New airline partnership increases the usefulness of your transferrable points – Here’s what you can book now
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Virgin Atlantic, Delta and Flying Blue (KLM and Air France) have announced an expanded partnership with reciprocal elite status benefits and increased options for using your miles. You have already been able to use Delta miles to book Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic flights and vice versa. But now you can use Virgin Atlantic miles to book awards with Flying Blue and vice versa.
Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic are both transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott and Citi ThankYou. So it’s easy to take advantage of this new partnership. Right now we only have the redemption rates using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Flying Blue (Air France and KLM) awards. Let’s take a look at what this change means for you.
Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue and Delta partnership
Right now, the information we have is regards to the benefits you’ll get with Virgin Atlantic and the ability to use Virgin Atlantic miles to book Air France and KLM flights. We’ll cover other aspects of this partnership as we learn more. First off, if you have Delta status you’ll get the following benefits when traveling with Virgin Atlantic:
Virgin Atlantic has different award charts for each of its partners and the new partner chart for Flying Blue is distance-based for short to mid-length flights:
The off-peak dates are Jan. 6 – Apr. 2, 2020; Apr. 2, 2020 – Jun. 19, 2020; Sep 7 – Dec. 11 2020; Jan 6, 2021 – Mar. 31, 2021. Peak pricing will apply on Apr. 3 – Apr 21, 2020; Jun. 20 – Sep. 6, 2020; Dec. 12, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021. For these short-haul flights you will be charged per segment, so if you have a connection you will essentially be paying for two separate awards.
For longer flights, of 1,750 miles or more, there is an award chart that’s divided into 10 zones. The prices are based on the origin and the destination, so you’re not charged by segment. Also, the prices listed on the charts below are off-peak and peak awards will cost 10,000 miles more. The peak and off-peak dates for the long-haul economy, premium economy and business-class charts below are the same dates that apply to the short-haul award chart.
The specific countries for each zone are as follows:
For any of these prices you’ll want to compare the cost to what Flying Blue would charge for its own flights. Of course, now that Flying Blue has ditched its award chart, figuring out the price for a specific award can be a bit of guessing game. So it’s best to search, with Air France or KLM, for the dates you want to travel to get an accurate price for comparison. Also, don’t forget that Flying Blue has monthly Promo Awards with discounts of 25%-50% on specific routes and classes. For destinations that both Air France or KLM and Virgin Atlantic serve you’ll find that the award prices (using Virgin Atlantic miles) are comparable in economy and typically cheaper in premium economy and business class if you book with Virgin Atlantic. One last thing to be aware of is that KLM doesn’t allow premium economy award redemptions.
Looking at these charts, the prices from the East Coast to Western/Central Europe are favorable. You can book these one-way deals during off-peak dates, business-class for 48,500 miles, premium economy for 24,000 miles and economy for 12,000 miles. Even during peak dates these are still okay deals, but you’ll want to watch out for those taxes and fees, which are likely to be on the higher side.
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