In a rather understated update to its Flying Club, Virgin Atlantic has introduced a feature allowing Silver and Gold members to gift their vouchers. This under-the-radar change could add a level of flexibility and accessibility to these tier’s benefits, although it may not apply to everyone.
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The New, and Somewhat Mysterious, Gifting Policy
Virgin Atlantic has continuously revised its Flying Club to enhance the member experience. One of the significant changes was the rebranding of Virgin Flying Club Miles to Virgin Points in 2020.
Then in late 2021, amid the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic brought several changes to the Flying Club. These included introducing Household Accounts for Silver members, offering a one-off gift of Clubhouse lounge passes for new Silver members, and the option of earning tier points from Virgin Holidays. All these changes aimed at making the Flying Club more appealing and valuable to its members.
The airline subtly updated its website to incorporate this latest benefit for Silver and Gold members. The new policy states these members can “Gift companion and upgrade vouchers to your loved ones”. The terms specify that only Silver or Gold members may gift vouchers, and the recipient needs to be a Flying Club member of any tier. However, the policy is yet untested and Virgin Atlantic hasn’t clarified whether the gifter needs to use their Virgin Points to pay for the flight if the voucher is gifted.
The Vouchers Eligible for Gifting
Understanding this change requires a grasp of the vouchers in question. Virgin Atlantic offers a range of vouchers to its members. The ones eligible for gifting include the Upgrade and 2-4-1 vouchers, Gold Companion, Gold Upgrade, and Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ Credit Card vouchers.
Pooling Points vs Gifting Vouchers
While gifting vouchers adds a new dimension to Virgin Atlantic’s rewards program, it’s also worthwhile to consider an alternative strategy – pooling points. Instead of gifting a voucher, members could potentially pool their Virgin Points together for a larger redemption. This strategy could offer more flexibility, allowing points to be used across a range of flights or for an upgrade. However, the value of gifting a voucher shouldn’t be understated, as it opens up the possibility for loved ones to experience premium services or a much-desired destination, without needing to accumulate a large number of points themselves. Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual circumstances and travel goals.
Comparison to Other Airlines
In the broader aviation industry context, this new gifting policy is a unique offering. British Airways, for instance, also provides Companion Vouchers to its members, but these cannot be gifted. They are strictly for the cardholder and a companion. Thus, Virgin Atlantic has carved its own unique niche in this regard.
As we await further details about this new gifting feature, it’s an intriguing addition to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. By enabling Silver and Gold members to gift their vouchers, Virgin Atlantic has introduced a sharing element to their rewards program. It may be early days, but this subtle change could prove a welcome surprise for some members, allowing them to share the joy of flying with their loved ones.