ITA Airways is the new Alitalia. They’re a member of SkyTeam, but only partially. You can’t redeem Delta miles to travel with them, for instance. But you can now redeem Virgin Atlantic miles. Their business class is good, availability is good, and there are no fuel surcharges.
Award space is wide open between January and March 2024 in business class for at least two people. They fly non-stop between Rome and New York, Boston, Washington Dulles, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. And Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of Chase, American Express, Citibank, Capital One, and Bilt. This is also one of the programs that we most frequently see bonuses for transferring points to.
Business Class Award Pricing:
- 75,000 points for flights 4,001 – 5,000 miles (New York, Boston, Washington Dulles)
- 85,000 points for flights 5,001 – 6,000 miles (Miami)
- 100,000 points for flights 6,001 – 7,000 miles (San Francisco, Los Angeles
Here’s the full award chart.
These aren’t inexpensive awards but with no fuel surcharges and a 30% transfer bonus (58,000 points transferred is enough for a business class award) this winds up as a pretty strong deal. And getting non-stop awards to Rome is very challenging otherwise. There isn’t a lot of competition at this point for U.S. – Italy awards on ITA.
It’s also worth noting that their distance based awards let you travel beyond Italy to other destinations in Europe for additional miles.
This may be a short-lived opportunity, because Lufthansa is buying control of the airline and then presumably they’ll exit SkyTeam and their partnerships like Virgin.