Virgin America Losing Its Virgin Atlantic Partnership In Less Than 2 Weeks

While this isn’t reflected on the Virgin America Elevate website, it was flagged by mipaho on reddit and I’ve since confirmed that Virgin America is ending its partnership with Virgin Atlantic on November 13.

I just wrote an email to Virgin America Elevate inquiring about when I might be able to book a partner award on the new VS SEA-LHR route, which begins on March 26th, 2017 and isn’t yet showing up for VX agents. Here is the response that I got back:
“Thank you for contacting Virgin America Elevate Desk. My name is LaShanda and I will be assisting you on this matter. In regards to your request, beginning on November 13, 2016 Virgin Atlantic will no longer be a partner of Virgin America. It is mostly not showing on the web as our Partner Award travel due to this fact. We do apologize about the inconvenience, if you have any other additional questions please feel free to contact us at 877-359-8474 and we will be more than willing to assist you.”

I called and spoke with Virgin America and they were forthcoming about details of the change.

You can book award travel on Virgin Atlantic through November 13, but no more bookings November 14 onward. What’s more, it will not be possible to change any award bookings made through Virgin America Elevate for Virgin Atlantic travel after that date. (The only option will be to cancel and refund a reservation.)

It’s curious that the relationship is already ending since the Alaska Airlines acquisition of the airline hasn’t yet closed as they continue to wrangle with the Department of Justice.

It’s not surprising that the relationship would end, though,

(HT: @IADisGr8)

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. Do you have any news on whether Virgin America’s partnership with Virgin Australia will continue?

  2. This is a huge no notice deval. Shame on all involved. A black mark on multiple Virgin brands. I assume Virgin Atlantic redemptions on VX are going away too?

  3. Which raises the question of what to do with 30,000 Elevate points. If I understand correctly they equate to 2 off peak return economy flights on Virgin Atlantic SFO- LHR plus a whopping Surcharge (each same as the $700 revenue round trip UA flight I just bought). Or, 1 return trip SFO to NYC on V America.

  4. @LF – It’s not a bad value if you just use it for the outbound SFO-LHR segment, as those taxes are only $135/per ticket. It’s 15k Elevate points each way, not return.

  5. @LF, first off, you can donate your 30,000 Elevate points to me; I shall be happy to accept them. ;^)

    Secondly, and on a more serious note, where do you see that 30k Elevate points equals two (2) round-trip tickets, SFO-LHR, on Virgin Atlantic (VS)? When *I* look at the Virgin America (VX) website, it shows the same redemptions as always between SFO and Heathrow:
    25k = 1 Economy (round trip)
    30k = 1 Premium Economy (round trip)
    50k = 1 Upper Class (round trip)

  6. And doesn’t Alaska partner with BA? Maybe they’re ending this relationship early to help the DOJ/antitrust issues?

  7. Thanks all. I got my facts all Trumpy. Virgin is not my program but I have a few speculative points from a MR transfer. I had in my mind that there was a transfer bonus from V America to Atlantic but thanks to your clarifications flights are actually booked directly through V America. And I had the rates wrong. It is a good deal one way, though I’ll not be booking that in time. Ah well.

  8. Gary – when mentioning the VX FFP in the future, please mentioning the difficulty of redeeming VX miles in premium cabins on the majority of their partners.

    One glaring example is SQ, who has no open redemption dates for Business or First from the West Coast. For the rest of 2016. And 2017.

    I feel like having a partner listed on your webpage with an award chart and not having ANY availability whatsoever is gross misrepresentation of potential value. Personally, I have moved 40K of annual spend away from VX because their miles are no better than WN for getting me out of the continental US.

  9. To me the big problem is that there was not much if any notice.
    I’ll hold my Virgin America miles in hopes they turn into Alaska miles someday.

  10. @Gary, I’m VERY confused re: Virgin America severing their partnership with Virgin Atlantic; I just got off the phone with Virgin ATLANTIC, and they say they don’t know anything about it!

  11. @Gary, In the FWIW Mode: I normally fly VS by transferring credit card points into VS and booking a rewards flight. I presently have 27,544 VS miles, and wanted to use them to book a VX award ticket prior to 11/13. Otherwise, I feel those points will just go to waste and expire . . .

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