London Award Sale From 8,000 Points Each Way – Or Just 38,000 Points In Business Class

Virgin Atlantic is offering 20% off awards booked by January 31 for travel through December 31, 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 8,000 points one way and business class from 38,000 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 20% 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

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 not the best but one, but a 20% discount is certainly strong especially when combined with points you may have in your account transferred in from a bank program with a bonus (I have points in my Virgin account from a 150% Bilt transfer bonus).

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. The fees kill it. Yes it’s not the worst deal ever, I can find RT SFO to LHR for 76K virgin points + $1700. But likely their will be a business sale to Europe for ~$2500 anyway at some point this spring. And it seems they use the 787 out of SFO.

  2. Haven’t used Virgin before, but did just book four economy tickets IAD to LHR just last week at 12k each way which I felt was great even with the taxes/fees. Rebooking best handled over phone, or online just as effective? Thanks

  3. I have been calling Virgin for two weeks trying to book seats on my Boston-London flight that they are operating for Air France, and they say every time the equivalent of “We are too busy to talk to you. Call back.” Why you stay on hold, they cut you off after about two minutes. Nice.

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