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#928015 by clarkeysntfc
31 Oct 2016, 15:55
Looks like an Upper Class "G" reward to the US has become cheaper rather than more expensive?

EDIT - misread the PDF. North East Coast USA is was 80k return, now 95k/115k in peak/offpeak :-O
Last edited by clarkeysntfc on 31 Oct 2016, 16:50, edited 1 time in total.
#928016 by gumshoe
31 Oct 2016, 15:59
Ouch.

So essentially 5 discounted UC round trips ('Z' fares) now needed for Au instead of 4. But only 2.5 return 'I' fares, so booking 'I' instead of 'Z' may well work out cheaper if earning Au is your aim.

Disappointing, but probably sensible. I'm surprised they haven't brought in a requirement for a certain number of flights on VS metal to earn status though, like BA have.

Any word on how many TPs you'll earn on partner airlines?
Last edited by gumshoe on 31 Oct 2016, 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
#928017 by David
31 Oct 2016, 16:03
Probably the first of many questions - tier points seem to be linked to fare codes rather than fare classes - will you be able to book a specific fare code online without having to phone someone ?

David
#928018 by mdhayes
31 Oct 2016, 16:07
so my initial feeling in terms of redemptions is: if you can avoid peak travel Gs just got cheaper (in terms of miles) but if you are looking to buy an upgradeable economy ticket then upgrade with miles this has been hit majorly hard, with nearly a 50% increase in the number of miles needed.

is that right?
#928021 by mdhayes
31 Oct 2016, 16:16
sorry me again, it looks like economy is taking a good reduction in terms of miles needed for a lot of routes, so that begs the question: will they impose more restrictions upon the econ-prem upgrade voucher which suddenly just got more valuable?
#928022 by buns
31 Oct 2016, 16:23
This all might suggest that the tie up between the VS and Delta IT systems has been successful ;-)

It is going to take time for all of this to sink in and for resourceful V Flyers to find the vital hints and tips to maximise and let us all in on the secret

buns
#928024 by Pete
31 Oct 2016, 16:30
Virgin Atlantic has announced major changes to Flying Club, including earning and spending rates, tier point value, reward seat ‘seasons’ and accounts for under 12s. These changes will be introduced on the 13th November 2016.

Earning miles has changed, so it’s now based on the type of bucket class you’re in. The more expensive classes earn significantly more miles than before, but bad news if you’re an Economy flyer in the cheapest buckets as you’ll see your earning potential drop. Silver members will get a 30% bonus on flown miles, and Gold members get 60% – this stacked on top of the cabin bonus.

Inflation hits the Tier Point system – by a factor of 25. An Economy flight now earns you 25 Tier Points whereas an Upper Class flight (in J, C, D or I) earns you 200 Tier Points. With 400 Tier Points you gain Silver status and 1000 for Gold. Any Tier Points currently in your Flying Club account prior to 12th November will be multiplied by 25.

Virgin has introduced the concept of reward seat ‘seasons’, so January to March, May and September to November are considered ‘Off-peak’ and at other times ‘Peak’. You’ll need to spend more for a reward seat during Peak season, but the upside is that Virgin has promised more availability, so snagging that reward to Orlando in August may cost you more miles, but at least there’s a better chance of getting one.

Upgrading seats changes. A one cabin upgrade is now 50% of the mileage reward on that route. For example, a PE one-way reward from London to New York is 17,500, so an upgrade from Economy is 8,700, which is just over half of the current mileage cost. A two cabin upgrade is 75% of the full mileage cost, so on that same flight going from Economy all the way to Upper will set you back 35,600 one-way – almost the same as it is now. But with the winners there are big losers – an Economy to Upper Class upgrade from London to the West Coast USA which used to be 40,000 miles will be 50,600 Off Peak, or a whopping 65,600 miles during Peak season.

Miles Plus Money changes so 3,000 miles now equates to an £18 discount on your fare, and there’s no limit to the amount of miles you can throw at it, so you can MpM your entire fare including the taxes and fees if you so wish. More importantly, you’ll now earn miles and Tier Points on your Miles Plus Money fares. And about time to.

Membership numbers are now for life. No longer will you get a new number when you move between tiers, and there’s also a digital membership card coming in a new Virgin Atlantic app.
Young flyers will soon be able to earn miles as Flying Club opens its doors to the under 12s. And Gold members will be able to pool family miles into one account called the Household Account.

Oli Byers, SVP of Revenue Management and Customer Loyalty told V-Flyer “Our goal is to make Flying Club a key differentiator for Virgin Atlantic customers, through the value we offer with miles and by enhancing their Virgin Atlantic experience. As a long haul airline, we know that our members have different needs from a loyalty programme and, by reimagining each component of Flying Club, we ‘re making it more relevant and engaging.”

“The changes we’re making will mean that, whether a customer only travels long haul for a holiday every few years, or they travel frequently or on business, Flying Club will offer them great value and benefits that really make a difference to their experience with us. This is the first step in an exciting journey of change for Flying Club with many more enhancements in the works that we will be announcing through 2017.”

So, expect to see even more news regarding Virgin’s loyalty programme over the next 12 months.

Full details of the changes announced today are available here: http://discoverflyingclub.virginatlantic.com/
#928025 by adjonline
31 Oct 2016, 16:34
andrewinsheffield wrote:I couldn't find anything about partner earnings...


Me neither. Does anyone have any insight?

ETA: The FAQ at 19 says "We haven’t made any changes to the earning and spending rates you will get when you fly with Delta", but that doesn't help re Tier Points. I wonder if they are simply multiplying the current earning rates by 25.
#928026 by mikethe3rd
31 Oct 2016, 16:40
Thanks for posting.

Probably a bit too early to be asking questions but mine are as follows:

1) Under the benefits on the microsite, under Gold "Reward Flights" now appears - any idea what this means?
2) Does FlyingCo remain unchanged?

I called FC to ask but they didn't know. In answer to one of the questions above, according to the rep I spoke to, from Nov 13th you will be able to book the fare code of your choice and use your miles to upgrade online.
#928028 by mitchja
31 Oct 2016, 17:01
Ouch, a return G to SFO/LAX/SEA in peak season now 155K miles (or a mere 135K out of season).....up from the current 100K >-( That's insane!!!
#928029 by SlimpyJones
31 Oct 2016, 17:01
Sounds like the tie in with Delta will be kicking off on Nov 13th then! Makes sense to have all the changes in one place. Doesn't sound catastrophic really, but I suppose it very much depends on your spending patterns.

Changes were probably on the horizon for some time. The current (soon to be old) TP values were far too low to give any flexibility so multiplying them gives VS wiggle room to increase or decrease as they wish.

I had already bagged Gold for another year so this doesn't concern me an awful lot, personally.

Wonder how many folks are going to come out of the woodwork to declare the VS are the worst airline ever and are switching to BA... :P
#928030 by Stevieboy
31 Oct 2016, 17:03
I was just about to throw my toys out of the pram as I have already booked the necessary flights to maintain my status for next year only to find out I'll be 100 TP short on the new system. However, I've just read the FAQ's and #16 says that If you are flying after the 13 November 2016 and booked your ticket before this date, you will earn the maximum miles and tier points of either the old or new scheme based on the cabin and booking class of your ticket. :-)

-Steve
#928031 by dickydotcom
31 Oct 2016, 17:09
You win some, you loose some.
My G flights booked for next Feb/March out to Orlando have cost 50000 but would now be 47500, so I loose outbound.
Flying back from Atlanta have cost 40000 but would now be 47500 as well so I've gained more than I've lost. (I think)

Dick D
#928032 by slinky09
31 Oct 2016, 17:21
The biggest thing for me is the changes to PE to UC upgrades which have become much more costly in terms of miles needed - only last year on LHR-LAX it was 20k miles, now 67k which is a real bummer for buying those upgradeable PE tickets and moving into UC. I think this was inevitable though, with the overall reduction of UC seats available VS has been squeezing the openness of UC 'G's for sometime now.
#928033 by gumshoe
31 Oct 2016, 17:41
Assuming you value miles at 1p each, offering a PE-UC upgrade for the equivalent of £200 was, essentially, stupid (but great for us). £670 is much more in line with the typical difference between a PE 'K' and UC 'Z' fare.

VS have basically done what BA and many other airlines have done - changed to a system that rewards genuine frequent flyers and those who spend the most by buying expensive, flexible fares.
#928038 by joeyc
31 Oct 2016, 18:23
mikethe3rd wrote:2) Does FlyingCo remain unchanged?


I spoke with FlyingCo today on an unrelated matter and was informed of this little typhoon about to hit. They are still waiting on their guidance notes on how to deal with upgrades and other rewards bookable through them, as well as on how to deal with notably irritated business account holders.

Stevieboy wrote:I was just about to throw my toys out of the pram..


I have thrown my toys out of the pram Steve... quite a distance in fact. Not a happy afternoon/evening for Joeyc today >-( >-( >-(

I guess the only silver lining is, how many 'lowest' fare buckets can I book before the 13th to earn full class TPs as opposed to the entitled to new fare TPs :cool:
#928040 by slinky09
31 Oct 2016, 19:15
gumshoe wrote:Assuming you value miles at 1p each, offering a PE-UC upgrade for the equivalent of £200 was, essentially, stupid (but great for us). £670 is much more in line with the typical difference between a PE 'K' and UC 'Z' fare.

VS have basically done what BA and many other airlines have done - changed to a system that rewards genuine frequent flyers and those who spend the most by buying expensive, flexible fares.


I'd agree with that generally, but I often booked W fare PE if doing the East coast and that is often a similar price to UC Z, so the new punitive upgrade miles act as a disincentive to fly VS in that circumstance. I would have favoured this change if it also had an additional reduced mileage when booking a W or say a Y full fare in economy too.
#928041 by ScoobySu
31 Oct 2016, 19:17
Is it just me but I think that the details on the PDF and on the website is not clear on making Reward bookings - whether straight Rewards or Upgrades?

From the PDF:
The below reward flights are bookable from 16 January 2017. Our year round
reward flights can still be booked until 15 January 2017.


From the Website:
Compare the miles needed* for standard or peak season return reward flights** from 16 January 2017.


So I read that as saying that I can book West Coast G's at the current 100k rate up to 15th January and the off peak increase to 135k will be from bookings made from 16th January (the reason I'm asking is that we currently have Ps to SFO in May 2017 but not quite enough miles to upgrade to Gs as yet).

So I thought I'd check .... especially as hubby's Amex miles don't usually get credited until 15th ...

From Twitter:
Any bookings made after 12th (November) will be at the new rate


Am very confused .... ;-(
Virgin Atlantic

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