer to this one back in February with 30% off and again 30% off in June followed by 25% off in September and finally 33% off in November.

So this is both a regular-ish offer and one of the best ones albeit with a short booking window.

(HT: Head for Points)

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. @rjb
    Book it as 2 one-ways and you can cut about $400 from the price. Still ridiculous though.

  2. Gary,
    Given a not insignificant part of the cash outlay is for the UKs APD, is there a way to reduce this if traveling from Europe to NY via London under two separate tickets? Ie, could I show Virgin my flight reservation/ticket from Paris to London on BA (for instance) that lands 4 hours before my flight to NY on Virgin to get a refund on the APD?

  3. Paying almost 5x the number of points AND the absurd British carbon tax on biz class tickets is, frankly, insane. Slum it in coach — it’s not even that long a flight to the US East Coast. You’ll be fine.

  4. @chopsticks. You can slum it in coash. To MIA from LHR the return flight is 10:20. Overall with Upper Class check in etc its worth the extra bucks to some. Many yrs ago I could book Delta oubound on Virgin for only 5.60 in fees. Those sddays are over since the miles needed now are hundreds of thousands via Delta.

Comments are closed.