This is the main V-Flyer Forum for general discussion of everything related to flying with Virgin-branded travel companies.
#963656 by jamaboho
21 Jan 2022, 21:50
I’m sitting on over 750k points ands 4 companion tickets because for the past 5 years it has become impossible to redeem them against business class flights to Johannesburg (where my wife’s family lives).

There has been a severe degradation in service from Virgin over the past few years , for instance:
- the threshold for lifetime gold membership have been massively increased
- the useful customer solutions team number has been retired
- there is no priority for gold members in booking points flights
- BA actually have points flights available, and gold card holders get priority. And even if you’re not gold there’s more availability than Virgin.

I was aiming for lifetime gold when it was 10 consecutive years (I have 7) but now the threshold is a ridiculous amount of miles. VIrgin has a nice lounge and BA has lost my luggage twice but the points issue has become a dealbreaker, I’m done with Virgin.
#963659 by mikethe3rd
22 Jan 2022, 03:12
I just had a look and can see quite a lot of UC reward availability. I’m assuming it depends on the number of seats and time of year you’re wanting to travel. SeatSpy is a good tool if you haven’t used it before.

As for reaching / maintaining Gold, I’m fairly sure it’s still a lot easier to achieve with VS than BA.
#963661 by mikethe3rd
22 Jan 2022, 12:18
What has changed with VS? It’s still 10 years as a gold member and 7,500 TPs isn’t it?

That’s 3.5 return UC trips per year. BA is after 35,000 Tier Points (albeit during any period), but using a 10-year period, that’s 12.5 return CW trips per year.

With an average fare of £1,850, VS is £150,000+ cheaper to hit lifetime gold.

Apologies if I’ve missed some announcement. Highly likely.

Ps. The JNB flights were direct. What months were you wanting to travel? I’ll post the screenshots when I’m on the computer, rather than mobile, later.
#963662 by mediamonkey
22 Jan 2022, 15:37
It seems to me as they continue to navigate the pandemic that mileage availability is there but released much closer to the date. Which isn’t good for planning but is good for more last minute things. Eg there was not a single UC flight for the West Coast in Feb just over a week ago and then suddenly a few days ago avails came up for every destination on nearly every date
#963676 by jamaboho
24 Jan 2022, 20:38
I am looking for flights in April or December, in school holidays. Regarding the Gold for Life I noticed under my account it says I need to reach 900,000 miles for Gold for Life. I've been Gold for 8 of the past 11 years and I'm only on 67,265 (no idea what that number means) but it's clearly a big uplift from 10 years consecutive which I was closing in on. I called the flying club and they confirmed that this is the new Gold for Life requirement.
#963681 by mitchja
25 Jan 2022, 01:18
jamaboho wrote:I am looking for flights in April or December, in school holidays. Regarding the Gold for Life I noticed under my account it says I need to reach 900,000 miles for Gold for Life. I've been Gold for 8 of the past 11 years and I'm only on 67,265 (no idea what that number means) but it's clearly a big uplift from 10 years consecutive which I was closing in on. I called the flying club and they confirmed that this is the new Gold for Life requirement.


Gold for life can be earned from either maintaining 10 consecutive years of gold status along with earning at least 750 tier points on VS metal in that 10 year period or by flying a total of 1,000,000 miles since joining Flying Club in any tier (not sure why it’s only 900,000 miles in your case).

I’ve been Gold for 5 or 6 years here now (not sure what happens with the status extension year?) and my account says the following:

Flown miles = 410,338
Fly 589,662 more miles to become a Million Miler and get Lifetime Gold membership


That flown miles figure is only miles flown on VS metal though. Partner or codeshare airline miles don’t count towards that figure.

You will also only see this info online in your Flying Club account if you are Gold, though it does keep a tally of miles flown regardless of your tier.

The 10 years & 750 tier points in mentioned on this page:

…..And if you’ve been a Gold member for ten consecutive years and earned 7,500 Tier Points on Virgin Atlantic flights in that time, you’ll be made a Gold member for life.
Last edited by mitchja on 27 Jan 2022, 06:09, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Clarified the miles flown text
#963704 by mitchja
27 Jan 2022, 02:57
alexr wrote:Huh what? I have 1.6M miles and nobody has said one word about lifetime anything.



It’s based on just actual miles flown on VS aircraft and not your total miles earned though. Also nothing else counts towards this, for example credit card earnings or partner airline miles etc.

You need to have flown at least 1,000,000 miles on VS aircraft to earn GFL status this way.

Sorry if my above post didn’t make this clear. I’ve edited it to make it clearer now.
#963725 by JohnF
30 Jan 2022, 19:36
Surprised at your comments re unavailability of UC flight to Joburg. We had reward seats last year which got cancelled, of course, but just last week got reward seats (UC) . Both were for August out returing in Sept. As someone else suggested get Seatspy to do the work for you
#963747 by ColOrd
02 Feb 2022, 15:20
So, last night about 10pm whilst browsing stuff to do for my Birthday, in September, I found a G on the VS23 on my birthday and its a 350, absolutely perfect, my route and my favourite flight! I managed to find a G coming back from SFO a week later. I then spent the next few hours playing with different hotels, different combos of nights in SFO/LA etc etc. A couple of good ideas, and went to bed, checked the flights were still there (bare in mind there was no "there is only X left" against the VS23 so at least 5 G's were available at that point.

I woke up at 3.30 am for a wee, as you do, and I gave some advice to a friend a few weeks ago "If you see a G that works for you to LAX book it, as they are as rare as rocking horse poo" anyway runs into the living room to get my credit card, I need to book this now, just in case. Loads the app, and low and bloody behold, they had all gone! Pretty much nothing at all for most of September for either LA, Vegas or San Fran.

Anyway, after much huffing and puffing and reworking I have managed to get 6 days away out to San Fran on the VS41 and back from LA on the 2, sadly a week after my birthday, but we cant have everything! But the moral of the tale - if you see it BOOK IT!!
#963752 by chrisfinch_2000
03 Feb 2022, 00:46
“If you see it, book it” has never been more relevant as it is now with west coast - there were 9+ G fares available to LAX the other week for my date, they all vanished a day later - I still check the seat maps today for that date and there’s only 2 seats booked.

Virgin are definitely deciding at some points just to pull the G’s for whatever reason!

(And yes I know seat maps can’t be 100% relied upon but this happened over a number of dates and the planes are all showing as empty!)
#963753 by ColOrd
03 Feb 2022, 03:56
I completely agree Chris, I genuinely do not believe that between 2330 and 0330 someone purchased 5 miles tickets for a Wednesday at the end of September, okay it’s not outside of the realms of possibility, but I feel it’s unlikely!

The call centre isn’t 24 hours anymore, and you can only book Gs directly via the website, so surely you’d pick seats at that time given it prompts you twice?!
#963759 by Waddo56
03 Feb 2022, 14:18
I was struggling last week for reward flights like you say the flights have vanished, even within 5 minutes I found!

I went through the booking process online even to the payment last Thursday but when I made the payment it said the flights were unavailable.

I rang the call centre to check my card had not been debited and the booking made, the lady was very helpful and checked my dates and said the issue was the return leg as it was a stopover with Delta she went ahead and booked the reward flight for me, I have checked my booking and this is G class ticket.
#963768 by MoJoJo
05 Feb 2022, 09:05
I have been watching availability of reward fares to BGI. Pre the start of the sale there were loads for different dates however as soon as the sale started they all disappeared. The last few days there have been a couple reappear so I’m hopeful patience will pay off and they’ll add more again
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