DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Update, 1/11: Virgin has rolled back their devaluation on nonstop Delta flights to Europe. These flights will now price according to the old award calendar in the original post below. Flights to elsewhere in the world will use the new award calendar in the original post below.
Fuel surcharges will still only apply for Delta flights from the US to the UK and not on Delta from the US to anywhere else in the world.
This is excellent news as it preserves the new Delta short-haul bargains and it brings back long-haul business class values to Europe.
For example the JFK-Paris business class flight that had increased from 50K to 80K miles is back down to 50K miles!
And the JFK-Milan business class flight that had increased from 50K to 100K miles is back down to 50K miles!
On the other hand, coach awards to Paris have gone up from 22.5K under the new chart to 30K under the revived old chart. However you can always fly on another partner like Air France for just 12K miles with some fuel surcharges:
Originally posted on 1/1:
Virgin Atlantic has moved from a region based award chart for Delta flights to a distance based award chart.
Here is the old region based award chart with round-trip pricing:
Here is the new distance based award chart with 9 zones of one-way, per segment pricing:
You can check what a ticket will cost by checking the distance between city pairs on GCmap.com.
Note that flights to/from London are excluded from these changes. Those flights are also hit with fuel surcharges, while other Delta flights are not.
There’s plenty of good, bad, and ugly to go around here.
Infant lap child awards on international flights are a bargain. While Delta charges 10% of the paid fare, which can be astronomical on one-way flights, Virgin charges just 1,000 miles in coach or 5,000 miles in business class each way:
If I want to fly from Cleveland to NYC, Delta charges a variable amount of miles. For example on 2/3/21 it would cost 11.5K miles one way:
With Virgin Atlantic this is a zone 1 award as the flight distance between Cleveland and LaGuardia is under 500 miles.
With Virgin Atlantic miles there’s plenty of zone 1 awards available for just 7.5K miles, though Delta blocks this partner award availability close-in to the flight. This used to cost 12.5K Virgin miles under the old region based award chart.
Virgin even counts Detroit to NYC as a zone 1 award, despite being slightly above 500 miles in distance:
JFK to Tel Aviv used to cost 40K miles under the old award chart, now it’s 35K miles each way as a zone 8 award:
Delta charges a premium for one-way awards, in this case they wanted 100K miles, though a round-trip is available for 74K miles.
JFK to Paris is 35K Delta miles:
But is just 22.5K Virgin Atlantic miles as a zone 6 award under the distance based chart. This used to cost 30K miles under the region based award chart:
Similar to BA Avios, you now have to pay for each segment separately.
That means if I want to fly from Cleveland to Tel Aviv via JFK, it will now cost 42.5K miles (35K for JFK-TLV+7.5K for CLE-JFK) instead of the 40K it cost under the region based award chart:
Delta is very stingy about releasing business class award space to partner airlines, but rates have gone way up here.
The US to Europe in business class used to be just 50,000 miles one-way.
Now a flight like JFK to Milan skyrockets to 105K miles one-way as a zone 8 award:
And yet, it’s still less than the 170K that Delta wanted:
A flight like JFK to Paris goes from 50K to 80K Virgin miles one-way as a zone 6 award:
Which is still a bargain compared to Delta miles one-way, but less so than before:
Want to earn Virgin Atlantic miles?
- You can transfer AMEX, Chase, Or Citi points to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio or Marriott points to Virgin Atlantic at a 60K:25K ratio.
- Virgin Atlantic miles never expire!
If you, a member in your household, or an authorized user has one of the following Chase cards, you can transfer points into miles:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 60K signup bonus, earns 2 points per dollar on dining/travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.25 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve has a 50K signup bonus, earns 3 points per dollar on dining/travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.5 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($550 annual fee with $300 travel credit). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Preferred has a 100K signup bonus and earns 3 points per dollar on shipping, advertising, and travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.25 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
Chase no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:
- Chase Ink Cash has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on cable, TV, telecom, cellular, office supply stores, and gift cards from office supply stores, plus 2 points per dollar on dining and gas ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Unlimited has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Flex has a 20K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on groceries for 1 year, plus 5 points on rotating categories, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 20K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on groceries for 1 year, at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
If you or a friend has one of the following Citi cards, you can transfer points into miles:
- Citi Premier offering 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, travel agents, groceries, gas, and dining. $95 annual fee.
- Citi Prestige offering 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 5 points per dollar on airfare and dining, and 3 points per dollar on hotels. $495 annual fee.
Citi no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:
- The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back or 2 points per dollar spent everywhere that can be transferred into ThankYou points. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles. No annual fee.
- The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles and get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee.
Marriott cards with transferable points to Virgin Atlantic include:
- Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Consumer Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card
- Here is a comparison of all Marriott cards.
What do you think of these changes?
Leave a Reply
31 Comments On "[Update: Devaluation Partially Rolled Back, New Sweet Spots Remain!] Virgin Atlantic’s New Delta Distance Based Award Chart: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly"
All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.
It’s worth noting that the pricing changes only apply to non-joint venture routes. Joint venture routes, which are certain transatlantic routes, will continue to be honored at the old rates. However, if you’re connecting a non-JV segment as part of a single ticket, it will fall under the new pricing structure.
In other words, if you travel from Albany to Atlanta and then Atlanta to London, it will fall under the new, increased award pricing because of the one non-JV leg. But if you fly from JFK to LHR, it will price at the old rate. [from tpg]
With Delta taking a stake in the airline this was bound to happen, DL model is providing a good experience to the every day traveler with a terrible value to the experienced and frequent traveler
JFK-MCO is just under a 1000 miles, so it’s only 8,500, JFK-FLL is slightly over so it’s 11,500.
Both better than now.
1. jfk-cdg is cat 6 not 7 (amount of miles is correct).
2. infant rates is great HOWEVER vs will NOT let you bring a rear-forward car seat no matter what. it is in their rulebook.
United also has that in their rule book, but only enforced a small percentage of the time…
The Detroit flight prices in Zone 1, as VS is calculating distance based on “NYC” not based on “JFK” or “LGA” similar to how other airlines price awards on distance based charts.
NYC-DTW in this case is 496 miles.
Interesting, where is “NYC” measuring from?
I guess that also explains why JFK-MXP is a zone 8 🙁
Yup, right about Times Square actually 🙂
Exact coordinates can be seen here http://www.gcmap.com/airport/NYC
4 Times Square, New York, NY 10036
Fascinating! I wonder how that got selected?
Always wondered about DTW-LGA and MXP-JFK. Live and learn, thanks!
Also, re Milan, the code being counted is “MIL” not “MXP”.
Pre-COVID, I transferred some Citi Thank You points that were set to expire to Virgin Atlantic, hoping to use them for Delta JFK-TLV. I recently looked for a (hopefully, post-COVID) flight but there was no Delta availability. Award flights on VA were overpriced, so I booked using UR, getting a round trip for a little over 38K points, and racking up some more VA points. I’m glad to see my VA points will actually be worth more than I had planned on.
How come in the last screenshot it showed delta having economy award available on May 26 and Virgin showing it sold out?
Delta doesn’t release all award space to partners.
How is DL availability?
Depends on the route and cabin.
Virgin has a month-long flex search calendar.
Any idea if these are booking into Delta Basic Economy (lowest awards) or are these booking into regular Economy with seat assignments etc?
Partner awards always book into regular economy.
Right I assumed so, just wanted to see if this would be different as they are controlled 49% by Delta. Thanks.
How soon before a flight does it become “close-in”?
Depends on the route.
For CLE-LGA or DTW-LGA it’s blocked within 3 weeks of the flight.
For JFK-TLV or JFK-CDG it’s not blocked at all.
Typically 3 weeks.
Take NYC-CMH for example, the first day with availability is Jan 22 and nearly every day from that date is available.
How do you book a virgin flight using delta miles?
Short haul from ATL to Caribbean / Mexico / Central America looks like a decent value too, assuming you’re in the area and can fly direct.
What is the best way to book JFK – TLV round trip in Delta One?
what is cancellation policy with virgin points?
Stay Away from Virgin Atlantic. They refuse to refund my ticket NYC-TLV even though they cancelled flights and 5 times refused to rebook during lock down.
Why are the surcharges EU 300$
Dan can you book a virgin flight using delta miles?
Why did they roll back the devaluations?
im checking the route dtw-jfk and its coming up over 24k round trip!!!