Up to 200,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points - St.George Amplify Signature
Over 2 years when you spend $12k on eligible purchases each year.* Plus reduced first year annual card fee $179 (usually $279). New Amplify Signature cards only. Click here to apply.
Premium economy award seats on a number of popular Virgin Atlantic routes can now be snagged using 25% fewer Flying Club miles, as can frequent flyer reward seats down the very back in economy.
While Virgin Atlantic no longer flies to Sydney, Aussies could still travel to the likes of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo or Dubai on their own steam and then fly with Virgin Atlantic onwards to London Heathrow.
Or, if you’ve already made it to Old London Town, reward seats on Virgin Atlantic’s flights to New York JFK and Newark Liberty Airport also get the 25% discount.
The deal runs for all economy and premium economy frequent flyer redemptions made from now until October 7 2014 on eligible Virgin Atlantic-operated flights over the coming year, so if you’ve still got a stockpile of Flying Club miles, here’s how you could burn through them in style.
Flying Club: Popular routes for Aussies
Return premium economy flights from Hong Kong to London Heathrow normally come in at 80,000 miles, but with the 25% discount that drops to a mere 60,000 miles.
To compare, you’d need 123,000 Virgin Australia Velocity points to make that same return booking on the same Virgin Atlantic-operated flights, which makes the Flying Club loyalty program much more attractive than Velocity for Virgin Atlantic travel.
From Shanghai and Tokyo to London, return premium economy redemptions dip from 70,000 Flying Club miles to 52,500, while round-trip flights between Dubai and Heathrow are down to 45,000 miles against the usual 60,000 miles.
Again, that’s 40-60% fewer points than needed through Virgin Australia Velocity, where you’d part with 105,000 points from Shanghai; 123,000 points from Tokyo and 71,800 points from Dubai to London and back in the same seat.
The fine print
Redemptions in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin (business class) aren’t discounted as part of this promotion, nor are flights on Virgin Atlantic’s partner airlines such as Singapore Airlines, and on home soil, Virgin Australia.
When flying with Virgin Atlantic, discounts only apply to standard award seats booked using the ‘spend your miles’ option on the Virgin Atlantic website. ‘Miles plus money’ fares aren’t eligible for the 25% saving.
For economy bookings, fuel surcharges and the U.K. government’s hefty Air Passenger Duty (APD) also take much of the value away when departing London Heathrow.
If you’ll be flying down the back of the bus, we’d suggest buying a regular economy ticket to earn Flying Club miles on the journey rather than redeeming them, as these additional costs already represent a large chunk of the price paid for economy travel, so the savings on award flights are minimal.
Finally, bookings can be made until October 7 2014 for travel up to a year in advance on eligible routes. If you’re looking to fly in September 2015, check back with Virgin Atlantic later in the month, as flights can typically be booked only one year in advance.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT