During the pandemic Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program broadened out to become a coalition loyalty program called Virgin Red. That means more points-earning options and more points-redemption options, most of which haven’t been super appealing (although some people do like using their points for sausage rolls).
Since Virgin Atlantic’s points are part of Virgin Red, and Chase, Citi, American Express and Bilt points already transfer to Virgin Atlantic, American’s already have significant access to Virgin Red points. (There’s also a U.S. Virgin Atlantic credit card from Virgin America and several other U.S. points-earning partners.)
Now, as first reported by Gilbert Ott, Virgin Red itself has officially launched in the U.S. and its app is now available.
According to Ott, the program includes “new Virgin Group earn and burn partners, like Virgin Voyages cruises and Virgin Limited Edition…[and] there’s strong belief Virgin Hotels will move from not only an “earn” option, but a burn option too.”
- Expanded access to Virgin Limited Edition, which includes Necker Island and Moskito Island where I stayed last month.
- And “very soon be able to use those points for hotels, cruises and many more activities, as well as experiences, vouchers and VIP access to events, like sold out concerts.”
Oasis Estate on Moskito Island
So far there’s really just a branding change to Virgin Red to give the ability to bring more things under the umbrella, along with the potential to have a single currency for (some) Virgin-branded activities. That’s good, and there’s potential in the U.S. market so it makes sense to market to U.S. consumers – who want access to Virgin flights, hotels, cruises and other items. But this is still very much in the bucket of potential rather than real value (which, really, is true for almost everything Virgin even decades on).