Earlier this week, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic announced mutual frequent flyer benefit for Elite flyers from both airlines. The codeshare on Virgin and Delta flights will begin July 3, 2013 and on that date, frequent flyers of both airlines will be able to earn and burn miles on each airline.
The interesting fact about this partnership is that Skymile members will have better earning rates on Virgin Atlantic than Virgin Atlantic Flying club members. Below, I have attached the earning rates for Delta Skymile members flying on Virgin Atlantic operated flights. Pay particular attention to the economy class fares, particularly E,Q,V,X,N,O. These discount economy fares earn 100% base miles and 100% Medallion miles when credited to the Delta SkyMiles program. However, for Virgin flying club members, these same flights only earn 50% base miles! The rest of the flying class offer similar earning rates in both programs
SkyMiles earning rates on Virgin Atlantic:
Flying Club Earning Rates on Virgin Atlantic
|Travelling in:||% of base flown miles you will earn|
|Virgin Atlantic Little Red||Fixed earning level|
|Economy Lowest (E,Q,V,X,N,O):||50%|
|Premium Economy (K,H):||125%|
|Premium Economy (W,S):||150%|
|Upper Class (I,Z):||150%|
|Upper Class (J,D,C):||200%|
Interesting enough, despite Virgin flyers earning a lower ration of miles on their own airline, they will earn miles at a similar rate as SkyMiles members when flying Delta, but Flying Club members will not receive bonus miles for full fare economy.
First Class* (F, P, A,G) 150% of miles flown
Business Class – (J,C) 200% of miles flown
Discounted Business Class (D,I, Z) 150% of miles flown
Economy Class – (Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X, V, E) 100% of miles flown
* Domestic Services
Another important aspect to note is that Virgin Atlantic flyers will earn tier points which count towards Flying Club Elite status on Delta flights. Unlike most partners though, tier points will be awarded at the 3000 mile level instead of the 2000 mile level. This is extremely important because it means most of Delta North American, Central America flights, Caribbean flights, and Northern South American flights except for ATL-HNL and ATL-ANC (to name a few) will only earn 1 tier point when booked in Economy.
DELTA AIR LINES
|Cabin||Under 3,000 miles flown||Over 3,000 miles flown|
|Business Class/First Class||3||5|
Overall, as a SkyMiles member, I am excited to see this new partnership and happy to see another airline earn full redeemable miles and medallion miles into the SkyMiles program. I also think the partnership is good for Virgin Flying Club members as it opens up another opportunity for them to earn 100% redeemable miles regardless of cabin class. I will cautiously call this a +1 for both frequent flyer clubs. Now, if only tickets other than 006 counted towards MQD!