Virgin Atlantic is 49% owned by Delta. It is no surprise that an already largely-mediocre program has been getting worse — first late last year and now announced for Delta earn and burn.
On the other hand it is only 49% owned by Delta so they still offer award charts and inform members in advance when they are devaluing the program. (Well, they did give us a couple of weeks when knifing the program back in the fall.)
Let’s hope that trend continues because I want to redeem for some more amazing value ANA first class awards using points transferred from American Express, Chase, and Citibank. The best deals always go away, and this is one of the very best award values in the world.
Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo
- Increasing mileage-earning on Delta premium cabin tickets
- Reducing elite qualifying points on domestic domestic and short haul flights, and even reducing qualifying points on discount premium cabin long haul fares. It’s not like Virgin Atlantic status gives you much anyway, why bother?
- Introducing new award prices for ‘standard season’ and ‘peak season’ dates:
Peak season dates:
22 June – 6 September 2017
13 December 2017 – 6 January 2018
29 March – 16 April 2018
22 June – 6 September 2018
13 December – 31 December 2018
- Reducing the cost of coach awards, especially during off season
- Substantially increasing the price of premium cabin awards
Here’s the Delta standard award chart:
And the Delta peak season award chart:
Putting the lie to their claim that this is an improvement is that they also explain “As a thank you for your loyalty, all Delta Air Lines flights ticketed before 1 September 2017 will still earn the existing mileage rates.” (Emphasis mine.)
If changes were better, you’d want the changes applied immediately and even retroactively. They’re thanking you for your loyalty by not making retroactive changes (gee thanks) and at the same time making clear that these changes are not and should not be welcomed by members.
Traveling for Miles offers a more in-depth look at these changes.
Virgin Atlantic remains an underrated program for its excellent ANA partner redemptions, but I wouldn’t accumulate large stashes of points in an account with them — especially now that transfers not only from Chase and American Express but also Citibank are instantaneous.