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Virgin Group, which includes popular travel subsidiaries like Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Virgin Hotels, Virgin Rail, and many others, is in the early stages of developing a new loyalty program. Virgin Group Loyalty Company is expected to launch in 2019 and will be owned by Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines.
The idea of the new loyalty program is to allow members to earn and redeem Virgin Atlantic miles across a range of their brands. Details of the program are still light at this point. But from the announcement, it sounds like in the future, guests at Virgin Hotels or passengers on Virgin Rail, for example. Then, you’ll have the option to redeem miles for award flights or for other types travel across Virgin brands. Maybe one day you’ll even have the option to redeem miles for a trip to outer space with Virgin Galactic!
According to Virgin’s announcement:
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will continue as the frequent flyer program for Virgin Atlantic’s customers and will continue to use miles as its currency. Flying Club members will continue to collect tier points and collect and redeem miles across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and a range of airline and other partners as they do today. In the future Flying Club members can look forward to an expanded range of ways to collect and redeems miles that will be powered by the new Virgin loyalty program.
Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program is popular with travelers because it’s a transfer partner in all 4 flexible points programs:
And the Virgin Atlantic award chart has some sweet spots, especially when you use miles for flights on partner airlines.
For example, you can fly on Delta from the West Coast to Sydney in Business Class for just 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and ~$30 in taxes. And you can fly round-trip in First Class from the West Coast to Japan on ANA for 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and very little surcharges.
I’m excited about the possibilities of the new program, especially because Virgin Hotels is expanding rapidly in the US. There’s currently one hotel open in Chicago with another opening soon in San Francisco. And they’re planning to open several others over the next few years in Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York, and many other cities!
We’ll have to wait and see if redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles for hotel stays or other types of travel will be a good deal. But we’ll be sure to update everyone once we get more details of the new loyalty program!