Updated January 7th, 2020
The (somewhat) objective valuation of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is so low it appears to be a joke. Unfortunately, it’s not. This month, we’re placing a value of 0.27¢. In other words, 100,000 of them would be worth $270. While I personally believe they are worth more, I can’t simply adjust our valuation method on the fly to accommodate.
Whenever presenting low’ish valuations, I always like to remind readers what this number means. It’s a discounted average, not a hypothetical best-case. Exact calculation steps are documented on our valuation methodology page.
Although this number doesn’t sound good, and it isn’t, it does represent a significant improvement from last year, when we calculated an appalling 0.004¢!
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|US Domstic Value||0.05¢||0.00¢||+0.05¢||n/a|
|US Domestic Non-Zero Average||1.20¢||0.00¢||+1.20¢||n/a|
|International Non-Zero Average||2.74¢||1.24¢||+1.50¢||+121%|
Also worth mentioning, is that I consider Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club to be something of a hybrid US-domestic/European program. Due to Delta’s 49% stake in the company, intra-US award booking opportunities far exceed intra-European ones. As a result of this, I’ve come up with an ad-hoc basket of city-pairs that cover their combined route map.
As we’ve seen with some other European carriers, the value of a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club mile is absolutely eviscerated by a lack of award availability. This month, we found award availability on 15% of our hypothetical routes/fare classes. To be fair, this is actually an improvement over last year, which stood at just 6%. Quite often, one is presented with the following error when searching available award space.
Now, for Some Good News
Keeping everything above in mind, we did discover a small number truly great award booking opportunities. Our best redemption for the month came from an economy-class award seat. Virgin Atlantic was offering for just $149.50 in fees + 12,500 miles. The lowest priced cash-alternative was $864, providing a redemption value of 5.72¢.
Compared to Geographical Peers
|Program||Points Reckoning ACRV||Non-Zero Average||Updated|
|Aer Lingus Avios||0.46||1.61||12/29/2019|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||0.77||1.04||12/26/2019|
|British Airways Avios||0.62||1.49||12/29/2019|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||0.27||1.97||02/07/2019|