Virgin Atlantic Pulls a Paul Simon: Cancel BA Tickets With 50 Ways to Leave British Airways

I once had a flight attendant make what’s apparently a semi-famous safety announcement, along the lines of “there may be 50 ways to leave your lover but there’s only 4 ways to leave this aircraft.”

Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover has a strong history then with aviation, or at least travel (“Hop on the bus, Gus”).

Now Virgin Atlantic has their own take and it’s aimed squarely at British Airways… “hashtag #VAnotBA.”

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways bookings made within 24 hours have a “cooling off” period, whereby anyone can cancel their reservation and be fully refunded, no questions asked. Virgin Atlantic wants you to do that if you just recently made a British Airways booking. They’ll give you £50 off your matching booking with Virgin Atlantic, if you specifically cancel.


Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

So book with British Airways but if you cancel within 24 hours Virgin Atlantic will match the price and give you a further £50 off so you have 50 Reasons to Leave Your British Lover.

The offer is available through June 15 at 11:59pm London time and will apply to replacing BA bookings with either Virgin Atlantic or Delta (Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic but even accounting for that has an outsize influence on Virgin management).

Two step process:

  • Forward your British Airways confirmation email to VAnotBA@fly.virgin.com
  • Then ring 011 44 0344 209 4715 to make a new booking “for the same dates, same origin and destination and same cabin” departing “from one of the Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines UK departure points ie LGW, LHR, MAN, GLA or BFS”

We don’t often see public campaigns to encourage customers to cancel reservations with another airline. Given the short duration of this offer, and that only customers who booked British Airways within 24 hours will do this, it’s unlikely there will be many takers — but it still highlights current dissatisfaction with Budget Airways.

Terms and conditions:

  1. All bookings must be made via telephone, but are subject to receipt by email of a valid BA booking confirmation.
  2. In advance of calling our dedicated team to book your Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines discounted ticket, for us to be able to confirm your BA booking and honour the £50 discount, please forward your BA ticket confirmation email (containing route, dates and ticket price information) VAnotBA@fly.virgin.com
  3. Once you have forwarded your BA confirmation email, then call our team on 0344 209 4715 in order to arrange your new booking. Please note: Virgin Atlantic Airways or Delta Air Lines flights must be for the same dates, same origin and destination and same cabin as your BA booking. Flights must depart from one of the Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines UK departure points ie LGW, LHR, MAN, GLA or BFS
  4. Our dedicated team will then be able to process your new booking.
  5. IMPORTANT: Once you have made your new Virgin Atlantic booking, you will have to cancel your British Airways booking with them directly, within its 24 hour cooling off period, i.e. 24 hours immediately following the BA booking confirmation. Please ensure you leave yourself enough time to do this so you don’t end up with two bookings!
  6. This offer is only available for new bookings with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines made through Virgin Atlantic from 00h01 on Tuesday 13th June until 23h59 on Thursday 15th June.
  7. This offer is only valid on Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines operated flights departing from UK airports. Your BA booking must have been made through a direct BA, UK point of sale (i.e. www.ba.com or via their direct UK contact centre).
  8. Flight route, dates, booking class and cabin are all subject to availability at the time of booking with Virgin Atlantic.
  9. We reserve the right not to process the booking, or cancel it at a later date, if we have reason to believe you have not provided a valid BA booking confirmation email including, but not limited to, an email which appears to have been altered or amended in any way.
  10. All bookings are subject to Virgin Atlantic’s conditions of carriage.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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