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If you’ve used SkyMiles to book a Delta flight, you’ve no doubt balked at the number of miles the airline wants. With prices that soar seemingly at random, sky-high business class rates, and basic economy award tickets spreading across the globe, it can feel like a rip-off. There might be a better way…

Here’s your new mantra: Anytime Delta wants a boatload of SkyMiles, see if you can snag the flight for less using Virgin Atlantic points instead. While this relationship has taken several hits over the years due to some painful devaluations, it still can easily be the best way to book Delta flights for fewer miles – especially if you're heading for Europe. And these points are incredibly easy to earn: While you can't transfer your SkyMiles to Virgin, you can transfer them from all the major credit cards including Chase, American Express, Capital One, Citi, and even Bilt Rewards.

It remains far and away the best way to book Delta One business class, helping you score a lie-flat seat to Europe for just 50,000 points … even when Delta is charging 300,000 SkyMiles or more for the exact same flight. But beyond that, using Virgin points is the best way to book short domestic flights with Delta, flying nonstop to Europe in Delta economy, and there can still be savings for a trip to Hawaii or Japan.

Keep reading to see how it's done.

 

Delta and Virgin: A Perfect Partnership

Virgin Atlantic is the chic airline that flies across the Atlantic Ocean and is the brainchild of business magnate Richard Branson. Strangely, its frequent flyer program, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, typically isn't great for booking actual Virgin Atlantic flights. The rates aren’t great, and the hefty surcharges and fees that get tacked on add up fast.

Virgin officially joined the SkyTeam airline alliance earlier this year, but it's got no closer partner airline than Delta Air Lines. Delta owns a large stake in Virgin – almost half the airline, in fact. In some ways, it feels like Delta calls the shots.

 

delta virgin atlantic

 

But when it comes to pricing awards, the two airlines couldn’t be more different. Delta award prices are all over the map, fluctuating wildly based on the day of the week, cash price, demand, and more thanks to its dynamic pricing model.

Yet Virgin Atlantic Flying Club award rates are far more stable – and that's true whether you're using Virgin points to book a flight with Virgin … or using them to book a flight with Delta. That opens up a sweet spot: By searching through VirginAtlantic.com instead, you may be able to book a Delta ticket for a fraction of the SkyMiles that Delta itself is charging for the exact same flight. 

Unfortunately, those cheaper rates took a major hit a few years ago when Virgin Atlantic began to set award pricing based upon the distance for nearly all Delta flights, leading the cost of booking Delta awards to double (and in some cases, triple) overnight. It happened again in late 2023, as Virgin raised rates yet again for most (but not all) Delta redemptions.

But it's not all bad news.

Most flights to Europe have escaped unscathed, so there's still plenty of value in booking Delta flights to Europe using Virgin Atlantic points. And there are a few other sweet spots worth exploring.

 

paris france

 

But the advantages of booking your Delta flights through Virgin points go beyond saving some points.

Delta has rolled out basic economy award tickets to nearly every route across the globe, which means the lowest-priced SkyMiles bookings come without free seat assignment or cancellation. But when you book using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, every Delta fare you can book is at least a main cabin economy. You could spend fewer points and get more for them using Virgin.

Pricing is one thing, but you also need to find award availability to book a Delta flight using Virgin points. It can be unpredictable and require lots of flexibility, but it can be done.

So what does this all mean for your miles? Let's take a look.

Need more info? Read our full guide to booking flights with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points!

 

Virgin Atlantic's Award Chart for Delta Flights

While Delta pricing when using SkyMiles is all over the map because it doesn't have an award chart, that's not the case here. Virgin Atlantic's website clearly spells out exactly what each and every Delta flight will cost you in miles.

Delta did away with its award chart – the cheat sheet that spells out exactly how many miles you need to book a flight – years ago. Virgin Atlantic has not one, not two, but three different award charts for Delta flights, depending on where you're heading.

There's one specifically for booking flights between the U.S. and Virgin's London-Heathrow (LHR) hub, which come at decent rates … but some punishing fees. Ninety-nine times out of 100, it's not worth it.

 

virgin atlantic award chart for delta uk flights

 

Then there are flights between the U.S. and the rest of Europe, where pricing is as stable as can be. There's one price for economy, and one price for business class … and that's it.

A one-way from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Amsterdam (AMS) is 30,000 points each way in economy or 50,000 points in business class. New York City (JFK) nonstop to Prague (PRG)? Still just 30,000 points for a one-way ride in economy or 50,000 points for business class.

 

delta virgin Atlantic award chart

 

And finally, there's everything else. Trying to fly Delta within the U.S., to Mexico or the Caribbean, or out to Asia or Australia? Those rates are governed by this distance-based award chart. And that means long-haul flights will cost you many more miles than they used to – especially after the latest round of increases.

Read more: Ouch, Virgin Atlantic Guts Many Delta Sweet Spots (Again)

 

delta virgin atlantic award chart

 

We've broken it down into a handy chart with some of the most popular redemptions, with all pricing listed for one-way flights. Want to book a round-trip? Just double it. As you can see, some of these flights are far more reasonable than others.

 

RouteEconomy (one-way)Business Class (one-way)
Flights under 500 miles7,500 miles21,000 miles
Flights 501-1,000 miles11,000 miles41,500 miles
Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL) 22,000 miles70,000 miles
Detroit (DTW) to Honolulu (HNL)44,000 miles105,000 miles
U.S. to Europe (excluding U.K.)30,000 miles50,000 miles
Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND)44,000 miles105,000 miles
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND)49,500 miles130,000 miles
Seattle (SEA) to Seoul-Incheon (ICN)49,500 miles130,000 miles
Atlanta (ATL) to Seoul-Incheon (ICN)65,500 miles165,000 miles
New York City (JFK) to Sao Paulo (GRU)44,000 miles105,000 miles
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)65,500 miles165,000 miles

 

Not sure how long your flight is? Plug it into GCmap.com.

Follow the chart and you'll see the shortest domestic flights start at 7,500 miles each way. Even flights up to 1,000 miles can be a deal at just 8,500 miles each way in economy. Most flights to Europe remain a bargain at just 50,000 miles each way in Delta One business class. But long-haul flights elsewhere on Delta will cost you much, much more.

There are three important caveats when booking Delta flights using Virgin Atlantic miles:

  • Great award rates are one thing, but first, you need to find the availability to book these Delta flights via VirginAtlantic.com … and that can require some serious flexibility (especially if you're aiming to fly Delta business class). In fact, your search might come up completely empty-handed.
  • You usually (though not always) need to book at least three weeks before departure, otherwise, you won't see Delta flights when searching through Virgin Atlantic, period.
  • You'll want to focus on nonstop flights, as Virgin charges per segment. If your flight involves a connection, Virgin Atlantic will measure the distance of each flight and add them together for the final total.

With that out of the way, let's see these savings in action.

 

Examples of Serious Savings

We could go on and on about all the different ways you could save some serious miles by booking Delta flights through Virgin Atlantic. From economy flights to business class, it can be astounding.

On the flip side, there are times when you’ll find much better award pricing directly through Delta. The seemingly nonstop Delta SkyMiles flash sales are always worth checking out. 

But if you're booking a short domestic flight, heading to Europe, or want to avoid Delta basic economy and ensure you get free seat selection, Virgin Atlantic is your best bet for saving. And anytime you see Delta is charging a boatload of SkyMiles, it's worth exploring whether this workaround can help you.

Here are a few stellar examples.

 

Business Class to Europe for 50K

This is the holy grail.

Delta is infamous for charging an arm and a leg for award flights in Delta One business class. Seeing 300,000 SkyMiles or more for a one-way flight to Europe is not out of the norm. For reference, most airlines charge 70,000 to 80,000 miles one-way for business class flights, if not substantially less.

No joke: Delta wants 340,000 SkyMiles for a business class seat on this flight from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) back to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) next year. No thank you.

 

delta one skymiles

 

You can do much, much better by booking through Virgin Atlantic. That exact same flight can be booked for just 50,000 points. Time it with a transfer bonus like a 30% bonus from banks like Chase, American Express, or Capital One, and it can get even cheaper: Just 39,000 points is all you need.

 

paris to minneapolis delta one

 

It's one of the best deals you'll find in the world of points and miles … but making it happen is easier said than done. Finding the award availability through Virgin Atlantic to actually book these Delta business class seats can be a chore – especially lately. It requires tons of patience and flexibility: Sometimes, Delta will release plenty of these seats to book via Virgin Atlantic. Other times, you can scroll through months of flights without seeing a single seat – or your search may just error out.

Still, we're always digging for when these flights pop up and alerting our Thrifty Traveler Premium members when they do … like just a few months ago, when we spotted a raft of Delta business class award space from New York to Brussels (BRU), Frankfurt (FRA), and even Zurich (ZRH) for early 2024 bookable through Virgin Atlantic.

 

Thrifty Traveler premium alert for Delta One booking through Virgin Atlantic

 

These seats are gone now, get the next award alert for open Delta One seats to Europe with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

Last year, we also found plenty of dates this winter and into spring 2023 available at 50,000 points each way flying from New York City to Amsterdam as well as an incredibly rare chance to book Delta One business class between Salt Lake City and Paris. Best of all, these routes are flying Delta's A330-900neo – Delta One suite, anyone?!

 

jfk to amsterdam delta space

 

As you can see, deals this good aren't available every single day. Flexibility is key. Anecdotally, Tuesday and Wednesday departures seem to be the best bet – and that's if you can find these seats at all.

Just remember: Never transfer points to Virgin Atlantic (or any airline) until you know the flights you want to book are available. These transfers are a one-way street – you can't get them back to your Amex account.

 

Economy to Europe for 30K

Booking Delta business class to Europe may seem nearly impossible at times. If you can settle for economy, you may still be in for massive savings by booking through Virgin Atlantic instead

Whether you're planning a trip to Europe in the spring, fall, winter, or even peak summer, Virgin charges 30,000 points each way to fly Delta economy overseas. And unlike business class, finding these flights on VirginAtlantic.com isn't like pulling teeth – it's typically fairly easy to score a Delta economy seat across the pond for 30,000 points each way. For example, check out how easy it currently is to book a one-way flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Amsterdam (AMS) late this summer.

 

msp to amsterdam economy availability

 

Booking roundtrip flights to Europe for 60,000 points may not be the deal of the century, but it's solid – especially compared to the $1,500 (or 130,000-plus SkyMiles) that Delta often charges for these exact same flights.

The fact that you can even score a trip to Europe for 60,000 points total during the otherwise pricey summer really makes this option stand out.  Throw in a 30% transfer bonus, and you could book these same flights for as few as 47,000 points from a card like the *chase sapphire preferred*.

 

europe virgin deal

 

Domestic Delta Flights

Looking to stay closer to home? Flying domestically on Delta is also a great sweet spot when redeeming Virgin points – especially on short hops

Flights under 500 miles in distance are only 7,500 points one-way. Going a little further? It's 11,000 points one-way for flights between 501 and 1,000 miles. This can be a much better deal than using SkyMiles if you're just looking for a quick flight to or from a major Delta hub – especially considering you'll get a main cabin ticket with free seat selection, not a pesky Delta basic economy fare.

 

msp to fargo redemption

 

Longer flights on Delta will cost you more Virgin Atlantic points these days, but you can still find some solid savings – especially given Delta’s habit of charging more for flights between its hubs. Check out these flights from Atlanta (ATL) to Salt Lake City (SLC) this spring. Delta wants more than 37,5000 miles for a one-way ticket in main cabin economy. 

 

delta flight atl slc

 

But the exact same flights are bookable for less than half that mileage via Virgin Atlantic.

 

atl to salt lake city delta flight

 

The list goes on and on – we could do this for hours. And unlike those hard-to-find business class awards to Europe, these domestic redemptions tend to be much easier to find with Virgin. 

 

Flights to Hawaii from 44K

Want to fly Delta nonstop to Hawaii but not loving the price you see with SkyMiles? We've got you there.

Flights from both Seattle (SEA) and Los Angeles (LAX) all clock in at under 3,000 miles, which means they can be booked for 22,000 Virgin Atlantic points one-way or 44,000 points roundtrip.

 

Virgin redemption for SEA to HNL January 2024

 

This redemption took a big hit in the New Year: These same flights previously cost a flat 15,000 points each way or 30,000 points roundtrip. Now more than ever, you may see Delta selling some of these routes from the West Coast for slightly fewer SkyMiles – especially when a great Delta SkyMiles flash sale comes along.

But the cheapest rates using Delta SkyMiles are almost always in Delta basic economy. Meanwhile, you'll always get a Main Cabin ticket when booking Delta flights with Virgin points. And availability on these shorter nonstop Hawaii routes tends to be fairly good through Virgin.

Even the longer flights from Minneapolis all the way to Honolulu can be a solid deal at 70,000 points roundtrip. Just keep in mind: You have to book nonstop. If you've got two segments, Virgin Atlantic will tally up the cost for both segments separately.

Booking with SkyMiles, those exact same flights to Hawaii would regularly cost you 120,000 SkyMiles or more!

 

msp to honolulu delta redemption

 

Nonstops to Mexico & the Caribbean for Less

Hawaii isn't the only warm spot you can get to flying Delta using Virgin Atlantic for fewer miles.

Whether you're looking to get to Mexico City (MEX), Cancún (CUN), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), or somewhere further, you might be able to save some serious SkyMiles by turning to your Virgin Atlantic points instead, thanks to the airline's distance-based pricing format for these relatively short flights. The rates are higher in 2024 than they were previously, but you can still come out ahead.

For example, while Delta wants 48,000 SkyMiles for these flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Cancún and back in April…

 

msp to cancun delta skymiles

 

… you can book those exact same flights for just 37,000 Virgin Atlantic points.

 

msp to cun virgin atlantic

 

Just beware that if you've got SkyMiles and a Delta Amex card like the *delta skymiles gold card*, you might be better off using SkyMiles thanks to the extra 15% discount you get from TakeOff 15. That's particularly true if you're chasing Delta Medallion status – SkyMiles award tickets will still help you earn toward status, while Virgin Atlantic awards will not.

 

How to Book Delta Flights through Virgin Atlantic

The savings can be enormous. But that doesn't mean it will always be easy.

The hangup on booking flights through VirginAtlantic.com is that its website can be wonky. For first-timers, it's sometimes difficult to pull up the routes you want. The search engine frequently won’t recognize airports that aren’t in Virgin’s route network. 

Just type in your departing airport, then move to your destination. Sometimes it will work, but other times you’ll have to click “See full airport list” and manually select the airport you're looking for. 

And then there's the matter of finding award availability at these rates. Just because you can book a Delta One flight to Amsterdam (AMS) for 50,000 miles doesn't mean it will be available every single day you want to fly. You will need to be flexible. And that makes using Virgin Atlantic's Calendar View to get a month-long look at award space critical.

 

virgin Atlantic award pricing calendar view

 

Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic made it a bit harder to find hone in on the best deals by removing the ability to pull up a month-long price calendar. But don't worry: There's a backdoor way to pull that up. Just find the phrase “flexible dates” in the URL, replace “dates” with “calendar,” then hit enter or return on your keyboard and it should bring up the price calendar. Start scrolling through the calendar to find the flights that work for you.

Virgin has made it even easier by rolling out a new “Reward Seat Checker” tool, which makes it fairly easy to scope out the availability on almost any Delta-operated route. You can easily turn the page from month to month to scope out all the award availability in both economy and “upper class” – Virgin Atlantic's name for business class.

 

virgin atlantic reward seat checker

 

There's no rhyme nor reason for when these Delta flights are bookable. Sometimes you'll have a few dates to pick from, and other times the award space will vanish entirely. Being flexible, not just on your travel dates but also on routes, is critical – especially if you're looking to fly Delta One to Europe.

Every once in a while, the floodgates open with Delta One award availability for days on end. It rarely matches up with whenever Delta may be charging the lowest rates in SkyMiles.

It may take a few tries, but keep at it and eventually, you’ll get the search function to work. And given the savings here, it’s worth the extra effort.

Read our complete guide to using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club!

 

How to Get Virgin Atlantic Points

Despite all their shortcomings, Delta SkyMiles are valuable in part because they’re so easy to earn. With four co-branded credit cards and the ability to transfer American Express points to your SkyMiles account, there are plenty of options.

But Virgin Atlantic Points are even easier to pile up. Unfortunately, you can't transfer Delta SkyMiles to a Virgin Atlantic account. Yet Virgin points are some of the easiest to earn since you can instantly transfer points to Virgin at a 1:1 ratio from all major transferrable points programs.

If you're earning Amex Express Membership RewardsChase Ultimate RewardsCapital One Venture Miles, and Citi ThankYou points, those can be transferred to Virgin. And if you're earning points on rent, you can also transfer Bilt Rewards. Just beware that with both Bilt and Capital One, you'll actually transfer points to your Virgin Red account – check out our walkthrough of how to do it!

If you're just starting out with points and miles, we consider the *chase sapphire preferred* the best travel rewards credit card for beginners. bonus_miles_full And with 3x points per dollar spent for dining and 2x points for travel purchases, it's really easy to rack up a ton of Chase points that can be instantly transferred to Virgin points.

 

*chase sapphire preferred*

 

Learn more about the *csp*.

 

The *venture x* is loaded with benefits such as access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, great travel and rental car insurance protection, and more. The annual fee clocks in at $395 a year, but the benefits can easily outweigh that.

The best part is that you can currently earn 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Considering you earn at least 2x for every dollar you spend on the Venture X Card, you’ll earn a total of at least 83,000 Venture Miles, which can be transferred instantly to 83,000 Virgin points. That alone is enough for a roundtrip to Europe in Delta economy – or a one-way flight in Delta One business class.

 

*venture x*

 

Learn more about the *venture x*.

 

The *amex gold card* is currently offering a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $6,000 in the first six months. Better yet, you may be able to qualify for a whopping 75,000-point welcome bonus using CardMatch – or even find a 90,000-point bonus if you're lucky!

Beyond that bonus, this card is easily one of the best all-around travel cards on the market thanks largely to an unbeatable 4x return on an unlimited amount of spending at restaurants and 4x points on up to $25,000 a year spent at U.S. supermarkets – and 1x points after that.

 

*amex gold card*

 

Learn more about the *amex gold*

 

Bottom Line

We love Delta SkyMiles and we're not shy about it. However, there are many, many cases where their SkyMiles award pricing doesn't make sense.

When Delta wants a boatload of SkyMiles, you may be able to use Virgin Atlantic miles as your bridge to greatly reduce the cost of your Delta flights. While this workaround will cost you more miles than it did just a few weeks ago, it can still result in some serious savings.

 

Lead photo courtesy of Chris Lindberg via Flickr

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

40 Responses

  • This function does not work. Tried several times to search MSP-BOM kept getting message ‘We’re sorry. There are no scheduled Virgin Atlantic or Partner flights between Minneapolis St Paul – Minneapolis-St Paul International (MSP) and Mumbai – Chhatrapati Shivaji Intl (BOM). Please try again with an alternative airport’

    • Our post should have noted that Virgin’s search function struggles with anything beyond a nonstop flight. You can call Virgin Atlantic to check on availability and book for a more complicated routing.

  • I’m having similar issues – Virgin Atlantic isn’t even recognizing GGT (Georgetown, Bahamas) whereas I can search those flights on Delta. Any thoughts or ideas to help out with that?

    • There are just some airports that Virgin Atlantic cannot pull up, and I wouldn’t be shocked if GGT was one of them. You could try calling Virgin Atlantic and see if an agent can pull them up.

  • Can you use Delta Skymiles to book on virgin atlantic and see savings? Not clear from your article whether there is arbitrage going the opposite way from Delta sky Miles to virgin Atlantic.

    • Sort of. It can be tricky to find, but you can book Virgin Atlantic flights with SkyMiles for as low as 25k one-way in economy or 75k in business class. Delta frequently charges far, far more for its own flights.

  • I found a great low cost flight on the virgin Atlantic app. I just want to earn sky miles bc the app says the flight is a delta flight. However, I don’t see anyway to add my skymiles number. Any suggestions.

    • On a cash fare? You should be able to enter your SkyMiles number at some point during checkout. If not, take the record locator (6-digit code) and enter it at Delta.com, then go in and enter your SkyMiles number to the reservation.

      Alternatively, you could credit the flight to Virgin Atlantic instead!

  • Yeah, The map is useless, it doesn’t even include a single airport in japan, and South Korea literally isn’t even on the drop down even though delta has direct flights from atlanta to ICN. What we need here, is directions on how to get around the fact that Virgin Atlantic’s website is quite frankly useless, in order to use the points. Other than blindly calling customer service and asking them to search for us. Can we just check Delta’s website and assume that if a route is within a certain amount of miles that it is qualifies as a saver route and is thus available, at which time we can just call virgin atlantic and say “hey, book this flight, its available” ? If so, please give us some of those tips because this…..just doesn’t work

    • Tim, it’s definitely frustrating. Most Japanese airports do show up on the website (you often have to use the map icon to manually select the airport, as described in the story). Seoul-Incheon is one that you can never get to show up on the web, though there are plenty of others.

      As for using Delta as a guide, it’s, unfortunately, a total guessing game. There are definitely times when the lowest award rates via Delta will be a guide to what you can find via Virgin Atlantic. But then there are other times when Delta’s rates are exorbitantly high and you can STILL get one of these amazing awards via Virgin. So really, the best thing to do is simply use the 5-week view on Virgin’s site, stay flexible, and see what you can find. In those instances like with ICN where you can’t get any results online, use the reasonable SkyMiles rates via Delta.com as a VERY ROUGH guide for Virgin agents to see what they can help you find.

  • Do i have to first transfer delta miles to virgin flyer club for these redemptions? Or is there a way to book virgin flights using delta sky miles?

    • You cannot use or transfer Delta SkyMiles to book these flights. You would have to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, or Citi ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

  • This worked great for me in late March. I needed to fly three from LHR to ATL ..
    Cash price was $3,900 for three one way.
    Skymiles was 390,000!!! 130,000 for a one way coach ticket is crazy.
    Virgin was 51,000 total of their miles for the same delta flight and about $370 fees.
    All on the same plane!

  • I found great flights on VA, but still cannot figure out how to actually book with my Delta points. Can you explain in detail how this is done. I could not figure it out from your article.

    • You cannot book these flights on VA’s website using your Delta SkyMiles. You need Virgin miles, which you can get by transferring from either American Express or Chase.

  • Can you please explain how you get the calendar view to show up? I have tried different browsers as well. I have the Flexible Dates box checked. I just get the error that no flights are available. You end up searching 1 day at a time and get nowhere. I am checking all kinds of routes as well, so I am very flexible on everything.

    • Unfortunately, you just have to go through trial and error until you find a result where there’s at least one flight available in the week you’re searching. From there, you can pull up the calendar view and scroll through month by month. I’d try searching 10-11 months out to see if you can pull up any results to start.

  • BTW, I think the SEA to LHR exemption is gone. I may be late to the party. I just found SEA to LHR for 67,500, not 50k, and it has fees of $826 in late May.

  • Looking at the Skymiles Airline Partners area of Delta’s website I’m having difficulty determining if using VA points to book a flight on KLM operated or Air France will earn miles, MQMs, etc. towards Delta status. It looks like using VA points to book on Delta operated will, but the KLM/AF sweet spot out of MSP is hard to pass up. Do you have any data points on this? Thanks.

  • Do you know if you are eligible for complimentary upgrades (e.g., economy comfort) with Delta status when you use Virgin points?

  • If I book a reward flight through Virgin, but the flight is operated by DL, and I attach my SkyMiles number to it, will I earn anything with Skymiles, such as MQMs/MQDs?

  • This article is the best summary of the use of Virgin Atlantic points on other SkyTeam partners that I have run across. Noting that the VA website is clunky, for example changing the origin in the search function automatically deletes the destination, and a person has to remember to click on “advanced search” and then choose “points,” else the search function may return nothing (apparently there is no way to buy with money other SkyTeam airline tickets on the website). On other websites a person gets dollar values instead of points, realizes the mistake, and searches again looking for points redemptions. Also a person may need to search an off-peak date and then pull up the monthly calendar, and toggle ahead or back to the desired peak month to see availability around the desired dates. It can be so frustrating to keep searching peak dates one by one and return no availability.

    Some comments working with 3 destinations in 2023.

    1. Peak availability is poor for summer months to Europe or spring break weekends domestically, even if a person starts searching 11 months in advance and periodically after that. I did however find a one-way to Prague on Air France in July, only coach was available.

    2. For domestic Delta flights, VA points availability favors 6 am departures, but better flights can open at any time. I just found something at a good time in June and was able to cancel 2 seats and get refunded 50,000 Delta miles, and get the same flight for 25,000 VA points.

    3. Currently watching 2 other domestic Delta flights to make a similar substitution if VA availability arises. To use this strategy book one ways and do not book Delta basic economy since those award tickets are not refundable.

    4. Watch for the periodic % bonus increases on transfers of points from credit cards point systems to VA points.

  • Do you know how you can upgrade a seat with them? I just bought a ticket via Virgin Atlantic flying Delta and I have main cabin but would to upgrade to comfort plus.

  • How Does cancellation work with a Virgin Atlantic booking? One benefit of booking directly with Delta points is that the points and fees are fully refundable if booking Main cabin but I can’t seem to find out how it works with a Virgin Atlantic booking.

    • Hi Sarah. Virgin bookings are also fully refundable, however I believe there is a $50 fee to cancel an award ticket.

      • Thanks for the details. Does calling Virgin help find award space on Delta that the VA website doesn’t show? I’m looking to go ATL-PUJ and shows no reward (Jan-Feb 2024 time frame) and ATL-LHR May – June 2024. ATL-LHR has the Virgin metal shown but no DL metal flights.

        • With Delta specifically, what you see on the site is what you get. Agents aren’t going to see any additional space.

  • If I use VA points to redeem domestic DL flight and I also have Amex Delta Gold card, should I get the free checked bag?

  • When I search Virgin’s site for availability on a domestic fare, it shows that only first class rewards are available on a particular flight. But if I search for that same flight on Delta.com, I see Main Cabin award seats available. Would I be able to book these by calling Virgin’s customer support?

    • Unlikely. The issue you’re running into is that Delta is releasing first class award availability to Virgin Atlantic, but not economy. Whether or not you can book main cabin directly through Delta.com has no bearing, sadly.

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