Some good news, for a change, even if it feels a bit like celebrating one survivor amidst untold casualties. Virgin Atlantic will spare Europe from its massive and unannounced Delta redemption devaluation. This is cause for relief, but hardly praise.
Virgin Atlantic’s Shameful, No-Notice Devaluation
Virgin Atlantic rang in the new year with a no-notice devaluation. We woke up to find that awards skyrocketed by as much as 175% in price. For example, a Delta nonstop from Detroit to Shanghai was 60,000 miles for business class and suddenly cost 165,000 miles for the same flight.
That’s an extreme example, but across the board Delta prices rose dramatically, especially for premium cabin awards. Pricing on flights to London remained unchanged, but those flights carry enormous surcharges, defeating their value.
At the time, Virgin Atlantic defended the devaluation, stating “the redemption pricing remains competitive.” That was true…Virgin Atlantic was the lone sweet spot when it came to redeeming points or miles for travel on Delta. Redeem via Delta directly and prices were similarly high. Booking via Korean Air SkyPass or Air France FlyingBlue were somewhat better, but still did not have the ease and value of Virgin Atlantic pricing.
The problem, in that sense, was not so much the devaluation itself, though lamentable, but the lack of notice, which showed an utter disregard for members. We’re in the midst of a global downturn in which commercial aviation has been squeezed hard and Virgin Atlantic rewards its members by devaluing its program without notice? That is simply shameful, unethical behavior.
Delta Award Flights To Europe Return To 2020 Pricing Via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
In a small reprieve, Delta nonstop flights between North American gateways and cities in Europe (outside of London) will drop back to 2020 pricing levels.
That means 30,000 one-way for economy class and 50,000 one-way for business class.
Please note that Delta does not impose fuel surcharges on trips originating in the USA (one-way or round-trip), but if you originate in Europe, you will face fuel surcharges.
This pricing is not distance-depending, so a one-way Los Angeles to Paris will cost the same as a one-way from New York to Paris.
This is good news only so far as the original bad news is not quite as bad. But hey, we’ll take what we can get. Using your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to travel from the USA to Europe nonstop will remain a sweet spot…for now.