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Virgin Atlantic Now Lets Flyers Earn Tier Points on Award Flights

Virgin Atlantic Now Lets Flyers Earn Tier Points on Award Flights
Joe Cortez

Weeks after beginning their restructuring process, Virgin Atlantic is introducing a policy that will help customers earn elite status faster, regardless of how they book their flights. Starting Sept. 1, 2020, all flyers can earn tier points on award flights, allowing them to get closer to elite status every time they board a Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic flyers now have a new way to earn tier points towards elite status with the carrier. In a press release, the airline announced flyers can earn tier points on award bookings, starting today, Sept. 1, 2020.

Tier Points on Award Flights Tied to COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Under the new policy, all members of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will earn tier points regardless of how they book their flights – with cash, Miles Plus Money, or with Flying Club miles. The move makes it easier for frequent flyers to get closer to elite status no matter how they choose to pay for their travel.

“The introduction of tier points for redemption flights is an industry-leading move that will help customers progress to Silver or Gold membership more quickly and, in turn, enjoy even more rewards with their membership,” Oli Byers, senior vice president of data and customer loyalty at Virgin Atlantic, said in a press release. “We also know our customers love the vouchers we offer, so we’ve improved these to make the conditions simpler and more generous so they are even easier for customers to use.”

The move is one of several by the British carrier encourage travelers to return to the skies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virgin Atlantic previously extended all flyers’ elite status by six months in March 2020, and will extended them another six months on Sept. 1, 2020. The extension allows flyers to take advantage of their full status benefits when they are comfortable traveling again. In addition, flyers will have more time to use miles or take advantage of elite status rewards. The extensions will soon be reflected when users login to their accounts.

Like other carriers in the Europe and Middle East markets, Virgin Atlantic is also extending COVID-19 global insurance for all flyers who book a flight between Aug. 24, 2020, and Mar. 31, 2021. The insurance policy is provided by Allianz Assistance, and will around $668,000 of emergency medical expenses related to contracting the novel Coronavirus, leading to a COVID-19 infection.

Finally, the airline is expanding who can take advantage of their Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Airport’s (LHR) Terminal 2. Upper Class, Gold Flying Club members and eligible partner customers are now all welcome to take advantage of the lounge space. Eligible partners include Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Flyer-Friendly Policy Comes After Bailout Package

The new Virgin Atlantic policies come after the airline accepted a bailout package to continue flying, while reorganizing their finances under a restructuring plan. While the airline was forced to trim staff and retire aircraft, the restructuring plans lead by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Delta allows the airline to continue flying without accepting additional money from the British Government, giving it more flexibility as they reorganize.

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