Virgin Atlantic Launches Status And Bonus Miles Promotions While Seeking Government Bailout

Delta-controlled Virgin Atlantic has its hand out for government subsidies on the one hand, while running new bonus miles and elite qualifying promotions on the other.

Virgin’a primary business is flying between the U.K. and U.S., but non-U.S. residents who have been in Europe in the past 14 days are barred from entering the United States for about a month. That takes a lot of potential customers off the board. The airline has grounded all but 6 aircraft.

Elite status extensions make good sense. Running promotions to earn status and miles faster aren’t likely to move the needle. Nonetheless, Virgin is trying. (HT: Head For Points)

  • Virgin is extending status by 6 months. Flying Club vouchers are being extended 6 months as well.

    All Gold and Silver members will have six months added to their membership year, giving them an additional six months to earn the tier points they need.

    Programs that aren’t on a calendar year have a unique challenge. United, Delta, and American can wait to figure out what to do, since no one’s status expires until the beginning of 2021. But programs where each member has a different qualification year need to act now.

  • There’s also bonus elite qualifying miles for packages from Virgin Holidays or flight and hotel combos. Bookings by April 30 earn 100 bonus tier points. Travel can be for future dates.

  • Bonus miles for future travel. They’ll give you 2500 bonus points per fight segment booked by April 30 for travel by March 31, 2021.

Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

They’re presenting themselves to the government as insolvent without aid. That aid will probably be forthcoming. However I’m not sure I’d spend money on future flights right now. Why give them your money early? There will absolutely be more deals in the future, these offers aren’t so lucrative as not to be missed in my opinion. I still think it’s too early for promos to move the needle.

Meanwhile looking for a government handout may seem like hypocrisy for an airline 49% owned by Delta, given Delta’s years of lobbying against government subsidies for its competitors – but it’s not. The Delta position is actually consistent: subsidies for me, but not for thee.

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 Delta position is actually consistent: subsidies for me, but not for thee.” This is typical right wing talking point, you know??!!

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